Biography Vs Autobiography: Best Similarities and Differences 2024

Biography Vs Autobiography: Best Comparison
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The three primary formats used to tell the life story include autobiography, biography and memoir. Many think that the two writing forms are one and the same thing, but there are noticeable differences between the two.

The article is about the key difference between a biography and an autobiography. It discusses two significant differences: how much control the author has in deciding what to include and whether it’s written by someone who knows they will die soon.

For anyone who has ever wondered what the difference is between a biography and an autobiography, Penn Book will provide readers with a detailed explanation of the different types of Biography Vs Autobiography that exist along with their benefits/drawbacks to ensure you’re writing within the correct scope.

What is Autobiography?

What is a autobiography

Autobiographies are authored by the author. Because the author is the main character, autobiographies are first-person.

An autobiography recounts the writer’s life. An autobiography is a life tale, hence it’s usually written later in life.

These autobiographies start in childhood and cover their entire life. The author’s birth, upbringing, education, work history, life experiences, and achievements are frequently included in an autobiography.

An autobiography is more subjective than a biography. Autobiographies are based on the subject’s memories of the event. It’s also biased. Your autobiography reveals your thoughts and feelings.

Here are some examples of autobiographies that are well-known:

  • The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson

The following are the key trails of an autobiography.

  • Written in the first person POV of the author’s life. Sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator
  • Formal and objectively more formal than memoirs but subjectively more than biographies
  • Wide in scope and timeline, often covering the author’s entire lifetime up to the present
  • More on facts than emotions
  • This requires more research and fact-checking than memoirs, but less so than biographies.

What is Biography?

What is a biography?

Biographies are life stories, like autobiographies. Biographies (bios) are non-fiction accounts of a person’s life written by someone else. Biographies are not autobiographies. Historical figures are usually biographied. You can write them without author permission.

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Biographies cover the subject’s education, profession, and connections. Biographers use letters, diaries, photographs, interviews, newspapers, and reference books. Biographies are written. Music and film can also produce it.

Authors sequence events. The book’s fundamental premise determines whether they categorise by themes, achievements, or topics.

Here are some examples of famous biographies:

  • His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis
  • Einstein: The Life and Times by Ronald William Clark
  • Princess Diana – A Biography of The Princess of Wales by Drew L. Crichton
  • Churchill: A Life by Martin Gilbert: Through years of in-depth research, Gilbert offers a detailed and honest look into the man’s life who led Britain to victory in the Second World War.

The following are the key trails of a biography.

  • A story about another person’s life, usually a celebrity or public figure, is told from the third person point of view.
  • Formal and more objective than autobiographies and memoirs
  • Wide in scope and timeline, often covering all aspects of the subject’s life until the present
  • Only the facts are important
  • To ensure accuracy, it is necessary to do thorough research and fact checking.

What Is The Difference Between Biography And Autobiography?

Key Different Between Biography vs Autobiography

There are many similarities between autobiographies and biographies. However, there are also some notable differences between biography and autobiography although both describe the person’s character sketch and their life story.

Autobiographies resemble biographies. Biography and autobiography both depict a person’s character and life, but there are important variances.

Autobiography vs. biography: Authorship. The author autobiographs the book. Biographies are written by others.

Since autobiographies are about the author’s life, they’re written from his perspective (my, my). Biographies are written in the third person (she/her, his, etc.) to share someone else’s experience.

Authorized vs. Unauthorized: Unauthorized biographies exist. Autobiographies are permissible.

Biographies are more objective than autobiographies. Biographers use journalistic research. Interviews and historical research are included. Autobiographies are based on the author’s memories, not others’.

Autobiographies and biographical essays tell the author’s story, whereas biographies inform.

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Autobiographies use first-person storytelling, such as “I, me,” to connect with readers. Biographies, on the other hand, are third-person and less personal.

Similar Elements in Autobiography vs Biography

Similar Elements in Autobiography vs Biography

Autobiographies and biographies share elements.

Both books tell a life story.

Nonfiction: Biographies and autobiographies depict life experiences.

Notable subjects: Biographies and autobiographies often feature famous athletes, politicians, business leaders, and others.

Children’s Biographies And Autobiographies

Children's Biographies And Autobiographies


Florence Nightingale: Y2 Information Texts: Sample biography.

This Snow White biography from our Y3 Information Texts will transport you: Snow White’s biography is here.

Mary Mackillop Our Mary MacKillop Biography Factual Recount Writing Sample can teach you about biography features before August 8th.


Our The Diary of Anne Frank Autobiography Reading Comprehension can help your students understand autobiographical writing by focusing on a famous example.

You: Autobiographical writing is best taught by doing it. Help your pupils write memoirs using this brief template.

Is a Memoir the Same as an Autobiography?

Is a Memoir the Same as an Autobiography

Memoirs are not autobiographies, yet the author writes them.

Autobiographies recount the author’s life from childhood till publication. Formal, fact-based writing.

Memoirs are shorter than autobiographies and focus on one event or aspect of the author’s life. Memoirs are more romantic and casual.

Example of a Memoir: Born a Crime

Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime shows readers another side of his life. This book covers Noah’s childhood as a biracial child of a black mother and a white father in apartheid South Africa.

Noah was unlawful since his country forbade interracial marriages. The author’s difficult childhood is revealed in this book. It’s emotional and humorous.

Unique Insights Into Life Stories

Nonfiction books on intriguing people can be informative. These pieces can be sad, inspiring, or funny. They always teach. To extend your perspectives, read biographies, motivational autobiographies, and moving memoirs.

FAQs about Autobiography vs Biography


What are the 4 types of biography?

A biography is a specialized form of life history. A biography is a narrative of events that is based on the life of one person. There are four types of biography: academic, fictional, historical, and prophetic.

How long is an autobiography?

Although there are no set length guidelines for autobiographies, a good guideline is 200-400 pages. This will ensure that your book is in line with readers’ expectations and help you get your book published traditionally or market your self-published work.

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Does an autobiography have chapters?

A biography’s contents page will provide a good indication of the structure used by the author. Biographies usually have approximately 68,000 words long chapters, but there aren’t any hard and fast rules. A few chapters can add variety to the book’s pace.

How long is a short autobiography?

Nonfiction books usually have between 5 to 20 chapters. If you have less than five chapters, your book may run out of space or contain too many ideas.

How do facts in a memoir differ?

In a memoir, the facts are equivalent to the views. Compared to other forms of nonfiction, facts in memoirs are substantially lengthier. A list of facts is presented in a memoir’s conclusion. In a memoir, the author’s perspective shapes the facts.

How to identify an autobiography?

To identify an autobiography, look for a first-person account of someone’s life written by the subject themselves. Pay attention to clues in the text that suggest the author is writing about their own experiences, such as using the pronoun “I” or referring to events in the past tense. You can also look for information about the author on the book’s cover or in the introduction.

Why is autobiography more authentic?

An autobiography is a person’s story of their own life, written by them. It is more authentic than other types of biography because it comes directly from the person’s experiences and memories.


Biographies are usually more objective and unbiased than autobiographies because they rely on outside sources to inform their writing. Autobiography can be rawer as it relies solely on the author for information about themselves.

Both types have their advantages and disadvantages in their own way depending on what you’re researching or interested in reading about, so we hope this article has been helpful!

Read more: Memoir Vs Autobiography 2024: Which is better?