Write A Biographical Narrative Essay

A biographical essay allows an author to share her experience or impressions of a person.

Most often written in first person with information about the author or someone close to the author, the biographical narrative uses stories from an individual’s life to detail an aspect of the person, a struggle he went through or his journey from one point to another. Writing a biographical narrative allows an author to express her feelings about a subject while engaging the audience to feel the same way.


1. Determine direction of the narrative. What is the point of the story? What is the reader going to take from the story? Often, the purpose of the biographical narrative is given in the assignment for the essay.

2. Choose three anecdotes that fit the direction best. The website Scribd recommends focusing each anecdote in one of these areas: the characteristic that is most important to the direction of the narrative, the significance of the person in your life and the impact that the person has had in your life.

3. Outline the beginning, middle and end of each anecdote, with the end of each anecdote flowing naturally into the beginning of the next. You can easily organize the story chronologically.

4. Write each anecdote, focusing on sensory details to tell the story rather than explanations. For example, “the sky burned red and gold” is more effective than “the sunset was vibrant.”

5. Pepper the narrative with thoughts and summaries. Highlight what is significant. For each anecdote, include information that ties the narrative together. For example, if the narrative outlined the rewards and benefits of being a mother, then a childhood story of playing with dolls or caring for a pet should include information on how these things relate to motherhood.

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6. Write an introduction paragraph and a conclusion paragraph that tie together the elements of the narrative.

7. Edit the essay, focusing on eliminating “walking details.” Walking details are those minor facts and pieces of information that are unimportant to the telling of the story. In a narrative that focuses on a person overcoming difficulties in baseball, the author may see significance in the description of the field, glove or referee. However, the author may choose not to include the ride to the field where nothing important happened.