Definition of Biography

A biography is the non- fiction , written history or account of a person’s life. Biographies are intended to give an objective portrayal of a person, written in the third person. Biographers collect information from the subject (if he/she is available), acquaintances of the subject, or in researching other sources such as reference material, experts, records, diaries, interviews, etc. Most biographers intend to present the life story of a person and establish the context of their story for the reader, whether in terms of history and/or the present day. In turn, the reader can be reasonably assured that the information presented about the biographical subject is as true and authentic as possible.

Biographies can be written about a person at any time, no matter if they are living or dead. However, there are limitations to biography as a literary device. Even if the subject is involved in the biographical process, the biographer is restricted in terms of access to the subject’s thoughts or feelings.

Biographical works typically include details of significant events that shape the life of the subject as well as information about their childhood, education, career, and relationships. Occasionally, a biography is made into another form of art such as a film or dramatic production. The musical production of “Hamilton” is an excellent example of a biographical work that has been turned into one of the most popular musical productions in Broadway history.

Common Examples of Biographical Subjects

Most people assume that the subject of a biography must be a person who is famous in some way. However, that’s not always the case. In general, biographical subjects tend to be interesting people who have pioneered something in their field of expertise or done something extraordinary for humanity. In addition, biographical subjects can be people who have experienced something unusual or heartbreaking, committed terrible acts, or who are especially gifted and/or talented.

As a literary device, biography is important because it allows readers to learn about someone’s story and history. This can be enlightening, inspiring, and meaningful in creating connections. Here are some common examples of biographical subjects:

  • political leaders
  • entrepreneurs
  • historical figures
  • serial killers
  • notorious people
  • political activists
  • adventurers/explorers
  • religious leaders
  • military leaders
  • cultural figures

Famous Examples of Biographical Works

The readership for biography tends to be those who enjoy learning about a certain person’s life or overall field related to the person. In addition, some readers enjoy the literary form of biography independent of the subject. Some biographical works become well-known due to either the person’s story or the way the work is written, gaining a readership of people who may not otherwise choose to read biography or are unfamiliar with its form.

Here are some famous examples of biographical works that are familiar to many readers outside of biography fans:

  • Alexander Hamilton (Ron Chernow)
  • Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Caroline Fraser)
  • Steve Jobs (Walter Isaacson)
  • Churchill: A Life (Martin Gilbert)
  • The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (Simon Winchester)
  • A Beautiful Mind (Sylvia Nasar)
  • The Black Rose (Tananarive Due)
  • John Adams (David McCullough)
  • Into the Wild ( Jon Krakauer )
  • John Brown (W.E.B. Du Bois)
  • Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo (Hayden Herrera)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot)
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Doris Kearns Goodwin)
  • Shirley Jackson : A Rather Haunted Life ( Ruth Franklin)
  • the stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit (Michael Finkel)

Difference Between Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir

Biography, autobiography , and memoir are the three main forms used to tell the story of a person’s life. Though there are similarities between these forms, they have distinct differences in terms of the writing, style , and purpose.

A biography is an informational narrative and account of the life history of an individual person, written by someone who is not the subject of the biography. An autobiography is the story of an individual’s life, written by that individual. In general, an autobiography is presented chronologically with a focus on key events in the person’s life. Since the writer is the subject of an autobiography, it’s written in the first person and considered more subjective than objective, like a biography. In addition, autobiographies are often written late in the person’s life to present their life experiences, challenges, achievements, viewpoints, etc., across time.

Memoir refers to a written collection of a person’s significant memories, written by that person. Memoir doesn’t generally include biographical information or chronological events unless it’s relevant to the story being presented. The purpose of memoir is reflection and an intention to share a meaningful story as a means of creating an emotional connection with the reader. Memoirs are often presented in a narrative style that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

Examples of Biography in Literature

An important subset of biography is literary biography. A literary biography applies biographical study and form to the lives of artists and writers. This poses some complications for writers of literary biographies in that they must balance the representation of the biographical subject, the artist or writer, as well as aspects of the subject’s literary works. This balance can be difficult to achieve in terms of judicious interpretation of biographical elements within an author’s literary work and consideration of the separate spheres of the artist and their art.

Literary biographies of artists and writers are among some of the most interesting biographical works. These biographies can also be very influential for readers, not only in terms of understanding the artist or writer’s personal story but the context of their work or literature as well. Here are some examples of well-known literary biographies:

Example 1:  Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay  (Nancy Milford)

One of the first things Vincent explained to Norma was that there was a certain freedom of language in the Village that mustn’t shock her. It wasn’t vulgar. ‘So we sat darning socks on Waverly Place and practiced the use of profanity as we stitched. Needle in, . Needle out, piss. Needle in, . Needle out, c. Until we were easy with the words.’

This passage reflects the way in which Milford is able to characterize St. Vincent Millay as a person interacting with her sister. Even avid readers of a writer’s work are often unaware of the artist’s private and personal natures, separate from their literature and art. Milford reflects the balance required on the part of a literary biographer of telling the writer’s life story without undermining or interfering with the meaning and understanding of the literature produced by the writer. Though biographical information can provide some influence and context for a writer’s literary subjects, style, and choices , there is a distinction between the fictional world created by a writer and the writer’s “real” world. However, a literary biographer can illuminate the writer’s story so that the reader of both the biography and the biographical subject’s literature finds greater meaning and significance.

Example 2:  The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens  (Claire Tomalin)

The season of domestic goodwill and festivity must have posed a problem to all good Victorian family men with more than one family to take care of, particularly when there were two lots of children to receive the demonstrations of paternal love.

Tomalin’s literary biography of Charles Dickens reveals the writer’s extramarital relationship with a woman named Nelly Ternan. Tomalin presents the complications that resulted for Dickens from this relationship in terms of his personal and family life as well as his professional writing and literary work. Revealing information such as an extramarital relationship can influence the way a reader may feel about the subject as a person, and in the case of literary biography it can influence the way readers feel about the subject’s literature as well. Artists and writers who are beloved , such as Charles Dickens, are often idealized by their devoted readers and society itself. However, as Tomalin’s biography of Dickens indicates, artists and writers are complicated and as subject to human failings as anyone else.

Example 3:  Virginia Woolf  (Hermione Lee)

‘A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living’: so too with the biography of that self. And just as lives don’t stay still, so life-writing can’t be fixed and finalised. Our ideas are shifting about what can be said, our knowledge of human character is changing. The biographer has to pioneer, going ‘ahead of the rest of us, like the miner’s canary, testing the atmosphere , detecting falsity, unreality, and the presence of obsolete conventions’. So, ‘There are some stories which have to be retold by each generation’. She is talking about the story of Shelley, but she could be talking about her own life-story.

In this passage, Lee is able to demonstrate what her biographical subject, Virginia Woolf, felt about biography and a person telling their own or another person’s story. Literary biographies of well-known writers can be especially difficult to navigate in that both the author and biographical subject are writers, but completely separate and different people. As referenced in this passage by Lee, Woolf was aware of the subtleties and fluidity present in a person’s life which can be difficult to judiciously and effectively relay to a reader on the part of a biographer. In addition, Woolf offers insight into the fact that biographers must make choices in terms of what information is presented to the reader and the context in which it is offered, making them a “miner’s canary” as to how history will view and remember the biographical subject.

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What Is Biography? Definition, Usage, and Literary Examples

Biography definition.

A  biography  (BYE-og-ruh-fee) is a written account of one person’s life authored by another person. A biography includes all pertinent details from the subject’s life, typically arranged in a chronological order. The word  biography  stems from the Latin  biographia , which succinctly explains the word’s definition:  bios  = “life” +  graphia  = “write.”

Since the advent of the written word, historical writings have offered information about real people, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that biographies evolved into a separate literary genre.  Autobiographies  and memoirs fall under the broader biography genre, but they are distinct literary forms due to one key factor: the subjects themselves write these works. Biographies are popular source materials for documentaries, television shows, and motion pictures.

The History of Biographies

The biography form has its roots in Ancient Rome and Greece. In 44 BCE, Roman writer Cornelius Nepos published  Excellentium Imperatorum Vitae  ( Lives of the Generals ), one of the earliest recorded biographies. In 80 CE, Greek writer Plutarch released  Parallel Lives , a sweeping work consisting of 48 biographies of famous men. In 121 CE, Roman historian Suetonius wrote  De vita Caesarum  ( On the Lives of the Caesars ), a series of 12 biographies detailing the lives of Julius Caesar and the first 11 emperors of the Roman Empire. These were among the most widely read biographies of their time, and at least portions of them have survived intact over the millennia.

During the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church had a notable influence on biographies. Historical, political, and cultural biographies fell out of favor. Biographies of religious figures—including saints, popes, and church founders—replaced them. One notable exception was Italian painter/architect Giorgio Vasari’s 1550 biography,  The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects , which was immensely popular. In fact, it is one of the first examples of a bestselling book.

Still, it wasn’t until the 18th century that authors began to abandon multiple subjects in a single work and instead focus their research and writing on one subject. Scholars consider James Boswell’s 1791  The Life of Samuel Johnson  to be the first modern biography. From here, biographies were established as a distinct literary genre, separate from more general historical writing.

As understanding of psychology and sociology grew in the 19th and early 20th centuries, biographies further evolved, offering up even more comprehensive pictures of their subjects. Authors who played major roles in this contemporary approach to biographing include Lytton Strachey, Gamaliel Bradford, and Robert Graves.

Types of Biographies

While all biographical works chronicle the lives of real people, writers can present the information in several different ways.

  • Popular biographies are life histories written for a general readership.  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks  by Rebecca Skloot and  Into the Wild  by Jon Krakauer are two popular examples.
  • Critical biographies discuss the relationship between the subject’s life and the work they produced or were involved in; for example,  The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away a Fortune  by Conor O’Clery and  Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump  by Martha Brockenbrough.
  • Historical biographies put greater understanding on how the subject’s life and contributions affected or were affected by the times in which they lived; see  John Adams  by David McCullough and  Catherine the Great  by Peter K. Massie.
  • Literary biographies concentrate almost exclusively on writers and artists, blending a conventional  narrative  of the historical facts of the subject’s life with an exploration of how these facts impacted their creative output. Some examples include  Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay  by Nancy Milford and  Jackson Pollock: An American Saga  by Gregory White Smith and Steven Naifeh.
  • Reference biographies are more scholarly writings, usually written by multiple authors and covering multiple lives around a single topic. They verify facts, provide background details, and contribute supplemental information resources, like bibliographies, glossaries, and historical documents; for example,  Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007  and the  Dictionary of Canadian Biography .
  • Fictional biographies, or biographical novels, like  The Other Boleyn Girl  by Philippa Gregory, incorporate creative license into the retelling of a real person’s story by taking on the structure and freedoms of a novel. The term can also describe novels in which authors give an abundance of background information on their characters, to the extent that the novel reads more like a biography than fiction. An example of this is George R.R. Martin’s  Fire and Blood , a novel detailing the history of a royal family from his popular  A Song of Ice and Fire

Biographies and Filmed Entertainment

Movie makers and television creators frequently produce biographical stories, either as dramatized productions based on real people or as nonfiction accounts.

Documentary

This genre is a nonfictional movie or television show that uses historical records to tell the story of a subject. The subject might be a one person or a group of people, or it might be a certain topic or theme. To present a biography in a visually compelling way, documentaries utilize archival footage, recreations, and interviews with subjects, scholars, experts, and others associated with the subject.

Famous film documentaries include  Grey Gardens,  a biography of two of Jacqueline Kennedy’s once-wealthy cousins, who, at the time of filming, lived in squalor in a condemned mansion in the Hamptons; and  I Am Not Your Negro , a biography of the life and legacy of pioneering American author James Baldwin.

Television documentary series tell one story over the course of several episodes, like  The Jinx :  The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst , a biography of the real estate heir and alleged serial killer that focused on his suspected crimes. There are many nonfiction television shows that use a documentary format, but subjects typically change from one episode to the next, such as A&E’s  Biography  and PBS’s  POV .

These films are biographical motion pictures, written by screenwriters and performed by actors. They often employ a certain amount of creative liberty in their interpretation of a real life. This is largely done to maintain a feasible runtime; capturing all of the pivotal moments of a subject’s life in a 90- or 120-minute movie is all but impossible. So, filmmakers might choose to add, eliminate, or combine key events and characters, or they may focus primarily on one or only a few aspects of the subject’s life. Some popular examples:  Coal Miner’s Daughter , a biography of country music legend Loretta Lynn;  Malcom X , a biopic centered on the civil rights leader of the same name; and  The King’s Speech , a dramatization of Prince Albert’s efforts to overcome a stutter and ascend the English throne.

Semi-fictionalized account

This approach takes a real-life event and interprets or expands it in ways that stray beyond what actually happened. This is done for entertainment and to build the story so it fits the filmmaker’s vision or evolves into a longer form, such as a multi-season television show. These accounts sometimes come with the disclaimer that they are “inspired by true events.” Examples of semi-fictionalized accounts are the TV series  Orange Is the New Black ,  Masters of Sex , and  Mozart of the Jungle —each of which stem from at least one biographical element, but showrunners expounded upon to provide many seasons of entertainment.

The Functions of Biography

Biographies inform readers about the life of a notable person. They are a way to introduce readers to the work’s subject—the historical details, the subject’s motivations and psychological underpinnings, and their environment and the impact they had, both in the short and long term.

Because the author is somewhat removed from their subject, they can offer a more omniscient, third-person narrative account. This vantage point allows the author to put certain events into a larger context; compare and contrast events, people, and behaviors predominant in the subject’s life; and delve into psychological and sociological themes of which the subject may not have been aware.

Also, a writer structures a biography to make the life of the subject interesting and readable. Most biographers want to entertain as well as inform, so they typically use a traditional  plot  structure—an introduction,  conflict , rising of tension, a climax, a resolution, and an ending—to give the life story a narrative shape. While the ebb and flow of life is a normal day-to-day rhythm, it doesn’t necessarily make for entertaining reading. The job of the writer, then, becomes one of shaping the life to fit the elements of a good plot.

Writers Known for Biographies

Many modern writers have dedicated much of their careers to biographies, such as:

  • Kitty Kelley, author of  Jackie Oh! An Intimate Biography; His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra ; and  The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty
  • Antonia Fraser, author of  Mary Queen of Scots ;  Cromwell; Our Chief of Men ; and  The Gunpowder Plot: Terror and Faith in 1605
  • David McCullough, author of  The Path Between the Seas; Truman ; and  John Adams
  • Andrew Morton, author of  Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words; Madonna ; and  Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography
  • Alison Weir, author of  The Six Wives of Henry VIII; Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God; Queen of England ; and  Katherine Swynford: The Story of John of Gaunt and His Scandalous Duchess

Examples of Biographies

1. James Boswell,  The Life of Samuel Johnson

The biography that ushered in the modern era of true-life writing,  The Life of Samuel Johnson  covered the entirety of its subject’s life, from his birth to his status as England’s preeminent writer to his death. Boswell was a personal acquaintance of Johnson, so he was able to draw on voluminous amounts of personal conversations the two shared.

What also sets this biography apart is, because Boswell was a contemporary of Johnson, readers see Johnson in the context of his own time. He wasn’t some fabled figure that a biographer was writing about centuries later; he was someone to whom the author had access, and Boswell could see the real-world influence his subject had on life in the here and now.

2. Sylvia Nasar,  A Beautiful Mind

Nasar’s 1998 Pulitzer Prize-nominated biography of mathematician John Nash introduced legions of readers to Nash’s remarkable life and genius. The book opens with Nash’s childhood and follows him through his education, career, personal life, and struggles with schizophrenia. It ends with his acceptance of the 1994 Nobel Prize for Economics. In addition to a Pulitzer nomination,  A Beautiful Mind  won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography, was a  New York Times  bestseller, and provided the basis for the Academy Award-winning 2001 film of the same name.

3. Catherine Clinton,  Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom

Clinton’s biography of the abolitionist icon is a large-scale epic that chronicles Tubman’s singular life. It starts at her birth in the 1820s as the slave Araminta Ross, continuing through her journey to freedom; her pivotal role in the Underground Railroad; her Moses-like persona; and her death in 1913.

Because Tubman could not read or write, she left behind no letters, diaries, or other personal papers in her own hand and voice. Clinton reconstructed Tubman’s history entirely through other source material, and historians often cite this work as the quintessential biography of Tubman’s life.

4. Megan Mayhew Bergman,  Almost Famous Women

Almost Famous Women  is not a biography in the strictest sense of the word; it is a fictional interpretation of real-life women. Each short story revolves around a woman from history with close ties to fame, such as movie star Marlene Dietrich, Standard Oil heiress Marion “Joe” Carstairs, aviatrix Beryl Markham, Oscar Wilde’s niece Dolly, and Lord Byron’s daughter Allegra. Mayhew Bergman imagines these colorful women in equally colorful episodes that put them in a new light—a light that perhaps offers them the honor and homage that history denied them.

Further Resources on Biography

Newsweek  compiled their picks for the  75 Best Biographies of All Time .

The Open Education Database has a list of  75 Biographies to Read Before You Die .

Goodreads put together a list of readers’  best biography selections .

If you’re looking to write biographies,  Infoplease  has instructions for writing shorter pieces, while  The Writer   has practical advice for writing manuscript-length bios.

Ranker  collected  a comprehensive list of famous biographers .

Related Terms

  • Autobiography
  • Short Story

what is a biography an example of

Literary Devices

Literary devices, terms, and elements, definition of biography.

A biography is a description of a real person’s life, including factual details as well as stories from the person’s life. Biographies usually include information about the subject’s personality and motivations, and other kinds of intimate details excluded in a general overview or profile of a person’s life. The vast majority of biography examples are written about people who are or were famous, such as politicians, actors, athletes, and so on. However, some biographies can be written about people who lived incredible lives, but were not necessarily well-known. A biography can be labelled “authorized” if the person being written about, or his or her family members, have given permission for a certain author to write the biography.

The word biography comes from the Greek words bios , meaning “life” and – graphia , meaning “writing.”

Difference Between Biography and Autobiography

A biography is a description of a life that is not the author’s own, while an autobiography is the description of a writer’s own life. There can be some gray area, however, in the definition of biography when a ghostwriter is employed. A ghostwriter is an author who helps in the creation of a book, either collaborating with someone else or doing all of the writing him- or herself. Some famous people ask for the help of a ghostwriter to create their own autobiographies if they are not particularly gifted at writing but want the story to sound like it’s coming from their own mouths. In the case of a ghostwritten autobiography, the writer is not actually writing about his or her own life, but has enough input from the subject to create a work that is very close to the person’s experience.

Common Examples of Biography

The genre of biography is so popular that there is even a cable network originally devoted to telling the stories of famous people’s lives (fittingly called The Biography Channel). The stories proved to be such good television that other networks caught on, such as VH1 producing biographies under the series name “Behind the Music.” Some examples of written biographies have become famous in their own right, such as the following books:

  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (made even more famous by the musical “Hamilton,” created by Lin-Manuel Miranda)
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder
  • Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson

Significance of Biography in Literature

The genre of biography developed out of other forms of historical nonfiction, choosing to focus on one specific person’s experience rather than all important players. There are examples of biography all the way back to 44 B.C. when Roman biographer Cornelius Nepos wrote Excellentium Imperatorum Vitae (“Lives of those capable of commanding”). The Greek historian Plutarch was also famous for his biographies, creating a series of biographies of famous Greeks and Romans in his book Parallel Lives . After the printing press was created, one of the first “bestsellers” was the 1550 famous biography Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari. Biography then got very popular in the 18th century with James Boswell’s 1791 publication of The Life of Samuel Johnson . Biography continues to be one of the best selling genres in literature, and has led to a number of literary prizes specifically for this form.

Examples of Biography in Literature

And I can imagine Farmer saying he doesn’t care if no one else is willing to follow their example. He’s still going to make these hikes, he’d insist, because if you say that seven hours is too long to walk for two families of patients, you’re saying that their lives matter less than some others’, and the idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that’s wrong with the world.

( Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder)

Tracy Kidder’s wonderful example of biography, Mountains Beyond Mountains , brought the work of Dr. Paul Farmer to a wider audience. Dr. Farmer cofounded the organization Partners in Health (PIH) in 1987 to provide free treatment to patients in Haiti; the organization later created similar projects in countries such as Russia, Peru, and Rwanda. Dr. Farmer was not necessarily a famous man before Tracy Kidder’s biography was published, though he was well-regarded in his own field. The biography describes Farmer’s work as well as some of his personal life.

On July 2, McCandless finished reading Tolstoy’s “Family Happiness”, having marked several passages that moved him: “He was right in saying that the only certain happiness in life is to live for others…” Then, on July 3, he shouldered his backpack and began the twenty-mile hike to the improved road. Two days later, halfway there, he arrived in heavy rain at the beaver ponds that blocked access to the west bank of the Teklanika River. In April they’d been frozen over and hadn’t presented an obstacle. Now he must have been alarmed to find a three-acre lake covering the trail.

( Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer)

Jon Krakauer is a writer and outdoorsman famous for many nonfiction books, including his own experience in a mountaineering disaster on Mount Everest in 1996. His book Into the Wild is a nonfiction biography of a young boy, Christopher McCandless who chose to donate all of his money and go into the wilderness in the American West. McCandless starved to death in Denali National Park in 1992. The biography delved into the facts surrounding McCandless’s death, as well as incorporating some of Krakauer’s own experience.

A commanding woman versed in politics, diplomacy, and governance; fluent in nine languages; silver-tongued and charismatic, Cleopatra nonetheless seems the joint creation of Roman propagandists and Hollywood directors.

( Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff)

Stacy Schiff wrote a new biography of Cleopatra in 2010 in order to divide fact from fiction, and go back to the amazing and intriguing personality of the woman herself. The biography was very well received for being both scrupulously referenced as well as highly literary and imaginative.

Confident that he was clever, resourceful, and bold enough to escape any predicament, [Louie] was almost incapable of discouragement. When history carried him into war, this resilient optimism would define him.

( Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand)

Laura Hillenbrand’s bestselling biography Unbroken covers the life of Louis “Louie” Zamperini, who lived through almost unbelievable circumstances, including running in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, being shot down as a bomber in WWII, surviving in a raft in the ocean for 47 days, and then surviving Japanese prisoner of war camps. Zamperini’s life story is one of those narratives that is “stranger than fiction” and Hillenbrand brings the drama brilliantly to the reader.

I remember sitting in his backyard in his garden, one day, and he started talking about God. He [Jobs] said, “ Sometimes I believe in God, sometimes I don’t. I think it’s 50/50, maybe. But ever since I’ve had cancer, I’ve been thinking about it more, and I find myself believing a bit more, maybe it’s because I want to believe in an afterlife, that when you die, it doesn’t just all disappear. The wisdom you’ve accumulated, somehow it lives on.”

( Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson)

Steve Jobs is one of the most famous cultural icons of modern-day America and, indeed, around the world, and thus his biography was eagerly awaited. The author, Walter Isaacson, was able to interview Jobs extensively during the writing process. Thus, the above excerpt is possible where the writer is a character in the story himself, asking Jobs about his views on life and philosophy of the world.

Test Your Knowledge of Biography

1. Which of the following statements is the best biography definition? A. A retelling of one small moment from another person’s life. B. A novel which details one specific character’s full life. C. A description of a real person’s entire life, written by someone else.

2. Which of the following scenarios qualifies as a biography? A. A famous person contracts a ghostwriter to create an autobiography. B. A famous author writes the true and incredible life story of a little known person. C. A writer creates a book detailing the most important moments in her own life.

3. Which of the following statements is true? A. Biographies are one of the best selling genres in contemporary literature. B. Biographies are always written about famous people. C. Biographies were first written in the 18th century.

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Blog • Perfecting your Craft

Posted on Jun 30, 2023

How to Write a Biography: A 7-Step Guide [+Template]

From time to time, nonfiction authors become so captivated by a particular figure from either the present or the past, that they feel compelled to write an entire book about their life. Whether casting them as heroes or villains, there is an interesting quality in their humanity that compels these authors to revisit their life paths and write their story.

However, portraying someone’s life on paper in a comprehensive and engaging way requires solid preparation. If you’re looking to write a biography yourself, in this post we’ll share a step-by-step blueprint that you can follow. 

How to write a biography: 

1. Seek permission when possible 

2. research your subject thoroughly, 3. do interviews and visit locations, 4. organize your findings, 5. identify a central thesis, 6. write it using narrative elements, 7. get feedback and polish the text.

FREE RESOURCE

FREE RESOURCE

Biography Outline Template

Craft a satisfying story arc for your biography with our free template.

While you technically don’t need permission to write about public figures (or deceased ones), that doesn't guarantee their legal team won't pursue legal action against you. Author Kitty Kelley was sued by Frank Sinatra before she even started to write His Way , a biography that paints Ol Blue Eyes in a controversial light. (Kelley ended up winning the lawsuit, however).  

what is a biography an example of

Whenever feasible, advise the subject’s representatives of your intentions. If all goes according to plan, you’ll get a green light to proceed, or potentially an offer to collaborate. It's a matter of common sense; if someone were to write a book about you, you would likely want to know about it well prior to publication. So, make a sincere effort to reach out to their PR staff to negotiate an agreement or at least a mutual understanding of the scope of your project. 

At the same time, make sure that you still retain editorial control over the project, and not end up writing a puff piece that treats its protagonist like a saint or hero. No biography can ever be entirely objective, but you should always strive for a portrayal that closely aligns with facts and reality.

If you can’t get an answer from your subject, or you’re asked not to proceed forward, you can still accept the potential repercussions and write an unauthorized biography . The “rebellious act” of publishing without consent indeed makes for great marketing, though it’ll likely bring more headaches with it too. 

✋ Please note that, like other nonfiction books, if you intend to release your biography with a publishing house , you can put together a book proposal to send to them before you even write the book. If they like it enough, they might pay you an advance to write it.  

FREE RESOURCE

Book Proposal Template

Craft a professional pitch for your nonfiction book with our handy template.

Once you’ve settled (or not) the permission part, it’s time to dive deep into your character’s story.  

Deep and thorough research skills are the cornerstone of every biographer worth their salt. To paint a vivid and accurate portrait of someone's life, you’ll have to gather qualitative information from a wide range of reliable sources. 

Start with the information already available, from books on your subject to archival documents, then collect new ones firsthand by interviewing people or traveling to locations. 

Browse the web and library archives

Illustration of a biographer going into research mode.

Put your researcher hat on and start consuming any piece on your subject you can find, from their Wikipedia page to news articles, interviews, TV and radio appearances, YouTube videos, podcasts, books, magazines, and any other media outlets they may have been featured in. 

Establish a system to orderly collect the information you find 一 even seemingly insignificant details can prove valuable during the writing process, so be sure to save them. 

Depending on their era, you may find most of the information readily available online, or you may need to search through university libraries for older references. 

Photo of Alexander Hamilton

For his landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow spent untold hours at Columbia University’s library , reading through the Hamilton family papers, visiting the New York Historical Society, as well as interviewing the archivist of the New York Stock Exchange, and so on. The research process took years, but it certainly paid off. Chernow discovered that Hamilton created the first five securities originally traded on Wall Street. This finding, among others, revealed his significant contributions to shaping the current American financial and political systems, a legacy previously often overshadowed by other founding fathers. Today Alexander Hamilton is one of the best-selling biographies of all time, and it has become a cultural phenomenon with its own dedicated musical. 

Besides reading documents about your subject, research can help you understand the world that your subject lived in. 

Try to understand their time and social environment

Many biographies show how their protagonists have had a profound impact on society through their philosophical, artistic, or scientific contributions. But at the same time, it’s worth it as a biographer to make an effort to understand how their societal and historical context influenced their life’s path and work.

An interesting example is Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World . Finding himself limited by a lack of verified detail surrounding William Shakespeare's personal life, Greenblatt, instead, employs literary interpretation and imaginative reenactments to transport readers back to the Elizabethan era. The result is a vivid (though speculative) depiction of the playwright's life, enriching our understanding of his world.

Painting of William Shakespeare in colors

Many readers enjoy biographies that transport them to a time and place, so exploring a historical period through the lens of a character can be entertaining in its own right. The Diary of Samuel Pepys became a classic not because people were enthralled by his life as an administrator, but rather from his meticulous and vivid documentation of everyday existence during the Restoration period.

Once you’ve gotten your hands on as many secondary sources as you can find, you’ll want to go hunting for stories first-hand from people who are (or were) close to your subject.

With all the material you’ve been through, by now you should already have a pretty good picture of your protagonist. But you’ll surely have some curiosities and missing dots in their character arc to figure out, which you can only get by interviewing primary sources.

Interview friends and associates

This part is more relevant if your subject is contemporary, and you can actually meet up or call with relatives, friends, colleagues, business partners, neighbors, or any other person related to them. 

In writing the popular biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson interviewed more than one hundred people, including Jobs’s family, colleagues, former college mates, business rivals, and the man himself.

🔍 Read other biographies to get a sense of what makes a great one. Check out our list of the 30 best biographies of all time , or take our 30-second quiz below for tips on which one you should read next. 

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When you conduct your interviews, make sure to record them with high quality audio you can revisit later. Then use tools like Otter.ai or Descript to transcribe them 一 it’ll save you countless hours. 

You can approach the interview with a specific set of questions, or follow your curiosity blindly, trying to uncover revealing stories and anecdotes about your subject. Whatever your method, author and biography editor Tom Bromley suggests that every interviewer arrives prepared, "Show that you’ve done your work. This will help to put the interviewee at ease, and get their best answers.” 

Bromley also places emphasis on the order in which you conduct interviews. “You may want to interview different members of the family or friends first, to get their perspective on something, and then go directly to the main interviewee. You'll be able to use that knowledge to ask sharper, more specific questions.” 

Finally, consider how much time you have with each interviewee. If you only have a 30-minute phone call with an important person, make it count by asking directly the most pressing questions you have. And, if you find a reliable source who is also particularly willing to help, conduct several interviews and ask them, if appropriate, to write a foreword as part of the book’s front matter .

Sometimes an important part of the process is packing your bags, getting on a plane, and personally visiting significant places in your character’s journey.

Visit significant places in their life

A place, whether that’s a city, a rural house, or a bodhi tree, can carry a particular energy that you can only truly experience by being there. In putting the pieces together about someone’s life, it may be useful to go visit where they grew up, or where other significant events of their lives happened. It will be easier to imagine what they experienced, and better tell their story. 

In researching The Lost City of Z , author David Grann embarked on a trek through the Amazon, retracing the steps of British explorer Percy Fawcett. This led Grann to develop new theories about the circumstances surrounding the explorer's disappearance.

Still from the movie The Lost City of Z in which the explorer is surrounded by an Amazon native tribe

Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with jaguars and anacondas to better understand your subject’s environment, but try to walk into their shoes as much as possible. 

Once you’ve researched your character enough, it’s time to put together all the puzzle pieces you collected so far. 

Take the bulk of notes, media, and other documents you’ve collected, and start to give them some order and structure. A simple way to do this is by creating a timeline. 

Create a chronological timeline

It helps to organize your notes chronologically 一 from childhood to the senior years, line up the most significant events of your subject’s life, including dates, places, names and other relevant bits. 

Timeline of Steve Jobs' career

You should be able to divide their life into distinct periods, each with their unique events and significance. Based on that, you can start drafting an outline of the narrative you want to create.  

Draft a story outline 

Since a biography entails writing about a person’s entire life, it will have a beginning, a middle, and an end. You can pick where you want to end the story, depending on how consequential the last years of your subject were. But the nature of the work will give you a starting character arc to work with. 

To outline the story then, you could turn to the popular Three-Act Structure , which divides the narrative in three main parts. In a nutshell, you’ll want to make sure to have the following:

  • Act 1. Setup : Introduce the protagonist's background and the turning points that set them on a path to achieve a goal. 
  • Act 2. Confrontation : Describe the challenges they encounter, both internal and external, and how they rise to them. Then..
  • Act 3. Resolution : Reach a climactic point in their story in which they succeed (or fail), showing how they (and the world around them) have changed as a result. 

Only one question remains before you begin writing: what will be the main focus of your biography?

Think about why you’re so drawn to your subject to dedicate years of your life to recounting their own. What aspect of their life do you want to highlight? Is it their evil nature, artistic genius, or visionary mindset? And what evidence have you got to back that up? Find a central thesis or focus to weave as the main thread throughout your narrative. 

Cover of Hitler and Stalin by Alan Bullock

Or find a unique angle

If you don’t have a particular theme to explore, finding a distinct angle on your subject’s story can also help you distinguish your work from other biographies or existing works on the same subject.

Plenty of biographies have been published about The Beatles 一 many of which have different focuses and approaches: 

  • Philip Norman's Shout is sometimes regarded as leaning more towards a pro-Lennon and anti-McCartney stance, offering insights into the band's inner dynamics. 
  • Ian McDonald's Revolution in the Head closely examines their music track by track, shifting the focus back to McCartney as a primary creative force. 
  • Craig Brown's One Two Three Four aims to capture their story through anecdotes, fan letters, diary entries, and interviews. 
  • Mark Lewisohn's monumental three-volume biography, Tune In , stands as a testament to over a decade of meticulous research, chronicling every intricate detail of the Beatles' journey.

Group picture of The Beatles

Finally, consider that biographies are often more than recounting the life of a person. Similar to how Dickens’ Great Expectations is not solely about a boy named Pip (but an examination and critique of Britain’s fickle, unforgiving class system), a biography should strive to illuminate a broader truth — be it social, political, or human — beyond the immediate subject of the book. 

Once you’ve identified your main focus or angle, it’s time to write a great story. 

Illustration of a writer mixing storytelling ingredients

While biographies are often highly informative, they do not have to be dry and purely expository in nature . You can play with storytelling elements to make it an engaging read. 

You could do that by thoroughly detailing the setting of the story , depicting the people involved in the story as fully-fledged characters , or using rising action and building to a climax when describing a particularly significant milestone of the subject’s life. 

One common way to make a biography interesting to read is starting on a strong foot…

Hook the reader from the start

Just because you're honoring your character's whole life doesn't mean you have to begin when they said their first word. Starting from the middle or end of their life can be more captivating as it introduces conflicts and stakes that shaped their journey.

When he wrote about Christopher McCandless in Into the Wild , author Jon Krakauer didn’t open his subject’s childhood and abusive family environment. Instead, the book begins with McCandless hitchhiking his way into the wilderness, and subsequently being discovered dead in an abandoned bus. By starting in medias res , Krakauer hooks the reader’s interest, before tracing back the causes and motivations that led McCandless to die alone in that bus in the first place.

Chris McCandless self-portrait in front of the now iconic bus

You can bend the timeline to improve the reader’s reading experience throughout the rest of the story too…

Play with flashback 

While biographies tend to follow a chronological narrative, you can use flashbacks to tell brief stories or anecdotes when appropriate. For example, if you were telling the story of footballer Lionel Messi, before the climax of winning the World Cup with Argentina, you could recall when he was just 13 years old, giving an interview to a local newspaper, expressing his lifelong dream of playing for the national team. 

Used sparsely and intentionally, flashbacks can add more context to the story and keep the narrative interesting. Just like including dialogue does…

Reimagine conversations

Recreating conversations that your subject had with people around them is another effective way to color the story. Dialogue helps the reader imagine the story like a movie, providing a deeper sensory experience. 

what is a biography an example of

One thing is trying to articulate the root of Steve Jobs’ obsession with product design, another would be to quote his father , teaching him how to build a fence when he was young: “You've got to make the back of the fence just as good looking as the front of the fence. Even though nobody will see it, you will know. And that will show that you're dedicated to making something perfect.”

Unlike memoirs and autobiographies, in which the author tells the story from their personal viewpoint and enjoys greater freedom to recall conversations, biographies require a commitment to facts. So, when recreating dialogue, try to quote directly from reliable sources like personal diaries, emails, and text messages. You could also use your interview scripts as an alternative to dialogue. As Tom Bromley suggests, “If you talk with a good amount of people, you can try to tell the story from their perspective, interweaving different segments and quoting the interviewees directly.”

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These are just some of the story elements you can use to make your biography more compelling. Once you’ve finished your manuscript, it’s a good idea to ask for feedback. 

If you’re going to self-publish your biography, you’ll have to polish it to professional standards. After leaving your work to rest for a while, look at it with fresh eyes and self-edit your manuscript eliminating passive voice, filler words, and redundant adverbs. 

Illustration of an editor reviewing a manuscript

Then, have a professional editor give you a general assessment. They’ll look at the structure and shape of your manuscript and tell you which parts need to be expanded on or cut. As someone who edited and commissioned several biographies, Tom Bromley points out that a professional “will look at the sources used and assess whether they back up the points made, or if more are needed. They would also look for context, and whether or not more background information is needed for the reader to understand the story fully. And they might check your facts, too.”  

In addition to structural editing, you may want to have someone copy-edit and proofread your work.

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Importantly, make sure to include a bibliography with a list of all the interviews, documents, and sources used in the writing process. You’ll have to compile it according to a manual of style, but you can easily create one by using tools like EasyBib . Once the text is nicely polished and typeset in your writing software , you can prepare for the publication process.  

In conclusion, by mixing storytelling elements with diligent research, you’ll be able to breathe life into a powerful biography that immerses readers in another individual’s life experience. Whether that’ll spark inspiration or controversy, remember you could have an important role in shaping their legacy 一 and that’s something not to take lightly. 

Continue reading

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What Is a Biography? Definition & 25+ Examples

Have you ever wondered what lies beneath the surface of history’s most influential figures?

Imagine a chance to delve into the intricate tapestry of their lives, unraveling the threads that have woven together the very essence of their character, and unearthing the pivotal moments that shaped their destinies.

Welcome to the enthralling world of biographies, where you are invited to embark on a captivating journey into the lives of the extraordinary. Prepare to be captivated by the compelling tales of human resilience, ingenuity, and ambition that lie at the heart of each biography.

Table of Contents

Defining Biography

A biography is a detailed account of a person’s life, written by someone other than the subject. The term “biography” is derived from two Greek words: “bio,” which means life, and “graphy,” which signifies writing. Thus, a biography is the written history of someone’s life, offering an in-depth look at their experiences, achievements, and challenges.

Biographies typically focus on the life of notable individuals, such as historical figures or celebrities, and provide a comprehensive view of their personal and professional journey.

Biographers, the authors of these works, aim to offer an accurate, well-researched portrayal of their subjects by studying various sources and conducting interviews if possible. This thorough research and attention to detail ensure that the resulting narrative is both informative and engaging.

Biographies are a subgenre of non-fiction literature, as they chronicle the lives of real people. However, not all life stories fall under the category of biography.

Autobiographies and memoirs, for instance, focus on the author’s own experiences and are written from a first-person perspective. While autobiographies aim to present an overarching narrative of the author’s life, memoirs tend to focus on specific incidents or periods.

When crafting a biography, it is essential for the biographer to maintain a neutral tone, avoiding any judgment or personal bias. This objectivity allows readers to form their opinions based on the presented facts, gaining a broader understanding of the subject.

Elements of a Biography

A well-crafted biography contains several key elements that provide a comprehensive picture of the subject’s life. These elements help readers gain a deeper understanding of the subject while fostering an emotional connection. Below are some essential aspects of a biography:

Personal and Family Background

The personal and family background section of a biography provides an essential foundation for understanding the subject’s journey and the factors that shaped their life. By exploring the subject’s early years, readers gain insight into the environment and experiences that influenced their character, values, and aspirations.

This section typically begins with an overview of the subject’s birthplace, family origins, and cultural heritage. It delves into the family dynamics, including descriptions of the subject’s parents, siblings, and extended family, shedding light on the relationships that played a crucial role in their development.

The personal and family background section also addresses significant life events, challenges, and milestones that occurred during the subject’s upbringing. These formative experiences may include pivotal moments, such as moving to a new city, attending a particular school, or encountering a mentor who had a lasting impact on their life.

Education and Career

The education and career section of a biography is crucial for understanding the intellectual and professional development of the subject. By tracing the subject’s academic journey and career progression, readers gain a clearer picture of the knowledge, skills, and experiences that shaped their path and contributed to their success.

This section begins by outlining the subject’s educational background, including the schools they attended, the degrees or qualifications they obtained, and any specialized training they received. It also highlights the subject’s academic achievements, such as scholarships, awards, or distinctions, and any influential mentors or teachers who played a significant role in their intellectual growth.

The education and career section also delves into the subject’s professional life, chronicling their work history, job titles, and key responsibilities. It explores the subject’s career trajectory, examining how they transitioned between roles or industries and the factors that influenced their choices.

Major Events and Turning Points

The major events and turning points section of a biography delves into the pivotal moments and experiences that significantly influenced the subject’s life, shaping their character, values, and destiny.

By exploring these transformative events, readers gain a deeper understanding of the forces and circumstances that drove the subject’s actions and choices, as well as the challenges and triumphs they faced along the way.

This section encompasses a wide range of events, which could include personal milestones, such as marriage, the birth of children, or the loss of a loved one.

These personal events often provide insights into the subject’s emotional landscape and reveal the support systems, relationships, and personal values that sustained them through difficult times or propelled them to greater heights.

Influences and Inspirations

The influences and inspirations section of a biography delves into the individuals, ideas, and events that had a profound impact on the subject’s beliefs, values, and aspirations.

By understanding the forces that shaped the subject’s worldview, readers gain a deeper appreciation for the motivations driving their actions and decisions, as well as the creative and intellectual foundations upon which their accomplishments were built.

This section often begins by identifying the key figures who played a significant role in the subject’s life, such as family members, mentors, peers, or historical figures they admired.

It explores the nature of these relationships and how they shaped the subject’s perspectives, values, and ambitions. These influential individuals can provide valuable insights into the subject’s personal growth and development, revealing the sources of inspiration and guidance that fueled their journey.

The influences and inspirations section also delves into the ideas and philosophies that resonated with the subject and shaped their worldview. This could include an exploration of the subject’s religious, political, or philosophical beliefs, as well as the books, theories, or artistic movements that inspired them.

This section examines the events, both personal and historical, that impacted the subject’s life and inspired their actions. These could include moments of personal transformation, such as a life-altering experience or an epiphany, or broader societal events, such as wars, social movements, or technological innovations.

Contributions and Impact

The contributions and impact section of a biography is pivotal in conveying the subject’s lasting significance, both in their chosen profession and beyond. By detailing their achievements, innovations, and legacies, this section helps readers grasp the extent of the subject’s influence and the ways in which their work has shaped the world around them.

This section begins by highlighting the subject’s key accomplishments within their profession, such as breakthroughs, discoveries, or innovative techniques they developed. It delves into the processes and challenges they faced along the way, providing valuable insights into their creativity, determination, and problem-solving abilities.

The contributions and impact section also explores the subject’s broader influence on society, culture, or the world at large. This could include their involvement in social or political movements, their philanthropic endeavors, or their role as a cultural icon.

In addition to discussing the subject’s immediate impact, this section also considers their lasting legacy, exploring how their work has continued to inspire and shape subsequent generations.

This could involve examining the subject’s influence on their successors, the institutions or organizations they helped establish, or the enduring relevance of their ideas and achievements in contemporary society.

Personal Traits and Characteristics

The personal traits and characteristics section of a biography brings the subject to life, offering readers an intimate glimpse into their personality, qualities, and views.

This section often begins by outlining the subject’s defining personality traits, such as their temperament, values, and passions. By exploring these attributes, readers gain insight into the subject’s character and the motivations driving their actions and decisions.

These qualities could include their perseverance, curiosity, empathy, or sense of humor, which may help explain their achievements, relationships, and outlook on life.

The personal traits and characteristics section also delves into the subject’s views and beliefs, offering a window into their thoughts and opinions on various topics. This could include their perspectives on politics, religion, culture, or social issues, providing readers with a clearer understanding of the context in which they operated and the factors that shaped their worldview.

Anecdotes and personal stories play a crucial role in illustrating the subject’s personality and characteristics, as they offer concrete examples of their behavior, actions, or interactions with others.

Quotes and first-hand accounts from the subject or those who knew them well can also be invaluable in portraying their personal traits and characteristics. These accounts offer unique insights into the subject’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences, allowing readers to see the world through their eyes and better understand their character.

Types of Biographies

Biographies come in various forms and styles, each presenting unique perspectives on the lives of individuals. Some of the most common types of biographies are discussed in the following sub-sections.

Historical Fiction Biography

Historical fiction biographies artfully weave together factual information with imaginative elements, creating a vibrant tapestry of the past. By staying true to the core of a historical figure’s life and accomplishments, these works offer a unique window into their world while granting authors the creative freedom to delve deeper into their emotions, relationships, and personal struggles.

Such biographies strike a delicate balance, ensuring that the essence of the individual remains intact while allowing for fictional embellishments to bring their story to life. This captivating blend of fact and fiction serves to humanize these iconic figures, making their experiences more relatable and engaging for readers who embark on a journey through the pages of history.

Here are several examples of notable historical fiction biographies:

  • “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel (2009)
  • “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain (2011)
  • “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Tracy Chevalier (1999)
  • “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory (2001)
  • “Loving Frank” by Nancy Horan (2007)

Academic Biography

Academic biographies stand as meticulously researched and carefully crafted scholarly works, dedicated to presenting an accurate and comprehensive account of a subject’s life.

Authored by experts or researchers well-versed in their field, these biographies adhere to rigorous standards of accuracy, sourcing, and objectivity. They delve into the intricacies of a person’s life, achievements, and impact, scrutinizing every aspect with scholarly precision.

Intended for an educated audience, academic biographies serve as valuable resources for those seeking a deeper understanding of the subject’s contributions and influence. By placing the individual within the broader context of their time, these works illuminate the complex web of factors that shaped their lives and legacies.

While academic biographies may not always carry the same narrative flair as their fictional counterparts, their commitment to factual integrity and thorough analysis make them indispensable resources for scholars, students, and enthusiasts alike

Here are several examples of notable academic biographies:

  • “Einstein: His Life and Universe” by Walter Isaacson (2007)
  • “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson (2011)
  • “John Adams” by David McCullough (2001)
  • “Alexander the Great” by Robin Lane Fox (1973)
  • “Marie Curie: A Life” by Susan Quinn (1995)

Authorized Biographies

Authorized biographies offer a unique perspective on the lives of their subjects, as they are written with the explicit consent and, often, active participation of the individual in question.

This collaboration between the biographer and the subject can lead to a more accurate, detailed, and intimate portrayal of the person’s life, as the author is granted access to a wealth of personal information, documents, and anecdotes that might otherwise be inaccessible.

When working on an authorized biography, the biographer is typically given permission to access personal documents, such as letters, diaries, and photographs, which can provide invaluable insights into the subject’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences.

This primary source material allows the biographer to construct a narrative that is grounded in fact and captures the essence of the individual’s life and personality.

Here are several examples of notable authorized biographies:

  • “Mandela: The Authorized Biography” by Anthony Sampson (1999)
  • “Marilyn Monroe: The Biography” by Donald Spoto (1993)
  • “Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words” by Malka Marom (2014)
  • “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” by Alice Schroeder (2008)
  • “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik (2015)

Fictionalized Academic Biography

Fictionalized academic biographies merge the best of both worlds, combining the rigorous research and scholarly integrity of academic biographies with the engaging storytelling of historical fiction.

Authors of these works expertly navigate the delicate balance between maintaining factual accuracy and venturing into the realm of imagination.

This approach allows them to explore the subject’s personal life, relationships, and the broader historical context in a compelling manner, while ensuring the narrative remains firmly rooted in well-researched facts.

Here are several examples of notable fictionalized academic biographies:

  • “The Women” by T.C. Boyle (2009)
  • “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Therese Anne Fowler (2013)
  • “The Marriage of Opposites” by Alice Hoffman (2015)
  • “Vanessa and Her Sister” by Priya Parmar (2014)
  • “The Last Days of Night” by Graham Moore (2016)

Prophetic Biography

Prophetic biographies delve into the rich and profound narratives of religious figures or prophets, meticulously weaving together insights from sacred texts, religious traditions, and historical accounts.

By providing a comprehensive portrayal of the individual’s life, teachings, and impact on society, these biographies serve as an invaluable resource for understanding the pivotal role these figures played in shaping the course of religious history and the lives of the faithful.

Here are several examples of notable prophetic biographies:

  • “Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources” by Martin Lings (1983)
  • “The Life of Moses” by F.B. Meyer (1893)
  • “The Life of the Buddha: According to the Pali Canon” by Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli (1972)
  • “The Quest of the Historical Jesus” by Albert Schweitzer (1906)
  • “The Lives of the Saints” by Alban Butler (1756)

Biography Development Process

A biography is a comprehensive written account of an individual’s life, and the development process involves several essential components to ensure the biography’s accuracy and readability.

A biographer’s primary responsibility is to conduct extensive research in order to gather a comprehensive array of facts about the subject. This meticulous process involves reviewing various documents and sources that shed light on the individual’s life and experiences, as well as the historical context in which they lived.

Key documents, such as birth and death certificates, provide essential information about the subject’s origins and family background. Personal correspondence, letters, and diaries offer invaluable insights into the subject’s thoughts, emotions, relationships, and experiences. News articles, on the other hand, can reveal public perceptions of the subject, as well as their impact on society and culture.

Archives often serve as treasure troves of information for biographers, as they contain a wealth of primary sources that can help illuminate the subject’s life and times. These archives may include collections of personal papers, photographs, audio recordings, and other materials that offer first-hand accounts of the individual’s experiences or shed light on their accomplishments and impact.

Consulting relevant books and articles is another crucial aspect of a biographer’s research process, as these secondary sources provide context, analysis, and interpretation of the subject’s life and work.

By delving into the existing scholarship and engaging with the works of other researchers, biographers can solidify their understanding of the individual and the historical circumstances in which they lived.

Interviewing people who knew the subject personally is a vital component of a biographer’s research process, as it allows them to access unique insights, personal stories, and firsthand accounts of the individual’s life.

Friends, family members, co-workers, and colleagues can all offer valuable perspectives on the subject’s character, relationships, achievements, and challenges, thereby enriching the biographer’s understanding of their life and experiences.

While subjective anecdotes offer a more intimate glimpse into the subject’s personality and personal life, it is essential for biographers to balance these accounts with factual research.

By corroborating and contextualizing personal stories with objective information gleaned from primary and secondary sources, biographers can ensure that their portrayal of the individual’s life remains accurate and well-rounded.

This process of balancing subjective anecdotes with factual research also allows biographers to present a more nuanced and comprehensive view of their subject. By weaving together personal stories with historical context, biographers can create a richer and more engaging narrative that captures the complexity and multifaceted nature of the individual’s life.

In addition, by considering various perspectives and sources of information, biographers can address potential biases or discrepancies in their account, resulting in a more reliable and credible portrayal of the subject.

This careful attention to detail and commitment to accuracy not only enhances the quality of the biography but also helps establish trust between the biographer and their readers.

Chronological Narration

Organizing a biography in a chronological manner is a highly effective approach, as it allows readers to follow the subject’s life events in a logical and coherent sequence.

By presenting the information in a linear fashion, the biographer enables readers to trace the subject’s journey from their early years to their later accomplishments, making it easier to understand the context and progression of their life.

To effectively arrange a chronological narrative, the biographer should begin by highlighting significant milestones and accomplishments in the subject’s life. These key events serve as anchor points in the story, helping to structure the narrative and maintain the reader’s interest.

By focusing on these pivotal moments, the biographer can illustrate the subject’s growth, development, and achievements over time, providing a clear and engaging overview of their life’s trajectory.

Contextualization

Contextualizing the subject within their historical and cultural framework is a crucial aspect of biographical writing, as it enables readers to gain a deeper understanding of the individual’s life, choices, and significance.

Embedding the subject within their historical context involves examining the political, social, and economic landscape of the time. This includes exploring major events, trends, and issues that affected the subject’s life and decisions, such as wars, social movements, technological advancements, or cultural shifts.

Additionally, considering the subject’s cultural context is essential for understanding their beliefs, values, and creative expression. This involves examining the artistic, intellectual, and philosophical currents of the time, which may have influenced the subject’s work, ideas, or relationships.

Moreover, contextualizing the subject within their historical and cultural framework can help to humanize them, revealing the complexities, contradictions, and struggles that are often inherent in the human experience.

This approach offers readers a more nuanced and empathetic understanding of the subject, allowing them to see the person as a product of their time and circumstances, rather than as an isolated figure.

Famous Biographies and Biographers

The life of samuel johnson, ll.d. by james boswell (1791).

“The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.” is a biography of the English writer and literary critic Samuel Johnson, written by his friend and contemporary James Boswell. Published in 1791, it is often considered one of the greatest biographies in the English language and a pioneering work in the development of modern biography as a literary genre.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was a prominent figure in 18th-century English literature, known for his wide-ranging knowledge, wit, and moral authority. He is best remembered for his dictionary, “A Dictionary of the English Language,” published in 1755, which became the standard English dictionary for over a century. He was also a prolific essayist, poet, and critic.

James Boswell (1740-1795) was a Scottish lawyer, diarist, and author who became friends with Johnson in 1763. Over the course of their friendship, Boswell made detailed notes of their conversations and observations, which he later used as the basis for his biography.

“The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.” is a comprehensive and vivid portrait of Johnson’s life, character, and work. Boswell covers Johnson’s early years, education, and struggles with poverty and illness, as well as his rise to prominence as a writer and his involvement in the vibrant literary circles of 18th-century London.

The biography also delves into Johnson’s friendships and relationships, including his long association with Hester Thrale, a prominent society hostess, and writer.

What sets Boswell’s biography apart is his skill in capturing Johnson’s personality, wit, and conversation. By presenting Johnson’s thoughts and opinions on a wide range of topics, as well as anecdotes and reminiscences from those who knew him, Boswell creates a vivid and engaging portrait of his subject.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010)

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is a non-fiction book written by Rebecca Skloot, published in 2010. The book tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman whose cancer cells were taken without her knowledge or consent during a biopsy in 1951. These cells, known as HeLa cells, became the first immortal human cell line, reproducing indefinitely under laboratory conditions.

HeLa cells have been used extensively in medical research, contributing to significant scientific breakthroughs, such as the development of the polio vaccine, gene mapping, and cancer research.

Henrietta Lacks was a young mother of five when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cervical cancer at the age of 31. She received treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where a sample of her cancerous tissue was taken without her knowledge. Henrietta passed away in 1951, but her cells continued to live on, revolutionizing medical research.

Rebecca Skloot spent more than a decade researching Henrietta Lacks’ life and the scientific history of HeLa cells. Skloot also interviewed Lacks’ surviving family members, who were unaware of Henrietta’s contribution to science until the 1970s.

The book explores the ethical issues surrounding the use of human tissue in research, the question of consent, and the lack of compensation for the Lacks family.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (2004)

“Alexander Hamilton” is a comprehensive biography of the American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, written by historian and biographer Ron Chernow. Published in 2004, the book provides an in-depth look into Hamilton’s life, from his humble beginnings in the West Indies to his significant contributions as a statesman, economist, and influential figure in early American history.

Chernow’s biography delves into Hamilton’s early life as an orphan in the Caribbean, his immigration to the American colonies, and his education. It also explores his involvement in the American Revolutionary War, where he served as an aide to General George Washington and later as an artillery officer.

The book details Hamilton’s role in the development of the United States Constitution and his work as the first Secretary of the Treasury under President Washington, where he was instrumental in establishing the nation’s financial system.

“Alexander Hamilton” also examines Hamilton’s personal life, including his relationships, marriage, and infamous extramarital affair, as well as his longstanding political rivalries with figures such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Aaron Burr. The biography concludes with the story of Hamilton’s tragic death in a duel with Burr in 1804.

It received critical acclaim and won several awards, including the George Washington Book Prize. The biography also inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to create the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” which premiered in 2015 and went on to achieve widespread popularity and numerous accolades, further solidifying Alexander Hamilton’s place in popular culture and history.

Notable Biographies in Different Fields

Science and technology.

Biographies in the field of science and technology offer fascinating insights into the lives and minds of extraordinary individuals who have made significant advancements in their respective fields.

These biographies often provide an in-depth look at the personal and professional lives of scientists, inventors, engineers, and other innovators, highlighting their discoveries, inventions, and contributions to human knowledge and progress.

Arts and Literature

Biographies of artists, actors, and writers often provide captivating and inspiring accounts of the lives of these creative individuals. By examining their personal and professional journeys, these biographies allow readers to gain a deeper understanding of the inspirations, motivations, and challenges that have shaped their subjects’ artistic achievements.

These biographies often delve into the early lives of their subjects, exploring formative experiences that may have influenced their creative paths. They also examine the artistic processes and the development of the subjects’ distinctive styles, providing valuable insights into their creative methodologies, influences, and inspirations.

Sports and Athletics

Biographies of athletes provide riveting accounts of the lives and careers of remarkable individuals who have achieved greatness in the world of sports. These stories often serve as powerful sources of inspiration, showcasing the dedication, perseverance, and triumphs of athletes who have overcome obstacles and pushed the boundaries of human potential.

These biographies delve into the formative experiences of their subjects, exploring how early influences, innate talent, and personal motivations led them to pursue athletic excellence. They also provide insights into the rigorous training regimens, discipline, and sacrifices that athletes make to achieve their goals, highlighting the incredible determination and work ethic that underpin their success.

Additionally, biographies of athletes often touch on the personal challenges and setbacks these individuals have faced, such as injuries, controversies, or personal struggles.

Historical Figures

Biographies of historical figures offer a unique window into the lives, personalities, and experiences of individuals who have left lasting impacts on the world. By delving into the stories of these influential people, readers can gain a deeper understanding of the political, social, and cultural contexts that shaped their actions and decisions, as well as the lasting legacies they left behind.

These biographies often provide richly detailed accounts of their subjects’ lives, including their upbringing, education, relationships, and personal struggles. By exploring the complex facets of these individuals, biographies help to humanize historical figures, providing a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of their motivations, beliefs, and actions.

In addition to personal narratives, biographies of historical figures often weave together broader historical contexts and events. This allows readers to gain valuable insights into the social, political, and cultural forces that influenced their subjects’ lives and decisions.

Writing a Compelling Biography

A captivating biography requires more than just a simple retelling of a person’s life events. It delves into their personal experiences, relationships, and accomplishments, while maintaining an objective and authentic approach.

Being Objective and Authentic

An essential aspect of a well-written biography is its objectivity. The narrative should portray the real person, depicting their experiences and beliefs accurately.

While it can be tempting to embellish facts or minimize flaws, striving for authenticity is crucial in presenting a credible account. This involves thorough research and verification of facts, even when they contradict the author’s initial assumptions.

Authenticity also extends to the respectful portrayal of a subject’s relationships and exploration of their inner world, while avoiding speculation or gossip.

Balancing Personal and Public Life

When writing a biography, one must strike a balance between the subject’s personal and public life. This includes weaving together stories from their childhood, personal relationships, and major life events that may have shaped their character. The integration of both personal and public aspects contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of their vita.

However, careful consideration must be given to privacy concerns, and it is important to determine which aspects of the individual’s life are appropriate to disclose. Ultimately, the reader should gain insight into the person’s journey without feeling intrusive.

Creating Engaging Storylines

Just as in a novel, a great biography should feature engaging storylines that keep readers interested. This can be achieved by organizing the narrative around important events, challenges, and accomplishments that are relevant and compelling. To maintain a smooth flow, strategically transitioning between these key moments helps maintain reader interest.

The use of different perspectives, anecdotes, and historical context can also enhance the storyline. Paint vivid pictures of the settings, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the subject’s world. Furthermore, showcasing the subject’s resilience, growth, and impact, can contribute to a powerful and memorable biography.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can biographies be fictional or purely factual.

Biographies usually aim to present an accurate and factual representation of someone’s life. However, some authors might take creative liberties and incorporate fictionalized elements for dramatic or storytelling purposes.

It is crucial for readers to be aware of the author’s intentions and approach when reading such biographical works.

Can biographies be biased?

Biographies, like any form of writing, can be subject to biases depending on the author’s perspective, beliefs, or intentions.

It is essential for readers to critically evaluate biographies by considering factors such as the author’s credentials, potential biases, and the sources used in the research process.

By comparing multiple biographies on the same subject or cross-referencing with other sources, readers can develop a more comprehensive and balanced understanding of the individual’s life and achievements.

Are biographies always based on famous or historical figures?

While biographies often focus on famous or historical figures, they can also be written about lesser-known individuals with compelling stories or unique experiences.

These “everyday” biographies can provide valuable insights into the lives of ordinary people and the challenges they face, offering a broader understanding of the human experience and fostering empathy and connection among readers.

Are there any ethical considerations when writing a biography?

Yes, ethical considerations play a significant role in writing biographies.

Biographers must respect the privacy and dignity of their subjects, particularly when dealing with sensitive or personal information. They should also strive for accuracy and fairness, avoiding sensationalism or misrepresentation of facts.

Additionally, biographers should acknowledge and address any potential biases or conflicts of interest that may affect their portrayal of the subject.

Biographies offer us unparalleled access to the lives and legacies of remarkable individuals, spanning diverse genres and approaches.

From historical fiction to academic rigor, prophetic accounts to fictionalized narratives, biographies captivate our imagination and enrich our understanding of the human experience. These literary gems remind us that behind every great achievement lies a story of struggle, triumph, and unwavering determination.

So, let us continue to explore these remarkable journeys, as we delve deeper into the pages of history and the hearts of those who have shaped our world.

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Literacy Ideas

How to Write a Biography

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Biographies are big business. Whether in book form or Hollywood biopics, the lives of the famous and sometimes not-so-famous fascinate us.

While it’s true that most biographies are about people who are in the public eye, sometimes the subject is less well-known. Mostly though, famous or not, the person who is written about has led a life that is in some way incredible.

While your students will most likely have a basic understanding of a biography, it’s worth taking a little time before they put pen to paper to tease out a crystal clear definition of a biography.

Visual Writing Prompts

What Is a Biography?

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Simply put, a biography is an account of someone’s life written by someone else . While there is a genre known as a fictional biography, for the most part, biographies are, by definition, nonfiction.

Generally speaking, biographies provide an account of the subject’s life from the earliest days of their childhood right up to the present day or their death if the subject is deceased.

The job of a biography is more than just to outline the bare facts of a person’s life.

Rather than just listing the basic details of their upbringing, hobbies, education, work, relationships, and death, a well-written biography should also paint a picture of the subject’s personality, and as well as their experience of life.

A COMPLETE UNIT ON TEACHING BIOGRAPHIES

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Teach your students to write AMAZING BIOGRAPHIES & AUTOBIOGRAPHIES using proven RESEARCH SKILLS and WRITING STRATEGIES .

  • Understand the purpose of both forms of biography.
  • Explore the language and perspective of both.
  • Prompts and Challenges to engage students in writing a biography.
  • Dedicated lessons for both forms of biography.
  • Biographical Projects can expand students’ understanding of reading and writing a biography.
  • A COMPLETE 82-PAGE UNIT – NO PREPARATION REQUIRED.

What Are the Main Features of a Biography?

Before students begin writing a biography, they’ll need to have a firm grasp of the main features of the genre. A good way to determine how well they understand these essential elements of the genre is by asking them to compile a checklist.

At a minimum, their checklists should contain the items below. Be sure to help them fill in any gaps before moving on to the writing process.

The purpose of a biography is to provide an account of someone’s life.

Biography structure.

ORIENTATION (BEGINNING) Open your biography with a strong hook to grab the reader’s attention

SEQUENCING: In most cases, biographies are written in chronological order unless you are a very competent writer consciously trying to break from this trend.

COVER: childhood, upbringing, education, influences, accomplishments, relationships, etc. – everything that helps the reader to understand the person.

CONCLUSION: Wrap your biography up with some details about what the subject is doing now if they are still alive. If they have passed away, make mention of what impact they have made and what their legacy is or will be.

BIOGRAPHY FEATURES

LANGUAGE Use descriptive and figurative language that will paint images inside your audience’s minds as they read. Use time connectives to link events.

PERSPECTIVE Biographies are written from the third person’s perspective.

DETAILS: Give specific details about people, places, events, times, dates, etc. Reflect on how events shaped the subject. You might want to include some relevant photographs with captions. A timeline may also be of use depending upon your subject and what you are trying to convey to your audience.

TENSE Written in the past tense (though ending may shift to the present/future tense)

THE PROCESS OF WRITING A BIOGRAPHY

Like any form of writing, you will find it simple if you have a plan and follow it through. These steps will ensure you cover the essential bases of writing a biography essay.

Firstly, select a subject that inspires you. Someone whose life story resonates with you and whose contribution to society intrigues you. The next step is to conduct thorough research. Engage in extensive reading, explore various sources, watch documentaries, and glean all available information to provide a comprehensive account of the person’s life.

Creating an outline is essential to organize your thoughts and information. The outline should include the person’s early life, education, career, achievements, and any other significant events or contributions. It serves as a map for the writing process, ensuring that all vital information is included.

Your biography should have an engaging introduction that captivates the reader’s attention and provides background information on the person you’re writing about. It should include a thesis statement that summarizes the main points of the biography.

Writing a biography in chronological order is crucial . You should begin with the person’s early life and move through their career and achievements. This approach provides clarity on how the person’s life unfolded and how they accomplished their goals.

A biography should be written in a narrative style , capturing the essence of the person’s life through vivid descriptions, anecdotes, and quotes. Avoid dry, factual writing and focus on creating a compelling narrative that engages the reader.

Adding personal insights and opinions can enhance the biography’s overall impact, providing a unique perspective on the person’s achievements, legacy, and impact on society.

Editing and proofreading are vital elements of the writing process. Thoroughly reviewing your biography ensures that the writing is clear, concise, and error-free. You can even request feedback from someone else to ensure that it is engaging and well-written.

Finally, including a bibliography at the end of your biography is essential. It gives credit to the sources that were used during research, such as books, articles, interviews, and websites.

Tips for Writing a Brilliant Biography

Biography writing tip #1: choose your subject wisely.

There are several points for students to reflect on when deciding on a subject for their biography. Let’s take a look at the most essential points to consider when deciding on the subject for a biography:

Interest: To produce a biography will require sustained writing from the student. That’s why students must choose their subject well. After all, a biography is an account of someone’s entire life to date. Students must ensure they choose a subject that will sustain their interest throughout the research, writing, and editing processes.

Merit: Closely related to the previous point, students must consider whether the subject merits the reader’s interest. Aside from pure labors of love, writing should be undertaken with the reader in mind. While producing a biography demands sustained writing from the author, it also demands sustained reading from the reader.

Therefore, students should ask themselves if their chosen subject has had a life worthy of the reader’s interest and the time they’d need to invest in reading their biography.

Information: Is there enough information available on the subject to fuel the writing of an entire biography? While it might be a tempting idea to write about a great-great-grandfather’s experience in the war. There would be enough interest there to sustain the author’s and the reader’s interest, but do you have enough access to information about their early childhood to do the subject justice in the form of a biography?

Biography Writing Tip #2: R esearch ! Research! Research!

While the chances are good that the student already knows quite a bit about the subject they’ve chosen. Chances are 100% that they’ll still need to undertake considerable research to write their biography.

As with many types of writing , research is an essential part of the planning process that shouldn’t be overlooked. If a student wishes to give as complete an account of their subject’s life as possible, they’ll need to put in the time at the research stage.

An effective way to approach the research process is to:

1. Compile a chronological timeline of the central facts, dates, and events of the subject’s life

2. Compile detailed descriptions of the following personal traits:

  •      Physical looks
  •      Character traits
  •      Values and beliefs

3. Compile some research questions based on different topics to provide a focus for the research:

  • Childhood : Where and when were they born? Who were their parents? Who were the other family members? What education did they receive?
  • Obstacles: What challenges did they have to overcome? How did these challenges shape them as individuals?
  • Legacy: What impact did this person have on the world and/or the people around them?
  • Dialogue & Quotes: Dialogue and quotations by and about the subject are a great way to bring color and life to a biography. Students should keep an eagle eye out for the gems that hide amid their sources.

As the student gets deeper into their research, new questions will arise that can further fuel the research process and help to shape the direction the biography will ultimately go in.

Likewise, during the research, themes will often begin to suggest themselves. Exploring these themes is essential to bring depth to biography, but we’ll discuss this later in this article.

Research Skills:

Researching for biography writing is an excellent way for students to hone their research skills in general. Developing good research skills is essential for future academic success. Students will have opportunities to learn how to:

  • Gather relevant information
  • Evaluate different information sources
  • Select suitable information
  • Organize information into a text.

Students will have access to print and online information sources, and, in some cases, they may also have access to people who knew or know the subject (e.g. biography of a family member).

These days, much of the research will likely take place online. It’s crucial, therefore, to provide your students with guidance on how to use the internet safely and evaluate online sources for reliability. This is the era of ‘ fake news ’ and misinformation after all!

COMPLETE TEACHING UNIT ON INTERNET RESEARCH SKILLS USING GOOGLE SEARCH

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Teach your students ESSENTIAL SKILLS OF THE INFORMATION ERA to become expert DIGITAL RESEARCHERS.

⭐How to correctly ask questions to search engines on all devices.

⭐ How to filter and refine your results to find exactly what you want every time.

⭐ Essential Research and critical thinking skills for students.

⭐ Plagiarism, Citing and acknowledging other people’s work.

⭐ How to query, synthesize and record your findings logically.

BIOGRAPHY WRITING Tip #3: Find Your Themes In Biography Writing

Though predominantly a nonfiction genre, the story still plays a significant role in good biography writing. The skills of characterization and plot structuring are transferable here. And, just like in fiction, exploring themes in a biographical work helps connect the personal to the universal. Of course, these shouldn’t be forced; this will make the work seem contrived, and the reader may lose faith in the truthfulness of the account. A biographer needs to gain and maintain the trust of the reader.

Fortunately, themes shouldn’t need to be forced. A life well-lived is full of meaning, and the themes the student writer is looking for will emerge effortlessly from the actions and events of the subject’s life. It’s just a case of learning how to spot them.

One way to identify the themes in a life is to look for recurring events or situations in a person’s life. These should be apparent from the research completed previously. The students should seek to identify these patterns that emerge in the subject’s life. For example, perhaps they’ve had to overcome various obstacles throughout different periods of their life. In that case, the theme of overcoming adversity is present and has been identified.

Usually, a biography has several themes running throughout, so be sure your students work to identify more than one theme in their subject’s life.

BIOGRAPHY WRITING Tip: #4 Put Something of Yourself into the Writing

While the defining feature of a biography is that it gives an account of a person’s life, students must understand that this is not all a biography does. Relating the facts and details of a subject’s life is not enough. The student biographer should not be afraid to share their thoughts and feelings with the reader throughout their account of their subject’s life.

The student can weave some of their personality into the fabric of the text by providing commentary and opinion as they relate the events of the person’s life and the wider social context at the time. Unlike the detached and objective approach we’d expect to find in a history textbook, in a biography, student-writers should communicate their enthusiasm for their subject in their writing.

This makes for a more intimate experience for the reader, as they get a sense of getting to know the author and the subject they are writing about.

Student Examples of Biography Writing

  • Year 5 Example
  • Year 7 Example
  • Year 9 Example

“The Rock ‘n’ Roll King: Elvis Presley”

Elvis Aaron Presley, born on January 8, 1935, was an amazing singer and actor known as the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Even though he’s been dead for nearly 50 years, I can’t help but be fascinated by his incredible life!

Elvis grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi, in a tiny house with his parents and twin brother. His family didn’t have much money, but they shared a love for music. Little did they know Elvis would become a music legend!

When he was only 11 years old, Elvis got his first guitar. He taught himself to play and loved singing gospel songs. As he got older, he started combining different music styles like country, blues, and gospel to create a whole new sound – that’s Rock ‘n’ Roll!

In 1954, at the age of 19, Elvis recorded his first song, “That’s All Right.” People couldn’t believe how unique and exciting his music was. His famous hip-swinging dance moves also made him a sensation!

Elvis didn’t just rock the music scene; he also starred in movies like “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock.” But fame came with challenges. Despite facing ups and downs, Elvis kept spreading happiness through his music.

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Tragically, Elvis passed away in 1977, but his music and charisma live on. Even today, people worldwide still enjoy his songs like “Hound Dog” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Elvis Presley’s legacy as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll will live forever.

Long Live the King: I wish I’d seen him.

Elvis Presley, the Rock ‘n’ Roll legend born on January 8, 1935, is a captivating figure that even a modern-day teen like me can’t help but admire. As I delve into his life, I wish I could have experienced the magic of his live performances.

Growing up in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis faced challenges but found solace in music. At 11, he got his first guitar, a symbol of his journey into the world of sound. His fusion of gospel, country, and blues into Rock ‘n’ Roll became a cultural phenomenon.

The thought of being in the audience during his early performances, especially when he recorded “That’s All Right” at 19, sends shivers down my spine. Imagining the crowd’s uproar and feeling the revolutionary energy of that moment is a dream I wish I could have lived.

Elvis wasn’t just a musical prodigy; he was a dynamic performer. His dance moves, the embodiment of rebellion, and his roles in films like “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock” made him a true icon.

After watching him on YouTube, I can’t help but feel a little sad that I’ll never witness the King’s live performances. The idea of swaying to “Hound Dog” or being enchanted by “Can’t Help Falling in Love” in person is a missed opportunity. Elvis may have left us in 1977, but he was the king of rock n’ roll. Long live the King!

Elvis Presley: A Teen’s Take on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Icon”

Elvis Presley, born January 8, 1935, was a revolutionary force in the music world, earning his title as the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Exploring his life, even as a 16-year-old today, I’m captivated by the impact he made.

Hailing from Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis grew up in humble beginnings, surrounded by the love of his parents and twin brother. It’s inspiring to think that, despite financial challenges, this young man would redefine the music scene.

At 11, Elvis got his first guitar, sparking a self-taught journey into music. His early gospel influences evolved into a unique fusion of country, blues, and gospel, creating the electrifying genre of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In 1954, at only 19, he recorded “That’s All Right,” marking the birth of a musical legend.

Elvis wasn’t just a musical innovator; he was a cultural phenomenon. His rebellious dance moves and magnetic stage presence challenged the norms. He transitioned seamlessly into acting, starring in iconic films like “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock.”

how to write a biography | Elvis Presley promoting Jailhouse Rock | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

However, fame came at a cost, and Elvis faced personal struggles. Despite the challenges, his music continued to resonate. Even now, classics like “Hound Dog” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” transcend generations.

Elvis Presley’s impact on music and culture is undeniable. He was known for his unique voice, charismatic persona, and electrifying performances. He sold over one billion records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling solo artists in history. He received numerous awards throughout his career, including three Grammy Awards and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Elvis’s influence can still be seen in today’s music. Many contemporary artists, such as Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, and Justin Timberlake, have cited Elvis as an inspiration. His music continues to be featured in movies, TV shows, and commercials.

Elvis left us in 1977, but his legacy lives on. I appreciate his breaking barriers and fearlessly embracing his artistic vision. Elvis Presley’s impact on music and culture is timeless, a testament to the enduring power of his artistry. His music has inspired generations and will continue to do so for many years to come.

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Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.

BIOGRAPHY WRITING TEACHING IDEAS AND LESSONS

We have compiled a sequence of biography-related lessons or teaching ideas that you can follow as you please. They are straightforward enough for most students to follow without further instruction.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 1:

This session aims to give students a broader understanding of what makes a good biography.

Once your students have compiled a comprehensive checklist of the main features of a biography, allow them to use it to assess some biographies from your school library or on the internet using the feature checklist.

When students have assessed a selection of biographies, take some time as a class to discuss them. You can base the discussion around the following prompts:

  • Which biographies covered all the criteria from their checklist?
  • Which biographies didn’t?
  • Which biography was the most readable in terms of structure?
  • Which biography do you think was the least well-structured? How would you improve this?

Looking at how other writers have interpreted the form will help students internalize the necessary criteria before attempting to produce a biography. Once students have a clear understanding of the main features of the biography, they’re ready to begin work on writing a biography.

When the time does come to put pen to paper, be sure they’re armed with the following top tips to help ensure they’re as well prepared as possible.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 2:

This session aims to guide students through the process of selecting the perfect biography subject.

Instruct students to draw up a shortlist of three potential subjects for the biography they’ll write.

Using the three criteria mentioned in the writing guide (Interest, Merit, and Information), students award each potential subject a mark out of 5 for each of the criteria. In this manner, students can select the most suitable subject for their biography.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 3:

This session aims to get students into the researching phase and then prioritise events and organise them chronologically.

Students begin by making a timeline of their subject’s life, starting with their birth and ending with their death or the present day. If the student has yet to make a final decision on the subject of their biography, a family member will often serve well for this exercise as a practice exercise.

Students should research and gather the key events of the person’s life, covering each period of their life from when they were a baby, through childhood and adolescence, right up to adulthood and old age. They should then organize these onto a timeline. Students can include photographs with captions if they have them.

They can present these to the class when they have finished their timelines.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 4:

Instruct students to look over their timeline, notes, and other research. Challenge them to identify three patterns that repeat throughout the subject’s life and sort all the related events and incidents into specific categories.

Students should then label each category with a single word. This is the thematic concept or the broad general underlying idea. After that, students should write a sentence or two expressing what the subject’s life ‘says’ about that concept.

This is known as the thematic statement . With the thematic concepts and thematic statements identified, the student now has some substantial ideas to explore that will help bring more profound meaning and wider resonance to their biography.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 5:

Instruct students to write a short objective account of an event in their own life. They can write about anyone from their past. It needn’t be more than a couple of paragraphs, but the writing should be strictly factual, focusing only on the objective details of what happened.

Once they have completed this, it’s time to rewrite the paragraph, but they should include some opinion and personal commentary this time.

The student here aims to inject some color and personality into their writing, to transform a detached, factual account into a warm, engaging story.

Biography Graphic Organizer

Get our FREE Biography Writing Graphic Organizer

Use this valuable tool in the research and writing phases to keep your students on track and engaged.

WRITING CHECKLIST & RUBRIC BUNDLE

writing checklists

To Conclude

By this stage, your students should have an excellent technical overview of a biography’s essential elements.

They should be able to choose their subject in light of how interesting and worthy they are, as well as give consideration to the availability of information out there. They should be able to research effectively and identify emerging themes in their research notes. And finally, they should be able to bring some of their personality and uniqueness into their retelling of the life of another.

Remember that writing a biography is not only a great way to develop a student’s writing skills; it can be used in almost all curriculum areas. For example, to find out more about a historical figure in History, to investigate scientific contributions to Science, or to celebrate a hero from everyday life.

Biography is an excellent genre for students to develop their writing skills and to find inspiration in the lives of others in the world around them.

HOW TO WRITE A BIOGRAPHY TUTORIAL VIDEO

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Personal Narrative Writing Guide

What Is a Biography?

What is a biography?

Learning from the experiences of others is what makes us human.

At the core of every biography is the story of someone’s humanity. While biographies come in many sub-genres, the one thing they all have in common is loyalty to the facts, as they’re available at the time. Here’s how we define biography, a look at its origins, and some popular types.

“Biography” Definition

A biography is simply the story of a real person’s life. It could be about a person who is still alive, someone who lived centuries ago, someone who is globally famous, an unsung hero forgotten by history, or even a unique group of people. The facts of their life, from birth to death (or the present day of the author), are included with life-changing moments often taking center stage. The author usually points to the subject’s childhood, coming-of-age events, relationships, failures, and successes in order to create a well-rounded description of her subject.

Biographies require a great deal of research. Sources of information could be as direct as an interview with the subject providing their own interpretation of their life’s events. When writing about people who are no longer with us, biographers look for primary sources left behind by the subject and, if possible, interviews with friends or family. Historical biographers may also include accounts from other experts who have studied their subject.

The biographer’s ultimate goal is to recreate the world their subject lived in and describe how they functioned within it. Did they change their world? Did their world change them? Did they transcend the time in which they lived? Why or why not? And how? These universal life lessons are what make biographies such a meaningful read.

Origins of the Biography

Greco-Roman literature honored the gods as well as notable mortals. Whether winning or losing, their behaviors were to be copied or seen as cautionary tales. One of the earliest examples written exclusively about humans is Plutarch’s Parallel Lives (probably early 2 nd century AD). It’s a collection of biographies in which a pair of men, one Greek and one Roman, are compared and held up as either a good or bad example to follow.

In the Middle Ages, Einhard’s The Life of Charlemagne (around 817 AD) stands out as one of the most famous biographies of its day. Einhard clearly fawns over Charlemagne’s accomplishments throughout, yet it doesn’t diminish the value this biography has brought to centuries of historians since its writing.

Considered the earliest modern biography, The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) by James Boswell looks like the biographies we know today. Boswell conducted interviews, performed years of research, and created a compelling narrative of his subject.

The genre evolves as the 20th century arrives, and with it the first World War. The 1920s saw a boom in autobiographies in response. Robert Graves’ Good-Bye to All That (1929) is a coming-of age story set amid the absurdity of war and its aftermath. That same year, Mahatma Gandhi wrote The Story of My Experiments with Truth , recalling how the events of his life led him to develop his theories of nonviolent rebellion. In this time, celebrity tell-alls also emerged as a popular form of entertainment. With the horrors of World War II and the explosion of the civil rights movement, American biographers of the late 20 th century had much to archive. Instantly hailed as some of the best writing about the war, John Hersey’s Hiroshima (1946) tells the stories of six people who lived through those world-altering days. Alex Haley wrote the as-told-to The Autobiography of Malcom X (1965). Yet with biographies, the more things change, the more they stay the same. One theme that persists is a biographer’s desire to cast its subject in an updated light, as in Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady by Susan Quinn (2016).

Types of Biographies

Contemporary Biography: Authorized or Unauthorized

The typical modern biography tells the life of someone still alive, or who has recently passed. Sometimes these are authorized — written with permission or input from the subject or their family — like Dave Itzkoff’s intimate look at the life and career of Robin Williams, Robin . Unauthorized biographies of living people run the risk of being controversial. Kitty Kelley’s infamous His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra so angered Sinatra, he tried to prevent its publication.

Historical Biography

The wild success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is proof that our interest in historical biography is as strong as ever. Miranda was inspired to write the musical after reading Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton , an epic 800+ page biography intended to cement Hamilton’s status as a great American. Paula Gunn Allen also sets the record straight on another misunderstood historical figure with Pocahontas: Medicine Woman, Spy, Entrepreneur, Diplomat , revealing details about her tribe, her family, and her relationship with John Smith that are usually missing from other accounts. Historical biographies also give the spotlight to people who died without ever getting the recognition they deserved, such as The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks .

Biography of a Group

When a group of people share unique characteristics, they can be the topic of a collective biography. The earliest example of this is Captain Charles Johnson’s A General History of the Pirates (1724), which catalogs the lives of notorious pirates and establishes the popular culture images we still associate with them. Smaller groups are also deserving of a biography, as seen in David Hajdu’s Positively 4th Street , a mesmerizing behind-the-scenes look at the early years of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña as they establish the folk scene in New York City. Likewise, British royal family fashion is a vehicle for telling the life stories of four iconic royals – Queen Elizabeth II, Diana, Kate, and Meghan – in HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style by style journalist Elizabeth Holmes.

Autobiography

This type of biography is written about one’s self, spanning an entire life up to the point of its writing. One of the earliest autobiographies is Saint Augustine’s The Confessions (400), in which his own experiences from childhood through his religious conversion are told in order to create a sweeping guide to life. Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the first of six autobiographies that share all the pain of her childhood and the long road that led to her work in the civil rights movement, and a beloved, prize-winning writer.

Memoirs are a type of autobiography, written about a specific but vital aspect of one’s life. In Toil & Trouble , Augusten Burroughs explains how he has lived his life as a witch. Mikel Jollett’s Hollywood Park recounts his early years spent in a cult, his family’s escape, and his rise to success with his band, The Airborne Toxic Event. Barack Obama’s first presidential memoir, A Promised Land , charts his path into politics and takes a deep dive into his first four years in office.

Fictional Biography

Fictional biographies are no substitute for a painstakingly researched scholarly biography, but they’re definitely meant to be more entertaining. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler constructs Zelda and F. Scott’s wild, Jazz-Age life, told from Zelda’s point of view. The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict brings readers into the secret life of Hollywood actress and wartime scientist, Hedy Lamarr. These imagined biographies, while often whimsical, still respect the form in that they depend heavily on facts when creating setting, plot, and characters.

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Definition of biography

Did you know.

So You've Been Asked to Submit a Biography

In a library, the word biography refers both to a kind of book and to a section where books of that kind are found. Each biography tells the story of a real person's life. A biography may be about someone who lived long ago, recently, or even someone who is still living, though in the last case it must necessarily be incomplete. The term autobiography refers to a biography written by the person it's about. Autobiographies are of course also necessarily incomplete.

Sometimes biographies are significantly shorter than a book—something anyone who's been asked to submit a biography for, say, a conference or a community newsletter will be glad to know. Often the word in these contexts is shortened to bio , a term that can be both a synonym of biography and a term for what is actually a biographical sketch: a brief description of a person's life. These kinds of biographies—bios—vary, but many times they are only a few sentences long. Looking at bios that have been used in the same context can be a useful guide in determining what to put in your own.

Examples of biography in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'biography.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Late Greek biographia , from Greek bi- + -graphia -graphy

1665, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Dictionary Entries Near biography

biographize

Cite this Entry

“Biography.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/biography. Accessed 4 Apr. 2024.

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All About the Structure and Sample of A Biography And How To Write It

what is a biography an example of

A biography is a non-fiction work about a specific person’s life. Usually written in the third person point of view, all examples of biography you will find are meant to give you an objective understanding and an authentic characterization. It is written following a person’s narration of it, their friends or family members’ accounts, or researching materials like recordings, journals, diaries, old interviews, experts, and the likes. It is not uncommon to find a sample of a biography of a deceased person. All kinds of biography samples can be found online or in your local library about both the heroes of old and modern heroes of today.

Most biography samples that you would find are about famous people. It’s not surprising that people would write and read about politicians, historical figures, artists, authors, inventors, all kinds of leaders, and even notorious people and criminal masterminds. It’s always interesting how an author of a biography example plots their narrative. Look for different examples of biography. You can note how the writers of it help you imagine what it was like to be there, at the exact moment that someone famous or good is doing something that is only known to us through history books. However, as you write your own, remember that, unlike fiction writing or other kinds, it is very rare to find a sample of a biography that would tell you how the subject is or was feeling. All biography samples that you would read would tell you the subject’s each step on their whole life journey but not how they were feeling during those times or not necessarily or accurately.

There are many biography samples that you can find and read about. But in recent years, some biographies have been turned into another form of art, like a movie or a play. Some examples of biography that has been turned into a movie that you might recognize include:

  • The Theory of Everything (Stephen Hawking)
  • Wolf of Wall Street (Jordan Belfort)
  • Ford vs Ferrari (Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles)
  • Schindler’s List (Oskar Schindler)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (Rock band Queen)
  • Molly’s Game (Molly Bloom)
  • Godfellas (Henry Hill)
  • Braveheart (William Wallace)
  • Bonnie and Clyde (Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow)
  • On the Basis of Sex (Ruth Bader Ginsberg)

Interesting enough, some biographies are even used as the basis for some musical plays. For example, the 2004 biography written by Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton, is a good sample of an amazingly transformed biography into a musical play (and even a movie) by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Tips And Tricks on How To Write A Biography

1. a biography is not a resume.

Going into the task of writing a biography is serious business. This is why before even starting to write a biography, you should already have it stuck in your head that you are not writing a resume . This is a tendency for most writers because examples of biography typically include the same information as your resume. Only a sample of a biography would have to be more detailed. Nevertheless, do not make the mistake of writing a biography as if you were writing a detailed resume because it’s not. The whole idea of a biography is to narrate the life story of a person. This goes even further than their accomplishments and their educational background.

2. You Are Writing About a Real Person

Another thing to keep in mind is that a biography is about a real person. This narrative is not something that is made up or imagined. Any sample of a biography that you would find tells the story of a person that lived on the same earth you are now. Be careful not to alienate the person you are writing about. That is, do not be afraid to portray their human side and have them be relatable. As far as examples of biography go, the more readers find themselves relating to the person in the narrative, the better their chances of reading. You have to remember that your goal as a biography writer is to present the truth and authenticity of your subject. In all its bits and pieces, do not be afraid to put in the details about the birth, the childhood, the teenage years, all the way to adulthood, and maybe, even the death of your subject.

3. Find Your Era or Not

Examples of Biography that you would find typically start at the subject’s birth and end either at their death or the peak of their careers. And this is something that you can do. You can start on the day they were born and narrate how they spent their time when they were children, their experiences and experiments as teenagers and young adults, and their careers as adults. This is a sample of a biography that can go long enough to be a novel or a series of books. However, there is no harm in entertaining the idea of focusing and writing about only a specific period of a person’s life. You can find examples of biography that skip the childhood and teenage part of the person’s life and goes straight to their career as an adult. Some do the opposite and focus on the person’s early years to establish what honed their subject to the person they are known to be. Other examples of biography just focus on the few recent years of a person’s life and career , while certain writers tend to focus on the peak of the life and career of their subject. Regardless of what you decide to do, just be mindful not to lose sight of the reason and purpose of why you’re writing.

4. Research, Interview, Research

It might be a tad easier to write a biography about yourself or someone you know. This would save you a lot of time and trouble finding out details to include in your biography. However, most examples of biography are those of famous personalities’ lives and careers. So unless you are close friends with the celebrity or prominent figure you want to write about, you have to go through a lot of research. More or less, any sample of a biography that you would find and read contains the tiniest and most specific details about their subject. This was produced from the sweat and tears of hours, and even days, worth going through books, journals, newspapers, and any other records that the writer can find. Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond what you can find online or in your local libraries. Think creatively, try to find sources that are hidden in the cracks of the field of knowledge. Formulate a questionnaire and try to interview your subject, if possible, or find people connected to them that you can interview. Try to dive into public records, old school records, and any other reference material you can find. We’re telling you now that writing a biography can prove to be extremely tiresome and time-consuming. But we can also assure you that it is incredibly satisfying once you finish it.

5. Write, Edit, Write

You might be one of those writers who prefer to write as they gather information or maybe the ones that collect all the information they can find first and write after. Regardless of your methods, one thing is constant - your writing journey will not be a short one, especially if you are writing a whole life story. It is important to remember that you have to be accurate in your accounts and that authenticity plays a vital role in writing a biography. Your narrative has to be as detailed as you get it to be. It is also helpful to know early on that there is a point in the writing process of any sample of a biography you have read that you have to edit your writing. You have to rephrase, rewrite or completely revise the pieces that you have already written. It can be a good idea to outline how you want your narrative to go but don’t be afraid to explore the idea of reshaping or maybe even overhauling the biography you are writing about if you suddenly think of a better idea in the middle of your writing journey.

Share Your Written Biography Online

It might not be a bad idea to write a biography about a specific person in today’s modern world and post it online. You can help put out valuable and relevant information to your readers and maybe even make a name for yourself as a writer. Strikingly is a website builder that can help you create a home for your sample of a biography. You have two options:

• Showcase Your Biography Using A Simple Blog

You can use the Simple Blog feature of Strikingly to post chapters or parts of the biography you are writing. Posting chapters or parts of the biography adds uniqueness to entice your readers as not many people post examples of biography through blogspot websites . Here’s how you can use Simple Blog for your sample of a biography:

  • Sign up or Log in with Strikingly.

what is a biography an example of

Image taken from Strikingly Product

  • Open your site editor and click “Add New Section”.
  • Select the layout you want your Simple Blog to be.

what is a biography an example of

  • Click “Manage Blog Posts”.

what is a biography an example of

  • Click “Write a New Post” or “Edit”.

what is a biography an example of

  • Write your blog post.

what is a biography an example of

• Let Your Biography be the Main Content of Your Website

If you are not very keen on the idea of posting your biography as blog posts, you can also just display your writing as plain text for your website. Here’s how Strikingly can help you write and present your sample of a biography on your website:

  • Open your site editor and click “ Add New Section ”.

what is a biography an example of

  • Select “Plain Text”.

what is a biography an example of

  • Add a Title and write your own sample of a biography.

what is a biography an example of

Writing your own sample of a biography is no easy task, but accomplishing it is a big feat you can be proud of. With Strikingly, you not only have an avenue to place yourself and your writing, but you also get to share the prowess of storytelling you have created with your own time, your efforts, and your magnificent mind. Sign up with Strikingly now and get started on adding to the collection of biography examples that the next generations would be reading about!

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What is a Biography? Definition, Elements, and More

POSTED ON Oct 12, 2023

Nicole Ahlering

Written by Nicole Ahlering

Have you found yourself browsing the biography section of your favorite library or bookstore and wondered what is a biography book ? 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! 

In this brief guide, we’ll explore the definition of a biography, along with its purpose, how you might write one yourself, and more. Let’s get started.

Need A Nonfiction Book Outline?

In this article, we'll explore:

What is a biography of a person .

A biography is simply a written account of someone’s life. It is written by someone other than whom the book is about. For example, an author named Walter Isaacson has written biographies on Steve Jobs , Leonardo da Vinci , and Einstein . 

Biographies usually focus on the significant events that occurred in a person’s life, along with their achievements, challenges they’ve overcome, background, relationships, and more. 

They’re an excellent way to get a comprehensive understanding of someone you admire. 

What is the point of a biography? 

Biographies have a few purposes. They can serve as historical records about a notable figure, inspire and educate readers, and give us more insight into how the folks we’re interested in lived their lives. 

They can also be valuable research resources for people studying a notable figure, like Einstein! 

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Does a biography cover someone’s entire life? 

Biographies typically encompass most of a person’s life. Obviously, if the subject of the book is still alive, their entire life cannot be written about. 

If the person lived a long and eventful life with many achievements, the author may cover only an especially noteworthy period of the subject’s life. 

Even so, the point of a biography is to learn about your subject beyond just what they achieved, so there will likely still be contextual information about the subject’s childhood, formative experiences, and more. 

Is a biography always nonfiction? 

Surprisingly, a biography is not always nonfiction . There is a genre called biographical fiction in which the author uses real-life people and events to inspire their fictional narrative . 

This genre is fun because the author can postulate about what their subject may have been thinking, feeling, and more in a way they may not be able to with a nonfiction biography. 

Just keep in mind that biographical fiction blends facts with made-up information, so it can’t be used as a primary research source. That said, it’s a fun supplement to learning about a figure you’re interested in, and can help generate curiosity and insights about their lives. 

If you’d like to read a biographical fiction book, check out books like: 

  • The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
  •   The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
  • The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin 

Why would someone write a biography? 

An author may want to write a biography about someone because they’re inspired by them and want to educate the public about them. Or, they want to create a historical resource for scholars to study. 

An author may even have a commercial motivation for writing a biography, like a lucrative celebrity profile or a biography that has the potential to be adapted into a film or television series. 

Is it possible to write a biography about yourself? 

If you write a book about yourself, it’s called an autobiography or a memoir—not a biography. So, when you start writing your book, make sure you don't get caught in the autobiography vs biography or biography vs memoir maze.

If you’d like a book written about you that you’re not the author of, you can hire a writer to create one for you. You may choose to do this if you feel your writing skills are not up to par or you don’t have time to write your own biography .

Hiring a writer to write your biography can also make sense if you’d like to make sure the book is as objective and professional as it can be. Of course, this means you have to surrender control of the narrative! 

Some folks may also feel that a biography has more credence than an autobiography or memoir since the book’s subject doesn’t get to decide what is said about them. So hiring a writer for your biography can be a good way to credibly get your story out there. 

Can you write a biography about anyone you’d like? 

When it comes to writing about other people’s lives, it’s wise to proceed with an abundance of caution. After all, you don’t want to be sued for defamation or find yourself in other legal hot water. 

We highly suggest you look into the legal ramifications of writing about your chosen subject before you begin writing about them, but here are a couple of general things to know: 

  • Typically, you don’t need permission to write about someone who is a public figure. However, the definition of a public figure can vary depending on your jurisdiction and more, so you’ll need to do your research.
  • Even if you discover that you can write about your subject without permission, it’s still advisable to contact the subject and or their family. Not only is it good manners, but it may afford you some insider information about your subject. 
  • If your subject or the family of your subject tells you they don’t want a biography about them, you may still legally be able to proceed—consult a lawyer—but you might face backlash when the book is published, limited access to information about your subject, and perhaps a pressing sense of guilt. Not worth it, if you ask us! 

Examples of biographies

Ready to get started reading biographies? Here are a few of the best biographies you should add to your list: 

  • Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera 
  • Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain by Charles R. Cross
  • Anne Frank: The Biography by Melissa Müller
  • You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington by Alexis Coe
  • The Beatles: The Biography by Bob Spitz
  • Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire by Julia Baird

Final thoughts 

Reading a biography is a great way to get inspired, learn from other people’s experiences, and more. And writing a biography can be an excellent educational experience in its own right! If you’d like to publish a biography but don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. Simply schedule a book consultation to get started. 

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How to Write a Short Professional Bio (With Examples and Templates)

Emily Polner

3 key takeaways

  • What a short professional bio is and where to use one
  • How to write your professional bio (plus short professional bio examples and templates)
  • How to use the Teal  AI Resume Builder  to write a short, professional bio

Your professional bio is one of the most important things you'll write about yourself.

In a world where just about everyone is represented online in some capacity, your professional bio will often serve as your first introduction to your intended audience. It can help influence whether someone invites you to connect, interview you, or simply move on.

But how does your professional bio work in tandem with your resume to tell your unique story? And what are some short professional bio examples you can reference to craft your own—helping you strike the perfect balance between informative and engaging?

What is a short professional bio? 

A short professional bio is exactly what it sounds like — a short professional biography that introduces yourself and gives a brief overview of your career and accomplishment examples . A short professional bio gives future employees, colleagues, and anyone else you're networking with a more well-rounded picture of who you are.  

We recognize that “short” is a vague term and can mean many different things. But the good news is, unless you're dealing with a certain character or space limit, there is no magic length that your bio has to be. Most short bios tend to run anywhere from one to four paragraphs, but feel free to make yours whatever length you think would work best for you. 

Your short professional bio can be displayed many different places, including but not limited to: your website, LinkedIn profile, Twitter profile, in press features, and your resume. 

What should I include in a short professional bio? 

Before you sit down to write your bio, it might be helpful for you to think of it as not only a bio, but also an elevator pitch for your target audience. You want to produce a compelling professional bio. Your bio should answer the question: what would you want someone who doesn't know you at all to know about your career so far? 

Below are some thought-starters to set you up for success. 

As a working professional

Whether you've been working for six months or 15 years, consider including these in your bio: 

  • Where you're based
  • Where you're from
  • What university, trade school, or bootcamp you attended (if any)
  • Your current or former career titles
  • Your career goals
  • Relevant awards, accolades, or press features you've garnered
  • Your professional experience, skills, and area(s) of expertise
  • What you like to do in your spare time (personal interests, hobbies, side hustles, etc.) 

To make sure you're providing the most relevant skills to a potential employer, use Teal's Skills Database in the free  Skills Workbook  to identify your current skills and potential skills that you want to acquire. Once you've identified those, enter them into Teal's Skills Identifier.

As a student

Even if you're still in school, there's plenty of information you can include in your bio, like: 

  • What university, trade school, or bootcamp you're attending
  • Your area of study or intended major
  • Any clubs, teams, volunteering, or other extracurriculars you're a part of 
  • Any internships you've completed
  • Your career goals 
  • Your availability

‍As someone starting their career journey, make sure you know what interests you and what will make you excited to go to work each day. We have a tool, the  Interests Workbook , to help you map out the things you're excited about and apply those insights to your job search.

How to write a short professional bio

If you're ready to begin writing your professional bio, we commend you. We've listed a few things here that you might find helpful to consider, but again, there is no steadfast formula. You can feel free to follow or ignore these suggestions however you see fit. 

Choose your voice

You have the option to write your bio using either first or third person. When using first person, you will be utilizing the pronouns "I, me, and my". When using third person, you would refer to yourself using your name and preferred pronouns.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. However, as a general rule, using third person is typically considered more formal, while using first person is more casual.

First person example: "I am a bestselling author. My work has been published in XYZ publication."

Third person example: "Zane Smith is a bestselling author. His work has been published in XYZ publication."

If you want to have multiple versions of the same bio on hand, like a first person version and a third person version, our tools are designed to make this easy for you. Write as many versions of your bio as you need and rotate which one you use in which situation as your career evolves. 

Generate your professional bio with AI

You can also use our AI Resume Builder to generate multiple versions of your short professional bio. Your bio will be tailored based on the details and achievements you've included about your recent work experiences.

Try it yourself for free.

Choose your tone

Written words, like spoken speech, can embody many different moods and tones. Depending on the context and your  personal brand , you might decide your bio should sound more buttoned-up, or more relaxed, or even a little bit silly. 

These two sentences describe the same person but showcase very different tones and writing style: 

“A recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Sally is currently a consultant at XYZ Consulting based out of their New York office.” 

“A recent UPenn grad, Sally swore off econ after years of hard classes only to end up as a consultant at a major firm — but don't worry, she loves it.” 

Start with your name and your current or most recent role

This is not a hard and fast rule, but to get your bio started, it's usually easiest to start with your name and current professional title or role. 

Example:  “Zane Smith is currently the Demand Generation Manager at ABC Tech Company.” 

If you're transitioning between roles or switching industries , you can list your most recent role and use your first sentence to say what you're looking to become.

Example 1:  “Previously the Demand Generation Manager at ABC Tech Company, Zane Smith is actively pursuing new opportunities in marketing management.” 

Example 2 : “Previously the Demand Generation Manager at ABC Tech Company, Zane Smith is now an aspiring 2nd grade teacher.” 

Add any former titles and list relevant achievements

Once you've introduced yourself and your current title or aspirations, you can flow into your professional background, former job titles, and what you did previously. Together, the first two sentences of your bio could read something like this: 

“Zane Smith is currently the Demand Generation Manager at ABC Tech Company. Previously, he was a Marketing Specialist at FGH Tech Company where he grew paid traffic to their website by 500% year over year.” 

How can you ensure your bullet point achievements reflect your qualifications? In addition to using Teal's free Achievement Assistant tool within the AI Resume Builder , try leveraging ChatGPT for this part of the process. Just remember to copy and paste ChatGPT-generated resume achievements back into your AI Resume Builder.

Remember to personalize your bullet point achievements by proofreading and editing them, tweaking as needed using the Achievement Assistant tool.

Consider adding the “why” behind your story

Self-promotion can feel incredibly uncomfortable, but it's important to really make sure you don't undermine your own value. Your “why,” the  reason that you do what you do everyday , can be powerful and meaningful. Adding what gives you the spark to start each workday can set your own professional bio apart from others. 

Example:  “Claire was inspired to pursue a career in elder law after volunteering in a nursing home throughout high school and college.” 

Close with some personal details, if appropriate

Even though your bio will be used in a professional capacity, it's okay to list a few personal details. We're more than just our jobs, and adding a few personal facts can help illustrate who you are outside of the office. 

Example:  “When he's not working, Martin can be found tending to his spice garden and going on nature walks with his golden retriever.” 

Short professional bio do's and don'ts 

Even though there are no official rules for writing a bio, there are still some things you should try to strive for as well as steer clear of if you want to make the best possible impression. 

Be real:  Your bio is not the place to fudge the truth about who you are. Be honest about what you've done and where you're heading. Not telling the truth could bar you from achieving your goals and land you in hot water. 

Be concise:  We really hate to be the one to tell you this, but unfortunately, most people do not have the time or patience to read a five-paragraph essay about your life story. Sorry to break it to you! 

Try to keep things brief and avoid run-on sentences. We recommend running your bio through a  free clarity reader grammar-checking tool  to make sure your bio isn't too wordy or hard to understand. 

Be relatable:  No matter how lofty your accomplishments are, staying grounded may help you establish stronger connections with others. This is where adding personal details and highlighting your personal brand can serve you well. Whether that's with a  hobby, interest , or other role outside of work, being relatable can let others understand and get to know you better and determine if you would be a good fit for a company.  

Don't: 

Be arrogant:  It's both appropriate and expected for you to talk about your professional skills and accomplishments in your short bio. That being said, there's a fine line between talking about your achievements and sounding too braggy. These two examples talk about the same accomplishment but come across very differently: 

“An accomplished pianist, Ryan was selected out of nearly 7,000 applicants to perform at the annual New York State School Music Association festival last spring.” 

“An accomplished pianist, Ryan was the obvious choice to perform at the annual New York State School Music Association festival last spring (because he's the best).” 

Be spiteful:  This is especially relevant if you're revising your bio  after a lay-off  or termination. As tempting as it might be, avoid making any negative statements or accusations in your bio. Positivity and a good attitude will get you much further.

Short professional bio examples

Seeing real professional bios in the wild might help you craft your bio more so than a set of guidelines will. For that reason, we rounded up four real-life short bio examples on different platforms that you can draw further inspiration from. 

Personal website bio: Audree Kate Lopez

"AUDREE KATE LOPEZ IS A FASHION STYLIST, EDITOR, INDUSTRY EXPERT AND INFLUENCER BASED IN NEW YORK. Audree began her professional career in the fashion departments at Glamour, O, the Oprah Magazine, Editorialist and Redbook magazines. She launched Audree Kate Studios in 2017 and worked on freelance projects at Marc Jacobs, Alice + Olivia, J.Crew and Club Monaco, joined the styling team at Alice + Olivia and became a contributing fashion editor for StyleCaster.com. Over the past few years Audree has styled for various publications, celebrities and retail brands. In 2016, Audree founded a digital course and community for fashion students called Fashion Fundamentals and has hosted workshops and classes around the country, and wrote an ebook titled Fashion Fundamentals."

Why we picked it:  Audree's professional bio does a great job at telling and humbling her story. Taking her career from her dorm room all the way to major magazines is impressive and gives readers the right impression that she's ambitious and driven. It also gives a strong overview of all of the different yet relevant accomplishments she's checked off, ranging from styling, to editing, to creating her own course. 

short professional bio example for resume

LinkedIn bio: Christen Nino De Guzman 

"Latina creator. Speaker. Tech Mentor. Christen is the Founder of the newly launched app Clara, a community that empowers creators through transparency, brand reviews, and discoverability. An industry vet, Christen has almost a decade of experience working with top content creators at social networking companies such as Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. She is a motivational speaker and mentor in the tech space who is passionate about helping people break into the industry through career advice and actionable content."

Why we picked it:  Christen's professional bio is punchy, concise, and gives her credibility. The short few sentences at the very beginning are a creative and clever way to describe who she is right off the bat. She also mentions how many years of experience she has, which at this stage in her career, is a wise move and shows that she brings a high level of expertise to her pursuits. The decision to put her social media profiles makes sense and feels true to her, given her engaged following. 

example of a short professional bio that has a punchy tone

Twitter bio: Dulma 

"Founder of Makelane, a private community for female DTC founders. 70K followers on TikTok where I analyze consumer brands"

Why we picked it:  Twitter only gives you 160 characters for your bio, truly keeping it a short bio, but Dulma does an excellent job maximizing what little space is given. Dulma's professional bio clearly and succinctly states her two main pursuits: being a founder of an online community and creating content for a large audience on TikTok. 

what is a biography an example of

Company website bios: Teachable

"Meet our wonderful team We're a tight-knit group of curious creatures, always learning, and constantly seeking out new perspectives and ideas. Get to know our team—they're what makes Teachable, well, Teachable."

Why we picked it : Having a short professional bio on a company website can be beneficial for many reasons. Each of the four bios featured on Teachable's company site show individuality and make the company more relatable to customers or clients. It provides an opportunity for the individual to showcase their experience, skills, and achievements, which can help build trust and confidence in potential clients or customers. These bios, with full names and pictures, allow the reader to learn more about the individual's expertise and background and can encourage networking opportunities.

what is a biography an example of

Short professional bio templates

If you prefer to plug and play or need a professional bio in a pinch, don't worry, we've still got you. Here are three short bio templates to get you started:

Short professional bio template for working professionals

[First name last name]  is  [currently/formerly]  a  [insert most recent job title]  at  [most recent company name] . A proud graduate of  [school or university] , they were inspired to pursue a career in  [field]  after  [explain what led to your decision to work in your industry] . Prior to working at [most recent job title], they were the  [previous title]  at  [previous company]  where they were responsible for  [insert professional accomplishments here] . In their free time, they can be found  [insert your favorite hobbies] . 

Short professional bio template for students

[First name last name]  is a current  [year]  at  [institution]  majoring in  [area(s) of study] . On campus,  [First name]  is actively involved in  [activity name] , for which they  [insert details about what you do for the activity you're involved in] . They most recently  [interned/worked]  at  [organization name] , where they had the opportunity to  [insert details about what you did on the job] . They intend to work in the  [insert field name or industry]  after graduation to follow their passion of  [insert what you are passionate about] . In their spare time, they can be found  [insert your favorite hobbies] . 

Short professional bio template for someone with a gap in employment

[First name last name] is a [position/job title] with [number] years of experience in [specific skills or industry] . Following [briefly mention the reason for the employment gap] , [he/she/they] took some time off to focus on [briefly mention what they did during the gap, e.g., personal development, family obligations, health reasons] . During this time, [he/she/they] also [briefly mention any relevant skills or achievements acquired during the gap] . [Name] is now eager to return to the workforce and is excited to bring [specific skills/accomplishments] to [his/her/their] next role. With a proven track record of [list specific achievements or skills] , [Name] is confident in [his/her/their] ability to contribute to [specific industry/profession] and make an impact in [his/her/their] next position.

If you decide to use any of these templates, we strongly recommend you tweak it ever-so-slightly. We don't mean diving into creative writing and rewriting it entirely; just add a little bit of personal flair once you've finished plugging your details in. Add some adjectives, remove anything that doesn't quite fit with your vibe or experiences, or append some more personal details as you see fit. Feel free to work off of any one of the bios from our resume examples to get feel for how different styles can be used across roles.

Remember, as cheesy as it sounds, there's only one you. Even if you use a template, your bio should still have a small sprinkle of personal flair, if possible. 

Create your professional bio with Teal

Crafting a professional bio that effectively showcases your unique skills and accomplishments can be a challenging task. It's important to keep in mind that your bio should be concise and focused on the most relevant details of your career. If you're struggling with what to include, consider starting with the basics and keeping it simple and factual.

Remember, your bio can evolve over time along with your career, so don't be afraid to make updates as you gain more experience and achieve new accomplishments. By taking these steps, you can create a friendly and professional bio that effectively represents your personal brand.

Ready to create a full set of professional bios to get to your next career goal faster? Sign up to start using the AI Resume Builder to generate professional your professional bios directly within the platform.

Once you have your professional bio, don't forget to use Teal's free AI Resume Builder  to update your resume with your skills, latest experience, and work achievements! The job of your resume is to get you in the door. Optimizing it will help you land interviews for the next opportunities that excite you.

Use the AI integration feature within Teal's AI Resume Builder to generate achievements. To get quality, metric-driven achievements, make sure to attach a job description to incorporate relevant keywords.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of a short professional bio.

An example of a short professional bio is: "Katie is a seasoned marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in digital advertising strategies. She has helped numerous brands achieve their online marketing goals, leading to increased visibility and 3x revenue YoY."

How do you write an impressive short bio?

To write an impressive short bio, focus on your most significant achievements, relevant skills, and experiences that set you apart. Keep it concise and tailored to your audience to engage and leave a memorable impression. You can also use the Teal  AI Resume Builder  Generative AI to craft a bio that highlights your unique professional journey and skills in an engaging way.

What is a short biography about yourself?

A short biography about yourself should concisely summarize your professional background, major accomplishments, and skills. For example, "I'm an innovative software developer with 5 years of experience in creating scalable applications, known for my ability to troubleshoot complex issues and my commitment to delivering high-quality software solutions."

what is a biography an example of

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English Grammar Here

5 Example of Biography, Biography Samples and Formats

what is a biography an example of

Table of Contents

Biography appears as a genre of literature. There are different types. Biography in general means telling about a person’s life. In our article, you will find answers to the questions of what is a biography and how to write it.

What Should Be Considered When Writing A Biography? How To Write A Biography?

Biography means writing about a person. Therefore, a person must be determined first. Usually, biographies are written for well-known people. Shakespeare, for example, could be an example. So what should be considered while writing? Chronology is important when writing a biography. We have to give the events in order.

So what do we need to talk about? We can talk about the person’s place of birth, place of residence, education, business life, marriages, and children. Apart from these, we can add important events in the person’s life to the biography. Biographies can consist of five different types and these are as follows.

  • Popular biography
  • Historical biography
  • Literary biography
  • Reference biography
  • Fictional biography

Why Are Biographies Written?

The purpose of writing a biography is not always just to do literature. They can be written to help us learn from the lives of important people. They can also serve as a guide for us. This is not the case with fictional biographies. Those works are written for literary purposes only and are delightful to the reader.

Examples Of Biography

Below you will see different examples of the biography. Biographies are long works. We offer you some snippets. The names mentioned below are purely fictional.

  • Emily Anderson is a very successful writer born in 1991. She herself completed her education at Cambridge University. His works are always published in the horror category. She has received many awards and appeared in different magazines so far. She is now married and has 3 children. He has 5 works in total, but she declared that he will continue to write.
  • Mark Merlin appears as a Nobel prize-winning physicist. He was born in 1960 and died in 2005. He actually started his education in Spain but studied university in America. The university he graduated from is Harvard University. The reason for his Nobel Prize winner is his discovery of a previously undiscovered physics rule. He was married 3 times but has no children. His main profession is teaching. He did his work in his spare time.
  • Coming from a very poor family, Matthew Wesley is a self-help professional who has improved a lot over time. A person who has devoted his life to learning and teaching. He was born in 1985 and has analyzed our age very well. His main profession is software engineering. The reason it does not do its job is that enough software is already in progress. His purpose is to inspire and motivate people. He gives seminars every week. His seminars are famous around the world and she goes to different countries. You can also attend these seminars online if you wish.
  • Would you like to meet a very famous photographer? You will be surprised to see why he became famous. Jack Brown is a blind photographer. So how does he take pictures of it? Thanks to his mother, who is always beside him. He has not received any training. When asked, he said that he was very impressed by the sound of the camera. He cannot see himself, but he makes people’s memories immortal. Despite not seeing it, he decides where the photos will be taken and the poses and tells people. He won an award for some of the landscape photographs he took. She tells her mother what she wants a picture and her mom tells her to press the shutter when the time is right. This turns out to be a complete success story.

As you can see in the examples, we talked about different characteristics of people. You don’t always have to talk about education or anything else. Specifically, a biography can be written by mentioning 2 features. First of all, you need to determine the features you want to focus on. You can also choose to write in much more detail while writing. However, you usually have to pay attention to the chronological order.

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About the author.

what is a biography an example of

27 of the Best Professional Bio Examples I've Ever Seen [+ Templates]

Lindsay Kolowich Cox

Published: December 20, 2023

As a writer, I have to let readers and potential clients know my expertise, my skills, and why they should work with me or be interested in what I say. So, a professional bio is a must in my industry.

Hands type at a laptop

Though I'm definitely familiar with professional bios, I can admit they can be challenging. What do I include? What do readers need to know?

As daunting as writing a professional bio can be, professional bios are crucial when applying for jobs, seeking new clients, or networking. A professional bio also gives the world a brief snapshot of you and your professional ideals.

If you‘re at a loss for how to write a professional bio that packs a punch, I’ve got you covered. In this journey, tools like HubSpot’s user-friendly drag-and-drop website builder can be instrumental in showcasing your professional bio online with ease and style.

I will walk you through how to write a professional bio that you can proudly publish, provide professional bio templates, and show you the best professional bio examples you can get inspiration from.

→ Download Now: 80 Professional Bio Examples [Free Templates]

What is a professional bio?

Professional bio templates, how to write a professional bio, best professional bio examples, how to write a short bio.

what is a biography an example of

80+ Professional Bio Templates & Examples

Create a compelling professional narrative for a proper, attention-grabbing introduction.

  • LinkedIn Summaries
  • Speaker Intros
  • Website Bios
  • Professional Profile

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today:

A professional bio or biography is a short overview of your experience. Professional bios usually include details about education, employment, achievements, and relevant skills.

Purpose of Professional Bios

A bio tells an audience about who you are, what you've done, and what you can do. It can help potential employers, fans, or customers understand your personality and what you stand for.

Writing a bio without a clear starting point is challenging — believe me, I've tried. To ease the process, here are some templates I put together to get you started.

I‘ve found it’s best to keep your professional bio honest and to the point. Too long of a bio, and you risk losing your audience's attention. After all, audiences will only read a web page for less than a minute before clicking elsewhere.

And honesty is key because most consumers and clients won‘t invest in someone or something if it doesn’t seem trustworthy. In fact, 67% of consumers say they must trust a brand before investing in its products or services.

what is a biography an example of

"Plus," she adds, "I'm always happy to talk about my cats at any given moment. You never know when a fellow cat mom could be reading."

Values and Work Approach

Your values can sometimes show your work ethic more effectively than your career path. It can also help you endear yourself to employers and colleagues who want to work with people with similar values.

So don‘t be shy: Share how you incorporate your values into your work. Whether it’s a commitment to innovation, customer satisfaction, or ethical decision-making, explain what drives you and be enthusiastic about it.

Your Personality

Remember: Your bio should always include a taste of your personality! Your sense of humor, creativity, or collaborative nature could all give readers a sense of who you are. This helps readers connect with you on a more personal level.

Remember to tailor your bio for different platforms and audiences. Also, keep it concise and impactful while highlighting the most relevant information in each context.

First-Person Bio vs. Third-Person Bio

While first-person bios are common, third-person bios can be more effective in formal situations.

Your decision to write your professional bio in the first or third person depends on your desire to leave a more personable or assertive impression.

Both approaches work, provided you tailor them to your goals and audience. What’s important is to be clear and tell your story in a way that connects with your reader.

How to Write a First-Person Bio

Writing in the first person can be a great way to connect with your audience when building a personal brand. When you write a first-person bio, use "I" or "me" to make yourself relatable and approachable.

Here's one way I’d write a first-person bio:

"I'm a freelance writer specializing in small business content. I've worked with companies in a variety of industries like home care to fine leather goods."

Speaking in the first person here connects you with a client or brand based on your experience and opinions. Put another way, writing a first-person bio is like telling your story to your audience.

Here are a few tips to make your first-person bio great:

Don’t start every sentence with "I."

Showing instead of telling is a great approach.

Let’s say you’re a writer who wants to create a short professional bio. Instead of saying, "I love to write," you can say, "Writer. Bad but enthusiastic dancer."

This portrays your writing skill, shows your personality outside of writing as a dancer, and includes a little sense of humor, which is essential for a writer.

Remember, you know yourself better than anyone.

Adding a back story to your bio helps create context for the roles and successes you write about. Think of it like a case study about who you were, what you are now, and the process that got you to your current position.

Focus on valuable details.

Quick facts about you can showcase your identity and values. For example, if you're writing a bio for LinkedIn, think about how to tie your hobby into what you do.

Let's say Animal Crossing is your hobby. Does it align with your career aspirations? It can be a great addition to your bio if you want to pursue a video game career.

However, if your interests lie elsewhere, including a more relevant hobby is better.

How to Write a Third-Person Bio

Third-person bios sound more authoritative and objective. So, if you’re job searching in a formal industry, applying for grants, or trying to get published, you may want to stick to the third person.

For instance, when you write a third-person bio, you may start with:

"Jasmine Montgomery is a Senior Hiring Manager at L’Oreal based in New York. She recruits across several business units to connect with the brightest talent from around the globe."

By only using your name and pronouns to speak about yourself here, you are letting your title and skill set speak for themselves.

These bios create distance between the subject of the bio (you) and the reader through a third person. This person could be anyone, but they usually speak in a tone emphasizing their expertise.

This makes third-person bios feel aloof or overly formal sometimes.

Ideally, your third-person bio should sound friendly but polished, like a message from a close colleague at work. Here are a few tips on how to write a great third-person bio.

Write from the perspective of someone you know and trust.

It can be challenging to write about yourself, so try to see yourself from the perspective of your favorite person at work or a mentor you trust. This can help you write from a position of authority without feeling self-conscious.

Show the reader why they should trust your opinion.

A professional bio often reflects a specific industry or niche. With this in mind, your text should include relevant details that professionals in your industry know. Avoid jargon whenever you can.

Remember, you're telling a story.

If you want a third-person bio, but you're used to writing in first-person, it may help to write it the most comfortable way for you.

Your professional bio is an essential piece of writing, so edit it carefully. Edit your writing from both points of view and see which works best for your target audience.

Here's how to write a professional bio, step by step.

  • Create an 'About' page for your website or profile.
  • Begin writing your bio with your first and last name.
  • Mention any associated brand name you might use.
  • State your current position and what you do.
  • Include at least one professional accomplishment.
  • Describe your values and how they inform your career.
  • Briefly tell your readers who you are outside of work.
  • Use humor or a personal story to add flavor to your professional bio.

If you’re anything like me, you probably don't think about your professional bio until you’re asked to "send one over via email."

You have one afternoon to come up with it, so you scramble together a bio that ends up reading like this:

"Rodney Erickson is a content marketing professional at HubSpot, a CRM platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers.

Previously, Rodney worked as a marketing manager for a tech software startup. He graduated with honors from Columbia University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing."

To be fair, in certain contexts, your professional bio needs to be more formal, like Mr. Erickson's up there. But there are also cases where writing a personable and conversational bio is good.

Whether you choose the formal or casual route, use the following steps to create a perfect bio.

1. Create an 'About' page for your website or profile.

You need an online space to keep your professional bio. Here are a few to consider (some of these you might already have in place):

  • Facebook Business page .
  • Industry blog byline .
  • Instagram account .
  • Personal website .
  • LinkedIn profile .
  • Industry website .
  • Personal blog .

As you'll see in the professional bio examples below, the length and tone of your bio will differ depending on the platforms you use.

Instagram, for example, allows only 150 characters of bio space, whereas you can write as much as you want on your website or Facebook Business page.

2. Begin writing your bio with your first and last name.

If your readers remember nothing else about your bio, they should remember your name. Therefore, it's a good idea for your first and last name to be the first two words of your professional bio.

Even if your name is printed above this bio (hint: it should), this is a rare moment where it's okay to be redundant.

For example, if I were writing my bio, I might start it like this:

Lindsay Kolowich

Lindsay Kolowich is a Senior Marketing Manager at HubSpot.

3. Mention any associated brand name you might use.

Will your professional bio represent you or a business you work for? Ensure you mention the brand you associate with in your bio. If you're a freelancer, you may have a personal business name or pseudonym you advertise to your clients.

Here are a few examples:

  • Lindsay Kolowich Marketing.
  • SEO Lindsay.
  • Kolowich Consulting.
  • Content by Kolowich (what do you think ... too cheesy?).

Maybe you founded your own company and want its name to be separate from your real name. Keep it simple like this: "Lindsay Kolowich is the founder and CEO of Kolowich Consulting."

4. State your current position and what you do.

Whether you're the author of a novel or a mid-level specialist, use the following few lines of your bio to describe what you do in that position. Refrain from assuming your audience knows what your job title entails.

Make your primary responsibilities known so readers can know you and understand what you offer to your industry.

5. Include at least one professional accomplishment.

Just as a business touts its client successes through case studies, your professional bio should let your audience know what you've achieved.

What have you done for yourself — as well as for others — that makes you a valuable player in your industry?

6. Describe your values and how they inform your career.

Why do you do what you do? What might make your contribution to the market different from your colleagues? What are the values that make your business a worthwhile investment to others?

Create a professional bio that answers these questions.

7. Briefly tell your readers who you are outside of work.

Transition from describing your values in work to defining who you are outside of work. This may include:

  • Your family.
  • Your hometown.
  • Sports you play.
  • Hobbies and interests.
  • Favorite music and travel destinations.
  • Side hustles you're working on.

People like connecting with other people. The more transparent you are about who you are personally, the more likable you'll be to people reading about you.

8. Use humor or a personal story to add flavor to your professional bio.

End your professional bio on a good or, more specifically, a funny note. By leaving your audience with something quirky or unique, you can ensure they'll leave your website with a pleasant impression of you.

Following the steps above when writing your bio is important, but take your time with one section. People consume lots of information daily. So ensure your bio hooks 'em in the first line, and you won’t lose them.

(P.S. Want to boost your professional brand? Take one of HubSpot Academy's free certification courses . In just one weekend, you can add a line to your resume and bio that over 60,000 marketers covet.)

Why Good Bios Are Important for a Professional

You may think, "How many people read professional bios, anyway?"

The answer: A lot. Though there's no way to tell who is reading it, you want it catchy. Your professional bio will delight the right people coming across it on multiple platforms.

Professional bios can live on your LinkedIn profile , company website, guest posts, speaker profiles, Twitter bio , Instagram bio , and many other places.

And most importantly, it‘s the tool you can leverage most when you’re networking.

Bottom line? People will read your professional bio. Whether they remember it or it makes them care about you is a matter of how well you present yourself to your intended audience.

So, what does a top-notch professional bio look like? Let‘s review a few sample bios for professionals like you and me. Then, we’ll cover bio examples from some of the best people in the industry.

Short Sample Bios

Your bio doesn't have to be complicated. Here are five samples to glean inspiration from.

Example 1: Friendly Sample Bio

"Hey! My name is Ryan, and I'm a marketing specialist passionate about digital advertising. I have five years of experience managing various online campaigns and improving brand visibility for clients across multiple verticals. I love analyzing consumer behavior and leveraging data-driven strategies to maximize ROI. Outside work, I enjoy traveling, taking funny photos, and exploring new hiking trails."

Example 2: Mid-Career Sample Bio

"Jennifer Patel is a versatile graphic designer known for her creative approach and attention to detail. With a background in visual arts and eight years of experience, Jennifer has worked on diverse projects ranging from logo designs to website layouts. Her ability to understand and translate client needs into visually striking designs sets her apart. Jennifer finds inspiration in nature, music, and pop culture."

Example 3: Sales Sample Bio

"I'm a seasoned sales executive with a track record of exceeding targets and building strong client relationships. With a background in B2B sales, I've built a natural ability to understand customer needs and consistently exceed quota every month. I pride myself in my communication skills and strategic approaches, which have helped me thrive in highly competitive markets such as SaaS sales. Outside work, I enjoy playing basketball and volunteering at local charities."

Example 4: HR Sample Bio

"I am a dedicated human resources professional with a passion for fostering a positive workplace culture and facilitating employee development. With eight years of experience in talent acquisition and HR operations, I've played a key role in building high-performing teams. I'm known for my strong interpersonal skills and ability to create inclusive and supportive work environments. In my free time, I enjoy practicing yoga and exploring new culinary experiences."

Example 5: Software Engineer Sample Bio

"David Chang is a senior software engineer specializing in backend development. With a strong background in computer science and six years of experience, David has successfully built scalable and efficient solutions for complex technical challenges. He is well-versed in various programming languages and frameworks like C++, Java, and Ruby on Rails. In his spare time, David enjoys reading science fiction novels and playing the guitar."

Below, we've curated some of the best professional bio examples we've ever seen on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the various places you might describe yourself.

Check 'em out and use them as inspiration when crafting your own.

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Author
  • Chima Mmeje: SEO Content Writer
  • DJ Nexus: DJ
  • Lena Axelsson: Marriage & Family Therapist
  • Mark Levy: Branding Firm Founder
  • Audra Simpson: Political Anthropologist
  • Marie Mikhail: Professional Recruiter
  • Wonbo Woo: Executive Producer
  • Chris Burkard: Freelance Photographer
  • Lisa Quine: Creative Consultant
  • Nancy Twine: Hair Care Founder
  • Trinity Mouzon: Wellness Brand Founder
  • Alberto Perez: Co-Founder of Zumba Fitness
  • Ann Handley: Writer and Marketer

1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie : Author

Bio platform: personal website.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie begins her professional bio with an invitation to her roots.

In a few paragraphs, she describes when and where she was born, her family, her education, her honorary degrees, and the depth of her work, which has been translated into 30 languages and several publications.

what is a biography an example of

She can keep readers engaged by leading with a powerful hook that aligns with her target audience’s marketing needs.

what is a biography an example of
  • There’s clarity about who Chima serves.
  • The hook is bold, catchy, and compels anyone to read further.
  • Including client results makes clients visualize what they can expect.

3. DJ Nexus : DJ

Bio platform: facebook.

This New England-based DJ has single-handedly captured the Likes of over 2,000 people in and beyond Boston, MA. And even if you don‘t listen to the type of music he produces, it’s hard not to read his compelling Facebook bio.

For instance, consider his tagline, under "About" — " Quiet during the day. QUITE LOUD at night! " DJ Nexus tells you when he works awesomely. I got goosebumps just imagining a dance club where he might play music.

what is a biography an example of

what is a biography an example of

what is a biography an example of

The second is the "long version," which is even more interesting than the first. Why? It reads like a story — a compelling one, at that. In fact, it gets hilarious in some parts.

The second sentence of the bio reads: "He was frightened of public school, loved playing baseball and football, ran home to watch ape films on the 4:30 Movie, listened to The Jam and The Buzzcocks, and read magic trick books."

Here's another excerpt from the middle:

what is a biography an example of

what is a biography an example of

what is a biography an example of

It's a well-put value proposition that sets her apart from the rest of the HR industry.

Marie concludes her bio with a smooth mix of professional skills, like her Spanish fluency, and personal interests, such as podcasting and Star Wars (she mentions the latter with just the right amount of humor).

  • Straight off the bat, Marie uses a story to share her experiences of how she began as a recruiter.
  • It provides a subtle pitch for readers to check out her podcast.
  • The bio exudes Maries approachable, fun, and playful personality.

8. Wonbo Woo : Executive Producer

Wonbo Woo is the executive producer of WIRED's video content and has several impressive credits to his name. What does this mean for his professional bio? He has to prioritize.

With this in mind, Wonbo opens his bio with the most eye-catching details first (if the image below is hard to read, click it to see the full copy ).

what is a biography an example of

what is a biography an example of

I wouldn‘t necessarily be inclined to follow Chris if his bio had simply read, "I post beautiful images." But images that inspire me to travel? Now that’s something I can get behind.

Last, he ends on a humble, sweet note: "He is happiest with his wife Breanne raising their two sons." So inject personal information into your bio — it makes you seem approachable.

  • It highlights Chris’s achievement without bragging.
  • The last sentence portrays Chris as a responsible man who loves his family.
  • The well-written bio speaks to nature lovers who like the outdoors, surfing, and more. This gives them reasons to follow Chris.

10. Lisa Quine : Creative Consultant

Bio platform: portfolio website.

Creative professionals who specialize in visual art may find it challenging to balance the writing of their bio and displaying of their portfolio. Not Lisa Quine. Lisa has an exceptional balance of her professional bio and creative work.

Throughout her bio, you'll notice the number of murals she's completed and a brief timeline of her career. This helps her paint the picture of who she is as a professional.

what is a biography an example of

The rest of her bio similarly focuses on Twine's strengths as someone who’s able to take hair care "back to basics."

what is a biography an example of

Mouzon effectively grips the reader's attention with this introduction and then dives into some of her impressive accomplishments — including a brand now sold at Urban Outfitters and Target.

The language used throughout Mouzon's bio is authentic, real, and honest.

For instance, in the second paragraph, she admits:

"While building a brand may have looked effortless from the outside, starting a business at age 23 with no resources or funding quickly forced me to realize that early-stage entrepreneurship was anything but transparent."

what is a biography an example of

As an avid Zumba fan, I was excited to include this one. Perez styles his LinkedIn bio as a short story, starting with his background as a hard-working teen who held three jobs by age 14.

His bio tells the fun and fascinating origin story of Zumba, in which Perez, an aerobics teacher in Florida at the time, forgot his music for class and used a Latin music cassette tape instead ... "And it was an instant hit!"

His bio continues:

"Shortly after he was connected to Alberto Periman and Alberto Aghion, and Zumba was officially created ... What started as a dream now has 15 million people in more than 200,000 locations in 186 countries who take Zumba classes every week."

what is a biography an example of

what is a biography an example of

There's something in there for everyone.

  • The last section of the bio shows Ann’s warm personality — "Ann lives in Boston, where she is Mom to creatures two- and four-legged."
  • Written in the third person, this bio has lots of proof (like followers), which shows Ann is a terrific marketing leader.

If you're posting a bio on a social media account or sending a quick blurb to a client, you want to keep it short and sweet while showcasing your accomplishments.

To get started, use these best practices for writing your short professional bio:

  • Introduce yourself.
  • State what you do.
  • Add key skills or areas of expertise.
  • Include a personal mission statement
  • Celebrate your wins.
  • Provide your contact information.
  • Show them your personality.

1. Introduce yourself.

Your introduction is your first impression, so always begin by telling people who you are. You may start with a greeting like, "Hello, my name is" or "Hi! Let me first introduce myself …" when sending your bio as a message.

If you’re writing a bio for an online platform, stating your name at the beginning works as well.

Leading with your name — even as a question — is important for recognition and building relationships.

2. State what you do.

Give people an idea of what you do daily and where you work. Your job title is how the people put you into context and consider whether your profession relates to their industry.

So detail your most relevant work in your short bios, like CEO, professor, and author.

Take a cue from Angela Duckworth , who specifies what she does in her LinkedIn bio:

what is a biography an example of

3. Add key skills or areas of expertise.

If you send a bio to a client or potential employer, highlight your most valuable skills. For instance, if your expertise is in social media marketing and content creation, like Ivanka Dekoning , list these skills.

what is a biography an example of
  • A joke. "Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once. At least that’s what I learned when I created…"
  • Mention a hobby. "I’ll be honest: for me, tennis is life — Go Nadal!"
  • A fun fact. "Every year, I watch 100 new films! I’m a cinephile and love every movie genre."
  • A few emojis related to your interests. "🎶🤖🎾🎬🎭"

Whichever way you choose to get personal, give people a glimpse into who you are as an individual.

When writing a short bio, it can be tempting to pack in as much relevant information about yourself as possible — but this isn’t the most effective approach.

Instead, focus on including the details that you and your audience care about most and leave out the fluff.

Let's dive into a few examples of short professional bios.

Short Professional Bio Examples

  • Tristen Taylor: Marketing Manager
  • Lianna Patch: Copywriter
  • Precious Oboidhe: Content Strategist and Writer
  • Rebecca Bollwitt: Writer
  • Megan Gilmore: Cookbook Author
  • Bea Dixon: Feminine Care Founder
  • Tammy Hembrow: Instagram Influencer
  • Dr. Cody: Chiropractor
  • Larry Kim: Founder
  • Dharmesh Shah: Founder and CTO
  • Lily Ugbaja: Content Strategist
  • Ian Anderson Gray: Marketer
  • Van Jones: Political Commentator, Author, and Lawyer

1. Tristen Taylor: Marketing Manager

Bio platform: blog byline.

Tristen Taylor is a Marketing Manager here at HubSpot. She's written content for HubSpot's Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service blogs; her blog author bio is one of my favorites.

What I love most about Tristen's bio is that it’s a great example of how to deliver information about yourself that is relevant to your work while also sharing fun details that audiences will find relatable.

Her bio reads:

"Building from her experience with GoCo.io and Southwest Airlines, Tristen's work has been recognized by Marketing Brew and BLACK@INBOUND. She lives in Washington, DC, attending anime conventions and painting in her free time."

what is a biography an example of

what is a biography an example of

Gilmore further includes a CTA link within her Instagram bio that leads followers to free, ready-to-use recipes. You might think, " Why would she do that since it discourages people from buying her book?"

But that couldn't be further from the truth.

By giving her followers the chance to try out her recipes, she's slowly turning leads into customers. After I tried a few of her Instagram recipes and loved them, I bought her book, knowing I'd like more of what she offered.

  • The bio is short and direct.
  • The CTA link includes an invitation for people to join her newsletter. Meaning, she can build her email list.

6. Bea Dixon : Feminine Care Founder

Bea Dixon, Founder and CEO of The Honey Pot Company, efficiently uses the space on her Instagram profile to highlight who she is as a well-rounded human — not just a businesswoman.

For instance, while she highlights her girl boss attitude with a tiara emoji, she equally calls attention to her fashion interests (Free People), her pets, Boss and Sadie, and her love for ramen noodles.

what is a biography an example of

What more do you need to know?

Ian doesn't take his bio too seriously but uses every character to highlight everything about him.

He includes his skills as a marketer and podcast host, who he is outside work as a dad, and what he can help you do. His smiles also give the bio a sense of humor and realness.

what is a biography an example of

Don't forget to share this post!

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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Writing > What’s the difference between a biography and an autobiography?

What’s the difference between a biography and an autobiography?

If you’ve ever set foot in a bookstore, you’ve likely come across both autobiographies and biographies that tell about the lives of notable individuals. Let’s take a look at the most important differences between these non-fiction books.

A picture of Steve Jobs and his autobiography

What is a biography?

Typically written in the third person, a biography is a detailed story about a living or deceased person’s life. A third party writes this non-fiction account of someone’s life. Let’s say Person A is a famous singer who recently passed away. Person B researches and writes a fact-based story on the famous singer’s life from start to finish. Person B’s factual story of Person A’s life is a biography.

Types of biographies

Biographies don’t always take the same approach or follow the same structure. Some are more official, while others get more creative. Writers can choose from a few common biography types, including:

  • Authorized biographies, which received the subject’s input and/or permission.
  • Unauthorized biographies, which were written without the subject’s approval or input.
  • Biographical novels, which were inspired by a real person’s life, but feature embellishments that may make the story more interesting.
  • Group biographies, which focus on groups of people rather than a single person.

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Examples of biographies

Each biography is a window into someone’s life, offering unique insights and perspectives. From the struggles of historical figures to the triumphs of artistic icons, biographies are not just informative but can also be deeply inspiring. Here are a few examples:

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is a biography that describes the life of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman whose cells were extremely important for medical research.
  • Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie is a biography that describes Catherine the Great’s origins and rise to power as a Russian empress.
  • Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera details the painter’s life and famous works.

What is an autobiography?

Usually written in the first person, an autobiography is when the author writes about their own life. This subjective account is unique because it allows the author to share details of their life that another writer might not have been able to uncover.

Types of autobiographies

There are two main types of autobiographies: complete autobiographies and memoirs. In a complete autobiography, the author begins their story with their roots or birth and ends the autobiography at their current age. In a memoir, the author writes about a specific period of their life. For example, a famous actor may begin a memoir by sharing their first role in a movie, rather than sharing details about the beginning of their life or their childhood.

Examples of autobiographies

Autobiographies offer a unique lens into the lives of their authors, providing firsthand accounts of their experiences, challenges, and triumphs. Here are a few examples of notable autobiographies:

  • In Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, Yogananda provides a first-hand account of his life and spiritual growth.
  • In The Story of My Life by Helen Keller, Keller shares her life from birth until she was 22. She shares how she learned to communicate despite being blind and deaf.
  • In The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X, he shares his life from childhood through adulthood and how he impacted the civil rights movement.

In summary, a biography is a story of someone’s life, written by a different person, versus an autobiography where an author writes about their own life.

Why should you read biographies (or autobiographies)?

Biographies and autobiographies are a great way to get an in-depth look at the lives of politicians, musicians, historical figures, innovators, and more. If there’s a famous person that you admire, there’s likely a biography written about them or an autobiography that they wrote themselves that can teach you more about their accomplishments.

If you’re interested in writing a biography or autobiography, see how you can write, research, and organize a book using OneNote . Whether you’re just putting together your first draft or you’re still outlining your story , you can elevate your writing in real time with Microsoft Editor .

Get started with Microsoft 365

It’s the Office you know, plus the tools to help you work better together, so you can get more done—anytime, anywhere.

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20 online dating profile examples for females to copy

Posted: April 2, 2024 | Last updated: April 2, 2024

Advice for what not to write on dating profile headlines for Hinge.

Advice for what not to write on dating profile headlines for Hinge.

Advice for what not to say from Reddit on dating profile headlines for Hinge.

Advice for what not to say from Reddit on dating profile headlines for Hinge.

Advice from Reddit for writing dating profile headlines on Hinge.

Advice from Reddit for writing dating profile headlines on Hinge.

Advice from Reddit for dating profile headlines on Hinge.

Advice from Reddit for dating profile headlines on Hinge.

Advice for dating profile headlines on Hinge.

Advice for dating profile headlines on Hinge.

Successful examples of dating profile headlines for Hinge.

Successful examples of dating profile headlines for Hinge.

Funny examples of dating profile headlines for Hinge.

Funny examples of dating profile headlines for Hinge.

Examples of dating profile headlines for Hinge.

Examples of dating profile headlines for Hinge.

Advice on Hinge profile example.

Advice on Hinge profile example.

Hinge profile example about clean sheets.

Hinge profile example about clean sheets.

Hinge profile example "slept in the forest."

Hinge profile example “slept in the forest.”

Hinge profile example "my good side."

Hinge profile example “my good side.”

This is a screenshot of a woman's Bumble dating profile bio.

This is a screenshot of a woman’s Bumble dating profile bio.

This is a screenshot of a woman's Bumble dating profile about her best qualities.

This is a screenshot of a woman’s Bumble dating profile about her best qualities.

This is a screenshot of a woman's Bumble dating profile about her interests.

This is a screenshot of a woman’s Bumble dating profile about her interests.

This is a photo of a woman in a purple dress from an online dating profile.

This is a photo of a woman in a purple dress from an online dating profile.

This is a photo of a smiling woman with purple lipstick in an online dating profile.

This is a photo of a smiling woman with purple lipstick in an online dating profile.

This is a headshot photo from a woman's online dating profile.

This is a headshot photo from a woman’s online dating profile.

This is an excerpt from a woman's Bumble dating profile about her hobbies.

This is an excerpt from a woman’s Bumble dating profile about her hobbies.

This is an example of a Bumble dating profile and picture.

This is an example of a Bumble dating profile and picture.

This is an excerpt from a woman's Bumble dating profile about what she's known for.

This is an excerpt from a woman’s Bumble dating profile about what she’s known for.

This is a full body photo from a woman's online dating profile wearing a yellow and black dress.

This is a full body photo from a woman’s online dating profile wearing a yellow and black dress.

This is a screenshot of a woman's Bumble dating profile.

This is a screenshot of a woman’s Bumble dating profile.

Some examples of good dating profiles.

Some examples of good dating profiles.

Some examples of good dating profiles for Bumble.

Some examples of good dating profiles for Bumble.

Some examples of good dating profiles for Tinder.

Some examples of good dating profiles for Tinder.

Some examples of good dating profiles.

Upgrade your online dating profile.

This is a reddit example of an online dating that uses sarcasm.

This is a reddit example of an online dating that uses sarcasm.

This is a reddit example of a good online dating profile with a woman doing a handstand on a unicorn.

This is a reddit example of a good online dating profile with a woman doing a handstand on a unicorn.

This is a good example of a reddit online dating profile that uses humor.

This is a good example of a reddit online dating profile that uses humor.

This is a dating profile example on reddit looking for a wedding date.

This is a dating profile example on reddit looking for a wedding date.

This is a good dating profile example on reddit listing someone's best features.

This is a good dating profile example on reddit listing someone’s best features.

This is an example of a dating profile from reddit set up like a movie review.

This is an example of a dating profile from reddit set up like a movie review.

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Guild Education founder Rachel Romer with new CEO Bijal Shah.

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Disney Entertainment co-chair Dana Walden is reportedly among the top candidates to succeed Disney CEO Bob Iger, ESPN ad revenue for this year’s women’s March Madness tournament doubled, and the founder of the $4.4 billion startup Guild navigated a year of personal and professional challenges. Have a thoughtful Tuesday. – Life lessons. Last August, Rachel Romer was at home on her outdoor patio in Denver, Colo. The founder of Guild, the $4.4 billion education and upskilling startup , had just driven her twin girls home from their last day of preschool; they were next door at their father’s house for the night. The next morning, Romer’s aunt walked past and found Romer collapsed outside. She’d had a stroke days before her 35th birthday. 

Months of rehabilitation followed: three brain surgeries and three months in hospitals and inpatient rehab. Romer had a “flipped brain,” which meant that, unlike most stroke survivors, she retained the ability to speak—in a more monotone voice than before—and understand others. She held onto her IQ and knowledge. But her right arm and right leg were paralyzed. 

“It’s been a time for a lot of reflection,” Romer told me in an interview yesterday. While she was hospitalized, her grandmother died and her daughters started kindergarten. Before her stroke, she’d been through a divorce. She connected with other young women who’d had strokes and learned more about the warning signs and risk factors. (She urges everyone to learn the stroke symptoms acronym “BE FAST.”) Her mother, father, and two younger sisters took time off of work through the Family and Medical Leave Act to help care for her. 

A stroke is a life-altering event for anyone. For a founder who worked nonstop to build a business valued at $4.4 billion by the age of 34—one of the world’s most valuable female-founded businesses—it was perhaps an even more drastic change. Romer has been navigating life in a wheelchair and adhering to a complete “digital detox,” with minimal screen time. (For months, that meant no email at all but some work via phone calls and FaceTime.) “I’ve been playing catchup on things I missed and really focusing in on family,” Romer says. 

And yet the future of Guild—the company Romer spent her 20s and 30s building—was just as important to her. When she woke up in the hospital, Romer saw her dad across the room and said to him, “Somebody call Bijal.” That was Bijal Shah, then Guild’s chief experience officer. Shah was out on maternity leave and dealing with some postpartum medical challenges of her own. She agreed to come back from parental leave five weeks early to serve as Guild’s interim CEO while Romer recovered. “I wanted to ensure she could come back in and take over when it made sense for her,” Shah says. “I didn’t think there was a different answer.” 

Guild announced today that Shah is taking on the CEO title permanently while Romer continues to focus on her recovery. Romer says she’s been “processing how to totally hand over the baton.” These days, Romer does therapy at a hospital a few times a week as she works to regain mobility on her right side. She plans to support Shah, work with major Guild customers like Walmart and Disney, and serve on Guild’s board of directors. 

Romer’s experience will influence Guild’s focus moving forward. Best known for providing education benefits for corporate partners and their hourly workforces, Guild now sees itself at the center of reskilling the workforce in response to AI. It’s expanded to industries including health care, which Romer saw the need for this year. “I saw the nursing shortage right up close,” she says. 

Romer says that putting plans in place for her parental leave more than five years ago—that was when she hired Shah—unintentionally prepared Guild for this curveball. “Having a deep bench of leaders beneath you is what protects your business for a moment like this,” Romer says.

Shah describes Romer as “an optimist—and an opportunist” who can find meaning and new business ideas through her medical challenges. “I’m a glass-half-full person,” Romer says. “I’ve really tried to cherish the learnings of this experience. I really think they will impact the rest of my life.” 

Emma Hinchliffe [email protected]

The Broadsheet is Fortune’ s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Today’s edition was curated by Joseph Abrams. Subscribe here .

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- New ban. Florida's Supreme Court allowed a six-week abortion ban to take effect yesterday. But the court also permitted an abortion referendum to be on the ballot in November so voters could soon overturn the new ban, one of the strictest in the U.S. Washington Post

- Century in the making. Dana Walden, the co-chair of Disney Entertainment, is reportedly near the top of the list to succeed Disney CEO Bob Iger when he is expected to step down at the end of 2026. Walden, who has overseen the development of massive shows like Abbott Elementary , The Bear , and Bluey , would become the first woman CEO of the century-old company. CNBC

- Ad-ing up. The rush of interest in women's college basketball has doubled Disney’s ad revenue from the women’s March Madness this year. Disney, which broadcasts tournament games on ESPN, says it’s encouraging advertisers to increase their spend on other women’s sports. Fortune

- Startups solutions. Startups that treat infertility in Japan are attracting more venture capital funding as they race to keep up with demand for care like in vitro fertilization. Japan's public health insurance started covering some fertility treatments two years ago as the nation grapples with a low birth rate. Bloomberg

- April fools'. Even amid low morale and a tough turnaround at Citigroup, CEO Jane Fraser has maintained her reputation as a jokester—and not just on April 1. At one point, the first woman to run a major Wall Street bank asked her top executives to sign waivers to go skydiving as part of a prank. Wall Street Journal

- Stereotypes on trial. Later this week, the Supreme Court will decide whether to hear the appeal of Brenda Andrew, a woman convicted of murder in 2004 and sentenced to death. Her lawyers argue the original prosecutor tainted the jury by sex-shaming Andrew. The appeal will ask the court to overturn the death sentence due to unfair gendered stereotypes as it has with racial bias in the past. The New York Times

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Climate tech startup Pivotal appointed Hilal Koc Savci as chief operating officer.

ON MY RADAR

What do we owe women for child care and housework? $3.6 trillion Bloomberg

How female bodybuilders became fashion’s latest muses New York Times

Emma Chamberlain won’t be putting her kids online Wall Street Journal

PARTING WORDS

“No one tells me how to cry or when to cry, no one tells me how to raise my children, no one tells me how I become a better version of myself. I decide that.”

— Singer Shakira on what she learned from recording her new album, Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran (Women No Longer Cry)

This is the web version of  The Broadsheet , a daily newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.

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Creating a Corporate Social Responsibility Program with Real Impact

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Lessons from multinational companies that adapted their CSR practices based on local feedback and knowledge.

Exploring the critical role of experimentation in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), research on four multinational companies reveals a stark difference in CSR effectiveness. Successful companies integrate an experimental approach, constantly adapting their CSR practices based on local feedback and knowledge. This strategy fosters genuine community engagement and responsive initiatives, as seen in a mining company’s impactful HIV/AIDS program. Conversely, companies that rely on standardized, inflexible CSR methods often fail to achieve their goals, demonstrated by a failed partnership due to local corruption in another mining company. The study recommends encouraging broad employee participation in CSR and fostering a culture that values CSR’s long-term business benefits. It also suggests that sustainable investors and ESG rating agencies should focus on assessing companies’ experimental approaches to CSR, going beyond current practices to examine the involvement of diverse employees in both developing and adapting CSR initiatives. Overall, embracing a dynamic, data-driven approach to CSR is essential for meaningful social and environmental impact.

By now, almost all large companies are engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR): they have CSR policies, employ CSR staff, engage in activities that aim to have a positive impact on the environment and society, and write CSR reports. However, the evolution of CSR has brought forth new challenges. A stark contrast to two decades ago, when the primary concern was the sheer neglect of CSR, the current issue lies in the ineffective execution of these practices. Why do some companies implement CSR in ways that create a positive impact on the environment and society, while others fail to do so? Our research reveals that experimentation is critical for impactful CSR, which has implications for both companies that implement CSR and companies that externally monitor these CSR activities, such as sustainable investors and ESG rating agencies.

  • EM Emilio Marti is an associate professor at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. His research focuses on corporate sustainability with a specific focus on sustainable investing.
  • DR David Risi is a professor at the Bern University of Applied Sciences and a habilitated lecturer at the University of St. Gallen. His research focuses on how companies organize CSR and sustainability.
  • ES Eva Schlindwein is a professor at the Bern University of Applied Sciences and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on how organizations navigate tensions between business and society.
  • AA Andromachi Athanasopoulou is an associate professor at Queen Mary University of London and an associate fellow at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on how individuals manage their leadership careers and make ethically charged decisions.

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Georgia Republican official fined $5,000 for voting illegally nine times

Brian Pritchard, first vice-president of state party, voted in nine elections while on probation for 1996 forgery felony conviction

An official in the Georgia Republican party who has said the 2020 election was stolen was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and will receive a public reprimand for voting illegally nine times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Thursday .

Brian Pritchard, the first vice-president of the state Republican party, illegally voted in nine elections from 2008 to 2010 while he was still on probation for a 1996 forgery felony conviction in Pennsylvania. Georgia and 14 other states require people to have completed their sentence, including probation, before they can vote. About 163,475 people could not vote in Georgia in 2022 because they were on felony probation, according to an estimate by the Sentencing Project , a criminal justice non-profit.

Pritchard, told Lisa Boggs, the administrative law judge overseeing the case, he believed his criminal sentence had expired and was not aware the criminal court in Pennsylvania had extended his probation until 2011 for allegedly failing to repay $38,000 in restitution.

Boggs wrote in her ruling she did not find that credible, noting that he had appeared in court several times while his probation was extended.

The state board of elections began investigating the matter in 2015 and referred it to a local district attorney’s office and the state attorney general in 2021. The state attorney general referred it to the administrative law judge the following year.

The Georgia Republican party did not respond to a request for comment.

The case underscores how confusing it can be for people with felony convictions to figure out if they can vote and comes as voters elsewhere in the country have faced harsher punishments for similar errors about their voting eligibility. While prosecutions and criminal sentences are difficult to compare across different jurisdictions, many say the disparate treatment is shaped by race .

In Memphis, a Black woman was sentenced to six years in prison after probation officials told her she was eligible to vote and she tried to register (a judge eventually threw out the sentence). In Florida, a voter fraud unit created by Governor Ron DeSantis has aggressively pursued charges against people with felony convictions who received voter registration cards in the mail. And in Texas, a Black woman was sentenced to five years in prison for trying to cast a provisional ballot while ineligible, even though the ballot was rejected (an appeal is pending).

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How taking a break can help save an influencer's dying career, even when it seems like there's no hope

  • Gabbie Hanna returned to the internet after a yearlong hiatus, to a positive reception.
  • Hanna's break allowed her and her audience time to heal and forgive.
  • Experts say audiences tend to be forgiving of influencers who show genuine change.

Insider Today

Last year, Gabbie Hanna took an extended break from the internet, with some thinking she would never come back.

But she did, and despite having contended with a string of controversies before her departure, she was welcomed back with open arms.

The shift in perception is not guaranteed by stepping away, but it does help, experts say.

Content creators feel pressured to consistently post to stay relevant, and Hanna's example could challenge the fear in the creator economy that stopping even briefly could ruin livelihoods as fans move on.

Like many before her, Hanna saw the benefits taking a break could have on her career, particularly when she returned as someone who seemed more down-to-earth and less focused on the relentless drama mill .

Hanna has been a content creator since 2013, getting her start on Vine and then building a fan base on YouTube, where she told stories , released music, and had a brief stint in David Dobrik's Vlog Squad.

But her career was marred with backlash for promoting poor-quality makeup brushes, her friendship-ending feuds with fellow creators , and some controversial comments about mental illness and neurodivergence.

In January 2023, Hanna stopped posting on all her social media accounts following a self-described manic episode where she posted over 100 TikToks in a single day. She stayed away from posting for over a year.

She was spotted a couple of times in the real world, but for the most part, she was gone, leaving fans and critics to wonder whether she would return.

They would get their answer on February 29, when Hanna released a music video on her channel titled "Where Did I Go?"

Accompanying the video were some social-media posts, then a handful of vlogs where Hanna detailed her break, saying she quit smoking weed and was recovering from a social-media addiction.

After a period of several years where it seemed like she could do no right in the internet's eyes, Hanna's videos were finally met with positivity.

The comment section filled up with people welcoming her back, saying they missed her, and praising her new song. They were glad to see her creating again, they said, and doing what she loved.

Many said they were happy to see Hanna "happy and healthy" and were "proud" of her.

It was a striking turnaround.

Taking a break the right way

Toni Ferrara, a public relations expert and the founder of Ferrara Media, told BI that stepping away from the spotlight can be "a powerful act of accountability."

"This not only allows influencers time for introspection and personal growth but also grants their audience the space to heal and forgive," she said.

"However, true redemption lies in action, not just words," she said.

Related stories

"It's imperative for influencers to return to their platforms with tangible evidence of positive change, demonstrating their commitment to growth and accountability."

Katya Varbanova, the CEO of Viral Marketing Stars, told BI that Hanna's"incredibly dramatic" exit led to speculation.

Over time, though, the chatter died down and everyone moved on. This allowed Hanna to really step away from the drama and focus on herself.

Her return to the internet was positive and honest, and people picked up on that.

"That kind of break allows you to really step away from the stress, focus on your well-being, and make visible improvements and mental improvements," Varbanova said. "So that when you come back, people can see that you have really grown, improved your life. It's a very good story arc."

Varbanova contrasted Hanna's comeback to that of Colleen Ballinger — a YouTube veteran who faced allegations of "grooming" and inappropriate behavior and returned with a notoriously poorly received ukulele apology . Her conduct was criticized as inauthentic and "manipulative."

"The public tends to be more forgiving of celebrities and influencers who come back and show genuine change," Varbanova said.

"You can tell when someone's coming from a good place energetically versus when they're coming from a place of being forced or from a place of having to do so, which is why I think transparency and humility and down-to-earthness also contributes to a good return."

How getting 'canceled' has changed

Hanna, like many influencers, has been "canceled" multiple times over her career. Before her time away, she seemed unable to avoid such run-ins.

But Sophie Wood, the director of strategy at the influencer marketing agency Fohr, told BI getting canceled looks very different from how it used to.

Once, beauty influencers publicly fought over trivial misunderstandings , leading to fierce fandom wars and mass unfollowings that became a kind of online blood sport.

More recently, creators have come under fire for putting their friends in danger , cultivating unsafe and unethical working environments , and sexual impropriety . The increased stakes make other disputes seem petty in comparison.

"I do think that cancellation is just more normalized now, or it just happens so frequently, that it's not a case of if but when for anyone who has a platform on the internet," Wood said. "It does bear the question of, does cancellation hold the same weight as it did before?"

There's still an appetite for backlash. On TikTok, viewers jump to conclusions and take sides in heated disputes , whether it's a cake gone wrong , a rude Etsy store owner , or an ill-fated brand deal .

The pendulum swings both ways, Wood said, with some getting canceled "for really silly things" and others keeping their platform when they've potentially committed a crime.

But largely, there's a culture of telling people to "touch grass" and reflect on whether a given influencer drama is actually significant.

"It's like, OK, you're actually too online and this doesn't actually matter," Wood said. "You need to go outside and touch grass because this is not a cancelable offense, and we've taken it too far."

The shift may be thanks to a greater understanding of how mental-health problems can impact a person. Gen Zers, in particular, are ready to forgive people for acting out in times of hardship, Wood said.

Hanna was clearly in a bad place a year ago, and is in a noticeably better one now. Audiences are smart, Wood said, and they know when change is authentic.

"I do think that she did it right," she said of Hanna. "It's really refreshing and I'm glad that people are welcoming her with open arms. Because everyone deserves a redemption era."

Hanna did not respond to Business a request for comment from Business Insider.

Watch: Lorraine Twohill, chief marketing officer at Google, says inclusive advertising is just good business

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COMMENTS

  1. Biography

    A biography is the non- fiction, written history or account of a person's life. Biographies are intended to give an objective portrayal of a person, written in the third person. Biographers collect information from the subject (if he/she is available), acquaintances of the subject, or in researching other sources such as reference material ...

  2. Biography in Literature: Definition & Examples

    A biography (BYE-og-ruh-fee) is a written account of one person's life authored by another person. A biography includes all pertinent details from the subject's life, typically arranged in a chronological order. The word biography stems from the Latin biographia, which succinctly explains the word's definition: bios = "life" + graphia ...

  3. Biography Examples and Definition

    Definition of Biography. A biography is a description of a real person's life, including factual details as well as stories from the person's life. Biographies usually include information about the subject's personality and motivations, and other kinds of intimate details excluded in a general overview or profile of a person's life.

  4. Biography

    biography, form of literature, commonly considered nonfictional, the subject of which is the life of an individual.One of the oldest forms of literary expression, it seeks to re-create in words the life of a human being—as understood from the historical or personal perspective of the author—by drawing upon all available evidence, including that retained in memory as well as written, oral ...

  5. 11 Tips On How To Write A Personal Biography + Examples

    The balance in this bio example can be tough to replicate, but it's worth exploring if it fits your writing style. Going too casual or stuffy can leave a bad impression professionally and won't give you the best possible opportunity to stand out. This is a good example of how to write a bio that does both. 3. Barack & Michelle Obama

  6. How to Write a Biography: 6 Tips for Writing Biographical Texts

    If you're interested in writing a biography, the following steps can get you started: 1. Get permission. Once you've chosen the subject of the biography, seek permission to write about their life. While in some cases it may not be necessary (like if the subject is a public figure or deceased), getting permission will make the research ...

  7. How to Write a Biography: A 7-Step Guide [+Template]

    If you're looking to write a biography yourself, in this post we'll share a step-by-step blueprint that you can follow. How to write a biography: 1. Seek permission when possible. 2. Research your subject thoroughly. 3. Do interviews and visit locations. 4.

  8. What Is a Biography? Definition & 25+ Examples

    Defining Biography. A biography is a detailed account of a person's life, written by someone other than the subject. The term "biography" is derived from two Greek words: "bio," which means life, and "graphy," which signifies writing. Thus, a biography is the written history of someone's life, offering an in-depth look at their ...

  9. How to Write a Biography in 8 Steps (The Non-Boring Way!)

    Examples include Steve Jobs, Serena Williams, and Michael Jordan. Quest for Knowledge: These biographies focus on the curiosity that led to significant contributions to our world. Examples include Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Charles Darwin. Personal Transformation: These biographies explore a change in beliefs, values, or priorities ...

  10. How to Write a Biography

    Simply put, a biography is an account of someone's life written by someone else.While there is a genre known as a fictional biography, for the most part, biographies are, by definition, nonfiction. Generally speaking, biographies provide an account of the subject's life from the earliest days of their childhood right up to the present day or their death if the subject is deceased.

  11. Biography

    A biography, or simply bio, is a detailed description of a person's life. It involves more than just basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person's experience of these life events. ... One significant secular example of a biography from this period is the life of Charlemagne by his courtier Einhard.

  12. What Is a Biography?

    A biography is simply the story of a real person's life. It could be about a person who is still alive, someone who lived centuries ago, someone who is globally famous, an unsung hero forgotten by history, or even a unique group of people. The facts of their life, from birth to death (or the present day of the author), are included with life ...

  13. Biography Definition & Meaning

    biography: [noun] a usually written history of a person's life.

  14. 45 Biography Templates & Examples (Personal, Professional)

    A biography is simply an account of someone's life written by another person. A biography can be short in the case of few sentences biography, and it can also be long enough to fill an entire book. The short biographies explain a person's basic life facts and their importance, but the long biographies would go […]

  15. All About the Structure and Sample of A Biography And How To Write It

    Examples of Biography that you would find typically start at the subject's birth and end either at their death or the peak of their careers. And this is something that you can do. You can start on the day they were born and narrate how they spent their time when they were children, their experiences and experiments as teenagers and young ...

  16. What is a Biography? Definition, Elements, and More

    A biography is simply a written account of someone's life. It is written by someone other than whom the book is about. For example, an author named Walter Isaacson has written biographies on Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci, and Einstein . Biographies usually focus on the significant events that occurred in a person's life, along with their ...

  17. How to Write a Short Professional Bio (With Examples and Templates)

    Choose your voice. You have the option to write your bio using either first or third person. When using first person, you will be utilizing the pronouns "I, me, and my". When using third person, you would refer to yourself using your name and preferred pronouns. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

  18. How To Write a Personal Bio (Plus Tips and Examples)

    Related: 11 Tips To Improve Your Business Writing (With Examples) 3. Choose a point of view. In a personal bio, you can either write in a first-person or third-person point of view. First-person language uses words like "I," "we" and "me" to describe yourself.

  19. 5 Example of Biography, Biography Samples and Formats

    Examples Of Biography. Below you will see different examples of the biography. Biographies are long works. We offer you some snippets. The names mentioned below are purely fictional. Advertisements. Emily Anderson is a very successful writer born in 1991. She herself completed her education at Cambridge University.

  20. 27 of the Best Professional Bio Examples I've Ever Seen [+ Templates]

    Example 4: HR Sample Bio. "I am a dedicated human resources professional with a passion for fostering a positive workplace culture and facilitating employee development. With eight years of experience in talent acquisition and HR operations, I've played a key role in building high-performing teams.

  21. How To Write a Professional Short Bio (With Examples)

    Here are some steps you can follow to help you write a successful short bio: 1. Choose a voice. The first step in writing a short bio is deciding on a voice. For our purposes, choosing a voice involves deciding whether you are writing in the first or third person. Writing in the first person means using the words "I" and "me", and writing in ...

  22. Biography vs. autobiography: what's the difference?

    Writers can choose from a few common biography types, including: Authorized biographies, which received the subject's input and/or permission. Unauthorized biographies, which were written without the subject's approval or input. Biographical novels, which were inspired by a real person's life, but feature embellishments that may make the ...

  23. How To Write a Professional Bio in 6 Steps (With Examples)

    Write a clear, impactful and professional bio by following these steps: 1. Choose the appropriate name and professional title. Writing a professional bio starts by choosing the right name and professional titles to use. Different names and titles can change depending on the purpose and audience of the bio. For example, some people choose to use ...

  24. How to write an effective musician bio (with examples!)

    These elements will help you write an effective bio that details your music and your background in a concise and inviting way. 1. An engaging introduction. The toughest part about writing your musician bio is getting started. Make a few notes on a piece of paper to begin. Jot down your name, and where you're from.

  25. 20 online dating profile examples for females to copy

    Hinge profile example "slept in the forest." Hinge profile example "slept in the forest." Provided by Wealthy Single Mommy Hinge profile example "my good side." Hinge profile example "my ...

  26. Guild founder Rachel Romer on lessons from stroke at 34

    The founder of a $4.4 billion unicorn had a stroke at age 34. It altered her life—and reshaped the mission of her startup. BY Emma Hinchliffe and Joseph Abrams. April 2, 2024, 5:44 AM PDT. Guild ...

  27. Creating a Corporate Social Responsibility Program with Real Impact

    Summary. Exploring the critical role of experimentation in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), research on four multinational companies reveals a stark difference in CSR effectiveness ...

  28. Georgia Republican official fined $5,000 for voting illegally nine

    An official in the Georgia Republican party who has said the 2020 election was stolen was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and will receive a public reprimand for voting illegally nine times, the ...

  29. Gabbie Hanna Long Absence From Internet Is Example of Successful Hiatus

    Mar 27, 2024, 8:46 AM PDT. Gabbie Hanna, a YouTuber who took a break from the internet for a year. TheGabbieShow/YouTube. Gabbie Hanna returned to the internet after a yearlong hiatus, to a ...

  30. Supreme Court hears its biggest abortion case since the fall of Roe

    The fate of abortion access is back in the hands of the Supreme Court, where justices will hear oral arguments Tuesday on a case that could roll back availability of abortion pills nationwide ...