How to write a Perfect Biography Essay about Anyone

author By Mary Boies

A biography essay is an essay that focuses on the life of a person. The person is usually famous ? a politician, an entrepreneur, an inventor, an author, an artist, or a historical figure.

How to write a biography essay from scratch

When you are asked to write a biography essay on a person, your work is to research and detail the key facts about the person. Anyone can write a biographical essay if they plan adequately and know what falls where. If you take a history, cultural studies, leadership, English, hospitality, and science-based course, you are guaranteed to write at least one biography essay.

Since biography essays are usually written on famous personalities, you should always focus your essay on that person?s achievements. Besides, ensure that you reveal the contributions of that person to the world. Doing this in an organized manner will make your essay interesting and increase your chances of getting a good grade.

This post reveals everything important you need to know about writing biography essays.

What Is a Biography Essay?

By definition, a biography essay is an essay on the life of a famous personality written by another person other than the subject. Therefore, when you are asked to write a biography of a person, you are supposed to focus on their life, challenges, philosophies, principles, and achievements.

For example, suppose you are asked to write a biography essay on Barrack Obama. In that case, your essay should focus on the political journey of Obama to the presidency, the achievements of his administration, and his legacy.

It is important to do thorough research when you are asked to write a biography essay on someone. This should be the case even when you know a lot about that person. The research will help you to uncover important facts and dates. Proper research will also give you reliable information and credible sources to use.

A biography is usually not a long paper. It can be a 1000-words essay or 500 words essay. The professors and instructors prefer shorter biography essays because it eases their burden when marking. The least word count for a biography essay is 250 words.

Purpose of Writing a Biography Essay

The purpose of a biography essay is to enable the reader to fully understand the person who is the subject of the essay and the contributions they have made. So, when you are asked to write a biography essay, your task will be to make sure that the essay focuses on the person and their key achievements.

The subjects of biography essays are almost always famous personalities. This makes them somewhat easy to write because there is usually plenty of online information on famous people. However, while there is plenty of information, your goal during research is to uncover credible details on the subject of your essay.

If you do this well and increase the reader?s understanding of the subject of your essay, you will have achieved the purpose/objective of writing a biography essay.

Biography essay vs. Autobiography essay vs. profile essay vs. narrative essay

Although a biographical essay tells a story, it differs from narrative essays, autobiography essays, profile essays, and narrative essays.

A biographic essay is usually formal, meaning it should use an objective tone and language. A biography writer tells a story about someone else other than themselves. It should be a true story based on scholarly references and sources.

Let us compare the four types of essays head-to-head.

Essay type

Biography essay

Autobiography essay

Profile essay

Narrative essay


It tells the life story of another person.

It can be written about anyone and by anyone.

It entails writing about the author?s life story. It is written by the person featured in the text.

Describes a person, a place, or an event

Provides info about a central point


5-paragraph essay

5-paragraph essay

5-paragraph essay

5-paragraph essay


Usually required

Not required

Usually required


Point of view

3rd person

1st person

3rd person

3rd person

Steps to writing a good biography essay

If you are assigned to write a biographical essay or biography essay, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Read the instructions twice or thrice

The first step you need to take to write a good biography essay is to read the instructions twice or thrice. When reading the instructions, try to really understand them. The purpose of reading the instructions several times is to make sure you truly understand them.

If the instructions require you to choose a subject, you should choose a subject you will be excited to write about or one that inspires you. Doing this will make it more exciting for you to research and write your essay.

Step 2: Conduct thorough research

After reading the instructions and choosing a subject, you should conduct thorough research. Since biography essays are usually written on famous persons, you should be able to find plenty of information on them online. Try to spend about 30 minutes online to find out everything you need to know about the subject.

Every time you come across important facts, events, names, or dates related to your subject, you should note them down. You should also note the strong opinions others have on your subject when you come across them. Make sure you only take information or details from credible or reliable sources. And when you take information, make sure you also note down your sources.

Thorough research will give you a clearer picture of the subject of your essay.

Step 3: Create an outline

Upon conducting thorough research, you should create a proper outline. Your outline should have five paragraphs ? an introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Of course, if your professor wants a shorter or longer essay, you should follow their instruction.

When creating an outline at this stage, simply create something straightforward. A well-organized outline will help you to write a logical and flowing essay. In addition, it will make your essay easy to read and increase your likelihood of getting a high grade.

As you write the outline, remember to formulate a catchy title for your biographical essay.

Step 4: Write the introduction

After creating a detailed but straightforward outline, the next thing you need to do is to start writing. First, start writing your essay by expanding the introduction part of your outline.

The introduction should start with a quote about or by your subject. You can also use an interesting fact about the subject, as long as you grab the attention of your audience. It could also start with an interesting fact about the subject.

Write the quote or fact, and then provide a general introduction about the subject of your essay. Do not forget to make sure your introduction has a nice sentence-to-sentence flow. Use transition words and phrases to enhance flow where necessary.

You can also signpost ideas in your introduction paragraph so that your readers are not caught unawares with your written content.

Step 5: Write your thesis statement

After writing your introduction, the last sentence in your introduction should be your thesis statement. If you have already created a good outline, it will certainly have a thesis.

Transfer the thesis you created to your essay. Refine the thesis statement if you need to, at this stage, to make it better or more accommodative of what you want to write.

Step 6: Write body paragraphs

You should share all the information you gathered in your research in the body paragraphs. Then, of course, you should write your body paragraphs by expanding the body paragraph points you outlined in your outline.

If you created a good outline, each body paragraph will focus on one argument or point. Of course, the point will be in support of the thesis statement. All your body paragraphs should have enough evidence, proof, examples, or details.

Remember to adhere to the paragraphing rules in academic writing so that you leave the professor or markers with no option other than awarding your biography essay top marks.

Step 7: Write the conclusion

The conclusion paragraph is the last paragraph in a biography essay. Your conclusion paragraph should summarize the main points in your body paragraphs. It should not include any new details or information about your subject.

After summarizing your main points, you should end your essay with a closing statement. The statement should either focus on the biggest achievement or the legacy of the subject of your essay.

Step 8: Refine your essay

After writing your closing statement, you should go through it and try to make it better. Your purpose should be to make sure that you have offered a detailed account of the life and the achievements of your subject. Make sure you offer as many details as possible so that no reader can dismiss your essay as a superficial account of the subject?s life story.

Step 9: Proofread and edit

This is the last step when writing a biography essay. At this stage, you are done writing. All you need to do is to proofread and edit your essay. So, go through your essay slowly to discover and edit all types of typing and grammar mistakes. Correct every error you see.

In case you notice any sentence that is complex or difficult to understand, you should also correct it. Correct it and make it simple or easy to understand. After proofreading and editing your essay, you should give it to a friend or relative to read it with a fresh pair of eyes. They could help identify the errors or mistakes you may have missed. Alternatively, you could use an online grammar checker to find the errors or mistakes you have missed.

After eliminating all mistakes and errors, you will be good to go. Simply submit your essay and wait for the results.

Elements of a Good Biography Essay

A good biography essay has three key elements ? a singular subject, life events, and a linear narrative arc. Your biography essay should certainly have a singular subject, and the subject should be worth talking about or discussing. Choosing a boring subject or someone without any meaningful achievements will make your essay boring and unreadable.

Your biography essay should focus on the key life events in the subject?s life story. A good biography essay focuses on the key life events of a person. If you are a good researcher, you will find plenty of information about your subject. If you do so, you should narrow down the information or the details to the key life events. Your professor does not need to know about every little detail related to your subject.

Lastly, your biography essay needs a linear narrative arc. In other words, you should present the life story of the subject logically and linearly; start the story from birth to death.

Biography Essay Outline / Structure

Biography essays are usually five paragraphs long. They can have more paragraphs if you are writing an entire book or a detailed extended essay or research paper. In this section, we will present to you the biography essay outline/structure. The information you get in this section should help you quickly create a good essay outline on any biography essay subject.

Biography essay outline/Template

I. Introduction paragraph

II. Body paragraph 1

III. Body paragraph 2

IV. Body paragraph 3

V. Conclusion

Using this essay outline template, you can create an outline for your biography essay. And when you do everything instructed in the template above, your outline will be detailed and straightforward. You will find it very easy to write your biography essay.

Tips When Writing a Biography Essay

  1. Find the time. Before you start writing your biography essay, you should identify a day when you will have enough time to do everything. Doing just a portion of your essay every day will result in an essay that does not have a good flow. It could also lead to you taking too much time to write the essay. So, you should identify a day and a time when you will be free to do everything from start to finish; the goal should be to complete your essay in one go.
  2. Conduct thorough research. Even if you are writing a biography essay on someone you know a lot about, you should conduct thorough research. Comprehensive research is important because it is precisely what you need to make your essay compelling and fact-filled. Conversely, not doing thorough research can result in a simplistic essay that simply regurgitates information available from online sources.
  3. Always create an outline. Creating an outline may seem like a lot of work. However, it is indispensable in the pre-writing stage. It is necessary because making a good outline ensures your essay has good organization and flow. Without an outline, your essay can easily look disorganized.
  4. Take time to write your thesis. The thesis is probably the most important statement or sentence in your essay. This is because it is the central point or argument of every essay. So, take your time to write your thesis and make sure you write a good one.
  5. Follow a chronological order. When writing a biography essay, you must follow a chronological order. Start from the birth of the subject to their death (or their current situation if they are alive).
  6. Refine your essay when done writing. The best writers usually rewrite their texts repeatedly to ensure the final delivery is simple and easy to understand. So, re-read and refine your work constantly to improve it and make it brilliant before submitting it.

Example Biography Essay

A Biography of Tristan Thompson ? a Fitness Trainer

Tristan Thompson has been one of the leading fitness trainers in the city of Los Angeles over the last decade. He has been training clients from all walks of life, including entrepreneurs, millionaires, ordinary workers, housewives, students, and so on. Tristan has, over the years, risen to become one of the most sought-after fitness trainers in California because of the fact that his training programs have consistently yielded positive results.

Tristan was born in 1989 in San Diego, California. It always seemed as if Tristan was destined for greater things from his birth. Both his parents are renowned personal trainers. His parents have operated the Silver Gym chain of fitness centers for over twenty years. Tristan joined them in the gym business when he turned fifteen. By age 17, Tristan was already participating in fitness competitions. Again, he seemed destined for greater things.

Just a few weeks after he turned 27 years old, Tristan was thrust to the helm of the Silver Gym business after the unfortunate passing of his parents. The business initially struggled for a couple of months but soon after started recording increasingly positive results. Through his hitherto unknown business acumen, Tristan grew his inheritance into one of the leading gym businesses in Southern California. The business is now worth $100,000,000, and it is projected to grow even more.

In addition to growing the gym business, Tristan will perhaps best be remembered for his achievements as a personal trainer. The man?s exercises and fitness programs have continuously yielded positive results with clients from different backgrounds. Tristan has won many accolades for his effective and innovative training programs that have helped hundreds achieve their ideal physique.

Tristan Thompson?s training programs have consistently yielded positive results. His gym has grown in leaps and bounds, and his programs have continued attracting dozens of clients every year. He is undoubtedly a legend in the California fitness industry, and whatever he does is only bound to increase his legendary status.

Final Thoughts

As a student or professional, you have written many types of essays. Maybe you have not encountered a biography essay yet, or you find the process of writing a perfect one, not within your reach. You are not alone; writing a biography or a professional biography is never that easy. It is often confusing, laborious, and sometimes challenging.

We strongly believe and hope you have honed your biography writing skills thanks to our comprehensive biography essay writing guide.

This guide has covered all the vital information you need to write a good biography essay. If you are confident enough, you should go ahead and try writing one now. Otherwise, if you are not confident, you should seek assistance from one of our professional writers.

Do this by ordering a biography essay from us now. If you hire one of our writers to write you a biography essay, you will get a 100 percent original biography essay without any mistakes or errors.

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