Autobiography Vs. Biography - Know the Differences

autobiography vs biography

The difference between an autobiography and a biography can be difficult to identify. They all serve as stories of real people’s lives. However, some key differences set them apart from one another, such as genre or content.

A biography is when someone tells the story of someone else's life. An autobiography is when somebody tells the story of their own life.

These two present the story of what happened in the author's past. They are non-fiction and written in chronological order. The books tell the story of someone who made a significant contribution in a specific field.

Many people think that writing about the past and writing fiction are the same thing. But, there are noticeable differences between the two that are presented in this blog.

Thus, continue reading this blog and get to know about it in detail.

What is an Autobiography?

An autobiography is a story of somebody's life written by that person. The author is the main character, so autobiographies are written in the first person.

To write a detailed autobiography, you will need to cover the following things:

  • Your earliest memories, early family life, birthplace, education, and upbringing.
  • You might share life stories from your education, careers, and relationships.
  • You can also share any life experiences, triumphs, or challenges you have faced along the way.

Moreover, writing an autobiography is a way for people to tell their stories the way they want. And make sure they can't be erased from history. Future generations will benefit from reading these as guidelines on how to do better in life, too.

Examples:
  • Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

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What is a Biography?

Biography is the study of one person's life written by another. A biographer is someone who writes about someone else's life. They need to know everything about their subject to write an accurate account of what happened in their lives. Most biographies are written after the person has died so that the author can include all the details about their life.

Biographies should include important information about the person's life, such as their:

  • Place of birth
  • Education
  • Childhood experiences
  • Partnerships, and so on
Examples:
  • Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted by Andrew Wilson
  • Churchill: A Life by Martin Gilbert

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Autobiography Vs. Biography: Differences and Similarities

There are a few key differences between biographies and autobiographies. Though they may seem similar, some significant distinctions set them apart.

Take a look at the below table and know their differences and similarities in a better way.

Differences Between Autobiography Vs. Biography

Authorship

The difference between an autobiography and a biography is the person who wrote it. If you're writing about yourself in your book, that's called "an" Autobiography. But if someone else shares their life with us through words on paper or screen, it is a biography.

Point of View

An autobiography is usually written by the person who experienced the events from a first-person point of view. A biography is written about someone else's experiences in the third person point of view.

Authorized vs. Unauthorized

Authorized means that the author got permission from the person they are writing about. This includes their cooperation. Unauthorized means that the author did not get permission from the person they are writing about. An autobiography is authorized, but a biography can be authorized or unauthorized.

Degree of Objectivity

A biography is written about someone else, and it is usually more objective than an autobiography. An autobiography author writes about their own life based on their memories of events. They don't use information from other sources as often. A biography writer gathers information through research, interviewing the person they are writing about and other people involved in their lives.


Similarities Between Autobiography Vs. Biography

Purpose

The main purpose of both autobiography and biography is to give an account of a person’s life.

Notable Subjects

Biographies and autobiographies are written about people who are known for their accomplishments. These people can be celebrities, athletes, business leaders, political leaders, or others who have achieved a lot.

Non-Fiction

Biographies and autobiographies are nonfiction stories about someone's life. They tell the story of what happened to someone during their life.

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Autobiography Vs. Biography Vs. Memoir

The below table compares autobiography, biography, and memoir.

Autobiography Biography Memoir
First-person narrative Third-person narrative First-person narrative
Subjective Objective Subjective
Include personal thoughts and feelings Present the facts Include personal thoughts and feelings
Written by the main character himself Written by someone else An account of a specific timeframe

There are many different types of writing. Autobiographies are stories about someone's own life. Biographies are stories about someone else's life.

They both offer interesting perspectives, but they are different. We hope this blog post helps you know the differences between these two.

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