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How to Write a Short Autobiography in 5 Paragraphs

Updated March 23, 2017

Short autobiographies are used to convey basic facts about a person's life. While longer autobiographies offer the opportunity to delve into more detail and anecdotal evidence, a concise autobiography can be written in five paragraphs or even less. While a professional may be able to easily define paragraphs because of education, achievements and professional experience, students and so-called Average Joes can write an equally evocative autobiography by analysing their life for relevant information and organising content into a simple, organised format.

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  1. Determine a purpose for the autobiography. Purposes might be professional, academic or otherwise. The purpose will define the theme of your autobiography.

  2. Write the first paragraph about how you came into this world. Assemble the basic information about where you were born, when and to whom. Find out where you first lived, how your parents earned a living and more information about your first year of life.

  3. Write the second and third paragraphs about critical events in your life that helped shape who you are now. Look specifically for incidences that relate to you overcoming obstacles, taking risks or shaping your life.

  4. Write the fourth paragraph about education, credentials or skills that set you apart from your peers. Discuss how you identified and developed these traits, and how this has benefited you personally and professionally.

  5. Conclude the autobiography with a fifth paragraph about your current situation. Discuss where you live and with whom. Include information about children, pets, hobbies, interests and your professional status. If relevant, discuss your goals and what you are currently striving to accomplish in life.

  6. Review the completed autobiography to verify that the information keeps with the purpose and theme.

  7. Tip

    Be sure to include information that is relevant to the purpose of the autobiography. Identify a storyline throughout the autobiography and use transitions between sentences and paragraphs to improve content flow.

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Things You'll Need

  • Writing supplies

About the Author

Nicole Thelin has more than a decade of professional writing experience. She has contributed to newspapers such as the "Daily Herald" of Provo, Utah, and now writes for several online publications. Thelin is pursuing a bachelor's degree in education from Western Governors University.

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