Essays About Autobiography: Top 4 Examples and 8 Prompts 

Essays about autobiography help readers understand an individual’s life through that very person’s eyes. Learn to write these in this article.

Many people write autobiographies to describe or depict an important challenge or event in their lives. For some, their autobiography stands as proof of their victory over a challenge or event. Other people want to share their life lessons or truths through their autobiographies. Many authors wish to inspire and entertain readers by sharing their life stories.

Autobiographies provide a way for readers to learn things vicariously. Readers don’t need to endure or experience the lives of others to pick up life lessons from them. They can also easily grasp specific techniques, outlooks, or motivations from great individuals to withstand challenges in their own lives.

If you want to read essays on autobiographies, continue below for some examples. You can also use them as models when it’s time to write your autobiography. 

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1. My Autobiography Example by Gene Geralde Gonzales

“I had a hard time [in] adjusting to a new environment, with different culture and dialect, as well. After six months, I was able to communicate with the family members of my employer in Mandarin, their native language, and also do well with my daily activities, especially cooking their Chinese dishes.”

In her essay, Gonzales details her life, starting from her basic details, family, and where she came from. Next, she describes how her family spends time, hobbies, and her career as a domestic helper. Finally, she includes what she did with the money she collected from working abroad and her next plans.

2. My Autobiography Essay by Janie Thompson

“In the attempt to continue our family tradition, I wanted to get a degree in the field of costume design. This issue caused my great interest since the set of particular skills needed for this profession would give [me] the opportunity to develop myself, as well as my career, in different business areas.”

Thompson’s essay begins with her name, birth date, and family. Then, after describing some more basic information about herself, she described her career and why she chose this path. She also describes the skills she needed to learn and develop to make it far in the fashion industry. Finally, she ends her essay with a short story about her own family and her new business on children’s clothing.

3. Example of Autobiography of a Student by Elizabeth Austen

“My main belief in life is that everything should be in harmony. People have to keep balance in all spheres of life: society, family, work, friendship, and others. Studying art is my personal way to keep balance.”

Austen’s short essay shows her focus on art. It had a similar beginning to our other two examples: a brief depiction of her background. She later describes how her passion for art grew and developed.

4. I Wrote an Autobiography in 1988 at Age 14; Here It Is by Ryan Rumsey

“The qualities of adults I respect and admire the most are being enjoyable and having fun because with all the worries of adults, it’s remarkable to see them have fun and let go of all worries. The quality I least respect is when adults misunderstand you and yell at you.”

Rumsey’s autobiographical essay describes almost every aspect of his life at age 14, including his hobbies, family, and best friend. In addition, he notes down his favorite television shows, sports, and why friendship is important to him. He says that he had loved every year of his fourteen-year-old life and that he hopes the reader enjoyed reading it just as much.

8 Prompts and Ideas for Writing Essays About Autobiography

You’ve read various autobiographical essays, and it’s now your turn to write yours. Do you want to avoid the typical essay about autobiography and do something different? Use the ideas and topics listed below as a starting point or focus. 

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1. Why I Eat Rice with Every Meal: An Autobiography

Autobiographies provide a way for you to describe the environment in which you grew up or developed. This essay idea is an excellent option or starting point for people with a heritage or culture that involves rice in almost every meal, like an Asian heritage. You can also change the topic to suit something else that is unique or stereotypical to your heritage.

2. My Philosophy in Life

Essays About Autobiography: My Philosophy in Life
You can focus on your philosophy and describe how it has changed your way of living

Autobiographical essays often start with the basic details of the writer’s life. However, you can go deeper by describing your philosophy in life. You can focus on your philosophy and describe how it has changed your way of living. For example, you became a vegetarian or vegan after adopting the philosophies of Buddhism or Hinduism.

3. The Things That Made Me What I Am Today

In this essay, you describe how you found success in life by first describing what made you successful. These things can range from a tough early life or a supportive family. It can also include specific events that changed how you approach life, like the sudden death of a dear friend.

4. How People in My Life Have Turned Me Into a Writer

Your autobiography essay can also describe how people in your life have pushed you to take a particular path. The essay idea isn’t limited to writers only. You can also change the keyword to what you are now. It can go beyond your career or job and cover religion, political belief, or general outlook. Examples include an optimist, Christian, or teacher.

5. Random Musings

You can also write an essay on an autobiography that doesn’t focus on anything specific. It only needs to make sense and cohesiveness to be a good essay. The random musings you can describe in your essay may include regrets, daydreams, phobias, anxieties, and spiritual beliefs. You can even describe your many habits, why you like or dislike them, and how they developed.

6. Your Favorite Things, People, Events, and Others

Young writers may find it easier to write their essays about autobiographies when they describe their favorite things and why young writers like them. These favorite things could be as simple as their favorite color. They can also detail their favorite bands, sports, hobbies, books, music, friends, etc.

7. A Set of Experiences

You can write your essay about autobiography by focusing on a particular experience or set of experiences. For example, you are an athlete who has tried different combat sports and martial arts. You can start by discussing your first combat sport and why you enrolled in it. You can also include your tournament experiences, the preparation that led up to it, and how you felt after the competition. It can also apply to work, being a dancer, academic life, and others.

8. Life or Career Goals

Essays About Autobiography: Life or Career Goals
Discuss your next steps forward and how they may play into achieving your goals

Your autobiographic essays don’t always need to be about what has already happened to you. Sometimes, they can also discuss the future. You’d still need to describe your past or current life. The fun part is that you can add your expectations in the next five or ten years. Discuss your next steps forward and how they may play into achieving your goals.

Are you stuck picking your next essay topic? Read about how to write an essay about diversity.

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  • Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.

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