How to Write a Biography Essay about a Famous Person: A Comprehensive Guide


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A biography essay tells the story of a famous person’s life. It’s one of the oldest types of nonfiction literature. A biography essay is a common academic essay assignment for students in college. The essence of writing a biography about a famous individual is to provide a sketch of the person’s life in words as accurately as possible, such that a reader can visualize their true essence.

A good biography leaves an impact on the reader by inspiring greater achievement, providing encouragement, or serving as a cautionary tale. Still, there could be many details and interesting facts about a famous person that you struggle to know what to include and what to leave out. In the following post, we tell you how to write a biography about a famous person and what to include in your essay.  

Writing a Biography Essay About a Famous Person: The Key Elements to Include

Basic facts about the famous person

The center of any biography is a person, not a group of people or events. So, when writing a biography essay about a famous person, the most important step is deciding who to write about. Writing will be more interesting if your famous subject is someone that you look up to or find interesting. Also, consider the available credible sources of data when selecting a subject to ensure they are accurate and reliable.

The idea

Like any other essay, a biography essay must have a central theme or idea that will guide the content and structure of the paper. Many revolutionary biography writers who wrote about notable historical figures composed revolutionary biographies by sticking to a specific theme. Remember, you can only identify the main idea after thorough research and reflection of the famous person who inspires you. 

Character traits

Another key element of a biography essay is characterization. Before you start writing, you must understand the subject’s character, and identify the ones you want to emphasize in your essay. By the end of the biography, your audience should have a clear picture of the famous person you’re writing about. Better still, they should feel like they know the subject just as they know their friend.

Significant events

A biography essay involves turning a person’s real life into a story, so students should carefully consider what they choose to include in the paper. The events you write about will form the plot of your essay, so consider how they contribute to the main idea or theme. As the writer, it’s your responsibility to guide the reader on characters and events that represent the life of the person, and ultimately the message of your biography.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write a Biography about a Famous Person

  1. Choose a famous subject

The subject is the famous person whose life, life experiences, and personality you will address in your essay. Since you’ll need to research them, they need to be someone who you can find books, articles, newspapers, and magazines about. Also, ensure that you have personal interest in the person so that you’re motivated to conduct in-depth research about them. That will make it easy to identify significant events, characters, and themes to write about.

2: Conduct research

Biography essays require huge investment in research time on the selected subject. The more you research, the more you’ll learn about the person and opinions of different scholars, making your paper more objective. An ideal biography essay about famous person contains unknown facts, controversial opinions, and specific dates that are significant to the person’s life. 

3: Prepare an outline

An outline helps you to develop a balanced and complete narrative of the subject’s times and life. A biography essay follows the standard five paragraph format, which includes an introduction with thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. 

However, many students struggle to put ideas in a logical order or write a biography essay. If you can’t cope with creating an outline and writing a top-notch paper for college, contact a write my essay service like CustomWritings which has certified professional writers in 80+ disciplines who can craft for you a winning biography essay within a specified deadline.

4: Write your introduction paragraph

As the starting point of your essay, the introduction should instantly capture the reader’s attention. To hook your readers, you can start with any of the following styles:

  • Start with a famous quote by or about the subject.
  • Cite an anecdote about them.
  • State an incredible achievement by the famous person you admire.

After the hook, describe basic facts about the person’s identity, such as name, place of birth, relationships, and education.

5: Develop a strong thesis statement

The thesis statement is a unique observation you’ve made about the person that will shape the rest of the essay. Given that the rest of the essay will hang on your thesis statement, pay careful attention when developing it. For example, in a biography essay about Marilyn Monroe, you can have a thesis that states, “Although Marilyn Monroe was rich and famous, she lived a troubled life with many self-destructive habits that ultimately led to her tragic and untimely death.”

6: Write body paragraphs

This is where you write all the information you gathered in your research. When you write a biography essay about a famous person, make sure that you stick to the main idea or theme. Discuss ideas chronologically from childhood to maturity, only including important details that demonstrate their character and temperament, both positive and negative. Accomplishment should also include the impact on society to date. Lastly, all the pieces of information should be connected and flow flawlessly.

7: Write a conclusion

This is the last paragraph in which you draw a conclusion about the subject. Don’t simply restate your thesis or points discussed in the body. Instead, highlight the most important events and experiences. Try to tie their legacy to modern life by saying how their contributions are relevant today, who they influenced, and what they are remembered for. You can also provide a candid review of how the person has influenced your life.

8: Proofread and edit

After completing the draft essay, it’s time to proceed with proofreading and editing mistakes. Editing involves reviewing sentence construction, flow, structure, and factual inconsistencies. After editing the paper, proofread by reviewing language and grammatical errors, including punctuations and spelling. Reading aloud biography essays and other papers you have written can make it easier to identify errors. You can also give your paper to another person to get honest feedback.

The Key to a Good Biography Essay is to Show, Not Tell

Unlike other essays, a biography essay requires vivid and engaging details that bring out the person’s true essence. Knowing what to include makes it easier to craft a good essay. Include factual details and follow the correct essay structure to create a biography worthy of the famous person you admire.

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