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Biography Theses Samples For Students

6 samples of this type

WowEssays.com paper writer service proudly presents to you an open-access collection of Biography Theses aimed to help struggling students deal with their writing challenges. In a practical sense, each Biography Thesis sample presented here may be a pilot that walks you through the important phases of the writing process and showcases how to compose an academic work that hits the mark. Besides, if you require more visionary assistance, these examples could give you a nudge toward a fresh Biography Thesis topic or encourage a novice approach to a banal subject.

In case this is not enough to quench the thirst for effective writing help, you can request customized assistance in the form of a model Thesis on Biography crafted by an expert from scratch and tailored to your specific instructions. Be it a plain 2-page paper or a profound, lengthy piece, our writers specialized in Biography and related topics will submit it within the pre-set period. Buy cheap essays or research papers now!

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Blog • Perfecting your Craft

Posted on Jun 30, 2023

How to Write a Biography: A 7-Step Guide [+Template]

From time to time, nonfiction authors become so captivated by a particular figure from either the present or the past, that they feel compelled to write an entire book about their life. Whether casting them as heroes or villains, there is an interesting quality in their humanity that compels these authors to revisit their life paths and write their story.

However, portraying someone’s life on paper in a comprehensive and engaging way requires solid preparation. If you’re looking to write a biography yourself, in this post we’ll share a step-by-step blueprint that you can follow. 

How to write a biography: 

1. Seek permission when possible 

2. research your subject thoroughly, 3. do interviews and visit locations, 4. organize your findings, 5. identify a central thesis, 6. write it using narrative elements, 7. get feedback and polish the text.

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While you technically don’t need permission to write about public figures (or deceased ones), that doesn't guarantee their legal team won't pursue legal action against you. Author Kitty Kelley was sued by Frank Sinatra before she even started to write His Way , a biography that paints Ol Blue Eyes in a controversial light. (Kelley ended up winning the lawsuit, however).  

good thesis for biography

Whenever feasible, advise the subject’s representatives of your intentions. If all goes according to plan, you’ll get a green light to proceed, or potentially an offer to collaborate. It's a matter of common sense; if someone were to write a book about you, you would likely want to know about it well prior to publication. So, make a sincere effort to reach out to their PR staff to negotiate an agreement or at least a mutual understanding of the scope of your project. 

At the same time, make sure that you still retain editorial control over the project, and not end up writing a puff piece that treats its protagonist like a saint or hero. No biography can ever be entirely objective, but you should always strive for a portrayal that closely aligns with facts and reality.

If you can’t get an answer from your subject, or you’re asked not to proceed forward, you can still accept the potential repercussions and write an unauthorized biography . The “rebellious act” of publishing without consent indeed makes for great marketing, though it’ll likely bring more headaches with it too. 

✋ Please note that, like other nonfiction books, if you intend to release your biography with a publishing house , you can put together a book proposal to send to them before you even write the book. If they like it enough, they might pay you an advance to write it.  

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Once you’ve settled (or not) the permission part, it’s time to dive deep into your character’s story.  

Deep and thorough research skills are the cornerstone of every biographer worth their salt. To paint a vivid and accurate portrait of someone's life, you’ll have to gather qualitative information from a wide range of reliable sources. 

Start with the information already available, from books on your subject to archival documents, then collect new ones firsthand by interviewing people or traveling to locations. 

Browse the web and library archives

Illustration of a biographer going into research mode.

Put your researcher hat on and start consuming any piece on your subject you can find, from their Wikipedia page to news articles, interviews, TV and radio appearances, YouTube videos, podcasts, books, magazines, and any other media outlets they may have been featured in. 

Establish a system to orderly collect the information you find 一 even seemingly insignificant details can prove valuable during the writing process, so be sure to save them. 

Depending on their era, you may find most of the information readily available online, or you may need to search through university libraries for older references. 

Photo of Alexander Hamilton

For his landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow spent untold hours at Columbia University’s library , reading through the Hamilton family papers, visiting the New York Historical Society, as well as interviewing the archivist of the New York Stock Exchange, and so on. The research process took years, but it certainly paid off. Chernow discovered that Hamilton created the first five securities originally traded on Wall Street. This finding, among others, revealed his significant contributions to shaping the current American financial and political systems, a legacy previously often overshadowed by other founding fathers. Today Alexander Hamilton is one of the best-selling biographies of all time, and it has become a cultural phenomenon with its own dedicated musical. 

Besides reading documents about your subject, research can help you understand the world that your subject lived in. 

Try to understand their time and social environment

Many biographies show how their protagonists have had a profound impact on society through their philosophical, artistic, or scientific contributions. But at the same time, it’s worth it as a biographer to make an effort to understand how their societal and historical context influenced their life’s path and work.

An interesting example is Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World . Finding himself limited by a lack of verified detail surrounding William Shakespeare's personal life, Greenblatt, instead, employs literary interpretation and imaginative reenactments to transport readers back to the Elizabethan era. The result is a vivid (though speculative) depiction of the playwright's life, enriching our understanding of his world.

Painting of William Shakespeare in colors

Many readers enjoy biographies that transport them to a time and place, so exploring a historical period through the lens of a character can be entertaining in its own right. The Diary of Samuel Pepys became a classic not because people were enthralled by his life as an administrator, but rather from his meticulous and vivid documentation of everyday existence during the Restoration period.

Once you’ve gotten your hands on as many secondary sources as you can find, you’ll want to go hunting for stories first-hand from people who are (or were) close to your subject.

With all the material you’ve been through, by now you should already have a pretty good picture of your protagonist. But you’ll surely have some curiosities and missing dots in their character arc to figure out, which you can only get by interviewing primary sources.

Interview friends and associates

This part is more relevant if your subject is contemporary, and you can actually meet up or call with relatives, friends, colleagues, business partners, neighbors, or any other person related to them. 

In writing the popular biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson interviewed more than one hundred people, including Jobs’s family, colleagues, former college mates, business rivals, and the man himself.

🔍 Read other biographies to get a sense of what makes a great one. Check out our list of the 30 best biographies of all time , or take our 30-second quiz below for tips on which one you should read next. 

Which biography should you read next?

Discover the perfect biography for you. Takes 30 seconds!

When you conduct your interviews, make sure to record them with high quality audio you can revisit later. Then use tools like Otter.ai or Descript to transcribe them 一 it’ll save you countless hours. 

You can approach the interview with a specific set of questions, or follow your curiosity blindly, trying to uncover revealing stories and anecdotes about your subject. Whatever your method, author and biography editor Tom Bromley suggests that every interviewer arrives prepared, "Show that you’ve done your work. This will help to put the interviewee at ease, and get their best answers.” 

Bromley also places emphasis on the order in which you conduct interviews. “You may want to interview different members of the family or friends first, to get their perspective on something, and then go directly to the main interviewee. You'll be able to use that knowledge to ask sharper, more specific questions.” 

Finally, consider how much time you have with each interviewee. If you only have a 30-minute phone call with an important person, make it count by asking directly the most pressing questions you have. And, if you find a reliable source who is also particularly willing to help, conduct several interviews and ask them, if appropriate, to write a foreword as part of the book’s front matter .

Sometimes an important part of the process is packing your bags, getting on a plane, and personally visiting significant places in your character’s journey.

Visit significant places in their life

A place, whether that’s a city, a rural house, or a bodhi tree, can carry a particular energy that you can only truly experience by being there. In putting the pieces together about someone’s life, it may be useful to go visit where they grew up, or where other significant events of their lives happened. It will be easier to imagine what they experienced, and better tell their story. 

In researching The Lost City of Z , author David Grann embarked on a trek through the Amazon, retracing the steps of British explorer Percy Fawcett. This led Grann to develop new theories about the circumstances surrounding the explorer's disappearance.

Still from the movie The Lost City of Z in which the explorer is surrounded by an Amazon native tribe

Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with jaguars and anacondas to better understand your subject’s environment, but try to walk into their shoes as much as possible. 

Once you’ve researched your character enough, it’s time to put together all the puzzle pieces you collected so far. 

Take the bulk of notes, media, and other documents you’ve collected, and start to give them some order and structure. A simple way to do this is by creating a timeline. 

Create a chronological timeline

It helps to organize your notes chronologically 一 from childhood to the senior years, line up the most significant events of your subject’s life, including dates, places, names and other relevant bits. 

Timeline of Steve Jobs' career

You should be able to divide their life into distinct periods, each with their unique events and significance. Based on that, you can start drafting an outline of the narrative you want to create.  

Draft a story outline 

Since a biography entails writing about a person’s entire life, it will have a beginning, a middle, and an end. You can pick where you want to end the story, depending on how consequential the last years of your subject were. But the nature of the work will give you a starting character arc to work with. 

To outline the story then, you could turn to the popular Three-Act Structure , which divides the narrative in three main parts. In a nutshell, you’ll want to make sure to have the following:

  • Act 1. Setup : Introduce the protagonist's background and the turning points that set them on a path to achieve a goal. 
  • Act 2. Confrontation : Describe the challenges they encounter, both internal and external, and how they rise to them. Then..
  • Act 3. Resolution : Reach a climactic point in their story in which they succeed (or fail), showing how they (and the world around them) have changed as a result. 

Only one question remains before you begin writing: what will be the main focus of your biography?

Think about why you’re so drawn to your subject to dedicate years of your life to recounting their own. What aspect of their life do you want to highlight? Is it their evil nature, artistic genius, or visionary mindset? And what evidence have you got to back that up? Find a central thesis or focus to weave as the main thread throughout your narrative. 

Cover of Hitler and Stalin by Alan Bullock

Or find a unique angle

If you don’t have a particular theme to explore, finding a distinct angle on your subject’s story can also help you distinguish your work from other biographies or existing works on the same subject.

Plenty of biographies have been published about The Beatles 一 many of which have different focuses and approaches: 

  • Philip Norman's Shout is sometimes regarded as leaning more towards a pro-Lennon and anti-McCartney stance, offering insights into the band's inner dynamics. 
  • Ian McDonald's Revolution in the Head closely examines their music track by track, shifting the focus back to McCartney as a primary creative force. 
  • Craig Brown's One Two Three Four aims to capture their story through anecdotes, fan letters, diary entries, and interviews. 
  • Mark Lewisohn's monumental three-volume biography, Tune In , stands as a testament to over a decade of meticulous research, chronicling every intricate detail of the Beatles' journey.

Group picture of The Beatles

Finally, consider that biographies are often more than recounting the life of a person. Similar to how Dickens’ Great Expectations is not solely about a boy named Pip (but an examination and critique of Britain’s fickle, unforgiving class system), a biography should strive to illuminate a broader truth — be it social, political, or human — beyond the immediate subject of the book. 

Once you’ve identified your main focus or angle, it’s time to write a great story. 

Illustration of a writer mixing storytelling ingredients

While biographies are often highly informative, they do not have to be dry and purely expository in nature . You can play with storytelling elements to make it an engaging read. 

You could do that by thoroughly detailing the setting of the story , depicting the people involved in the story as fully-fledged characters , or using rising action and building to a climax when describing a particularly significant milestone of the subject’s life. 

One common way to make a biography interesting to read is starting on a strong foot…

Hook the reader from the start

Just because you're honoring your character's whole life doesn't mean you have to begin when they said their first word. Starting from the middle or end of their life can be more captivating as it introduces conflicts and stakes that shaped their journey.

When he wrote about Christopher McCandless in Into the Wild , author Jon Krakauer didn’t open his subject’s childhood and abusive family environment. Instead, the book begins with McCandless hitchhiking his way into the wilderness, and subsequently being discovered dead in an abandoned bus. By starting in medias res , Krakauer hooks the reader’s interest, before tracing back the causes and motivations that led McCandless to die alone in that bus in the first place.

Chris McCandless self-portrait in front of the now iconic bus

You can bend the timeline to improve the reader’s reading experience throughout the rest of the story too…

Play with flashback 

While biographies tend to follow a chronological narrative, you can use flashbacks to tell brief stories or anecdotes when appropriate. For example, if you were telling the story of footballer Lionel Messi, before the climax of winning the World Cup with Argentina, you could recall when he was just 13 years old, giving an interview to a local newspaper, expressing his lifelong dream of playing for the national team. 

Used sparsely and intentionally, flashbacks can add more context to the story and keep the narrative interesting. Just like including dialogue does…

Reimagine conversations

Recreating conversations that your subject had with people around them is another effective way to color the story. Dialogue helps the reader imagine the story like a movie, providing a deeper sensory experience. 

good thesis for biography

One thing is trying to articulate the root of Steve Jobs’ obsession with product design, another would be to quote his father , teaching him how to build a fence when he was young: “You've got to make the back of the fence just as good looking as the front of the fence. Even though nobody will see it, you will know. And that will show that you're dedicated to making something perfect.”

Unlike memoirs and autobiographies, in which the author tells the story from their personal viewpoint and enjoys greater freedom to recall conversations, biographies require a commitment to facts. So, when recreating dialogue, try to quote directly from reliable sources like personal diaries, emails, and text messages. You could also use your interview scripts as an alternative to dialogue. As Tom Bromley suggests, “If you talk with a good amount of people, you can try to tell the story from their perspective, interweaving different segments and quoting the interviewees directly.”

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These are just some of the story elements you can use to make your biography more compelling. Once you’ve finished your manuscript, it’s a good idea to ask for feedback. 

If you’re going to self-publish your biography, you’ll have to polish it to professional standards. After leaving your work to rest for a while, look at it with fresh eyes and self-edit your manuscript eliminating passive voice, filler words, and redundant adverbs. 

Illustration of an editor reviewing a manuscript

Then, have a professional editor give you a general assessment. They’ll look at the structure and shape of your manuscript and tell you which parts need to be expanded on or cut. As someone who edited and commissioned several biographies, Tom Bromley points out that a professional “will look at the sources used and assess whether they back up the points made, or if more are needed. They would also look for context, and whether or not more background information is needed for the reader to understand the story fully. And they might check your facts, too.”  

In addition to structural editing, you may want to have someone copy-edit and proofread your work.

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Importantly, make sure to include a bibliography with a list of all the interviews, documents, and sources used in the writing process. You’ll have to compile it according to a manual of style, but you can easily create one by using tools like EasyBib . Once the text is nicely polished and typeset in your writing software , you can prepare for the publication process.  

In conclusion, by mixing storytelling elements with diligent research, you’ll be able to breathe life into a powerful biography that immerses readers in another individual’s life experience. Whether that’ll spark inspiration or controversy, remember you could have an important role in shaping their legacy 一 and that’s something not to take lightly. 

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How to Write a Biography Essay of a Famous Person

22 December 2023

last updated

A biography is a text about the personal life story of a famous individual. Basically, it is common for students in higher learning institutions to get assignments that require them to write academic essays. In this case, one form of these essays is a biographical essay. When writing such an essay, what a student should note is the need to focus on writing on the subject (individual) – life, personality, and life experiences. To remain focused, students must identify significant events in the life of the subject and create a thesis statement around those events. In essence, a biographical essay should capture the childhood of the individual, family history, significant life events, notable accomplishments, and historical significance. Hence, students need to learn how to write a biography of a famous person.

General Features of Writing a Professional Biography Essay

In the pursuit of higher education, students often get essay writing assignments that come in various forms. Basically, one of these forms is biography essays, which are common in liberal arts disciplines, such as history and cultural studies. In this case, the literal meaning of the term “biography” is a life story, meaning that biography essays are about the life of specific individuals. Also, these individuals tend to have a mark in the world, either positively or negatively, being their fame. Therefore, a biography essay aims to make sure that readers gain some knowledge about the specific individual. In turn, writing a biography paper enhances the understanding of what individuals did in their life and why their life experiences were exciting and important enough to be the subject of a biography essay.

Definition of a Biography Essay

Unlike other academic essays that talk about diverse topics, a biography essay focuses on telling about the life of a famous individual. Basically, this means that writers focus on the life and personality of their subject, who is now deceased. In this case, the essay provides students with an opportunity to research the life experiences of subjects and learn exciting facts about them. Generally, subjects of this type of essay happen to be famous individuals, such as politicians, entrepreneurs, historical figures, famous actors, and so on. In essence, they are individuals whom the public would love to know more about – how they lived their life and what made them outstanding in their specific fields.

How to write a biography essay

Writing Elements of a Biography Essay

A biography essay reveals to readers the life of the subject and their contribution to society and the world. Hence, a writer of this type of essay must ensure to capture the following elements in their writing:

  • an individual who actually lived;
  • a thesis statement that advances a specific idea about the life, personality, and achievements of the individual;
  • a fascinating account of one or more significant events in the life of the individual; and
  • a description of the critical character traits of the individual.

The Difference With Other Essays

While the standard academic essay may be biographical, especially if it presents factual information about another person’s life, it is fundamentally different from a biography essay. For example, the significant difference between a standard essay and a biography essay is that the latter tends to be much longer than the former. Basically, the basis of this difference is that the content of a biography essay includes all of the essential and fascinating details of a person’s life. Also, these details include life events that impacted not only individuals but also those who interacted with them. Traditionally, biography essays begin with more information about the subject’s childhood and then recount the significant moments that left a mark on life and society in general.

On grading, a standard essay is graded on how well it follows essay writing standards, particularly the introduction-body-conclusion structure. Firstly, the first part should introduce the thesis statement, and the body paragraphs should be thesis-driven. Basically, body sections should open with topic sentences and include evidence to back up claims that writers make concerning the thesis statement. In contrast, a biography essay is graded on how well it tells the life story of the subject. As such, students must make inferences about the individual throughout biographical papers. Although a biographical essay is not subject to the introduction-body-conclusion standard, writers must provide a logical flow of their writing. Moreover, this aspect means that the essay must start by focusing on the early life of the subject to the latter life, indicating how every phase of life was significant.

💠 Expectations

When writing a standard essay, students must show that they understand their topic by using credible sources to support their claims and arguments. In this sense, they must use in-text and reference citations to demonstrate thorough research of the matter. In a biography essay, writers must show an in-depth understanding of the life, personality, and achievements of their subject. Basically, these details should give readers a preview of the individual’s entire life, from birth to last days, including what led to their demise. To make the essay engaging, students should focus on one or several events that significantly impacted the subject’s life, such as a disease, a divorce, or an achievement.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write a Good Biography Essay

Although a biography essay does not follow the introduction-body-conclusion structure like a standard essay, writers must ensure a logical flow of information. In essence, the essay should read like a narrative, with the thesis statement serving as the guiding idea. When writing this type of essay, students should focus on historical facts concerning defined subjects, using objective tone and language to describe individuals and their experiences. In this case, the most important thing for writers to note is that the story must be accurate and not fiction, and they must use reliable sources to validate their claims. Upon reading the essay, an individual should feel confident in writing a persuasive biography essay or finding the right guidance when writing such a piece.

1️⃣ Preparation

The first step in writing a biography essay is planning or preparation. In academic writing , one of the demands is that students should write articles that are educative, meaning that they should advance ideas that readers find enriching in terms of knowledge acquisition. Therefore, finding relevant topics is critical. When writing a biography essay, a student should ensure that a subject is a person of great fame, and there is an audience that is likely to show interest in this person. Basically, these two items provide direction on how a writer should write a professional biography essay.

Choose the subject. Here, writers should choose their subject – the individual whose life, personality, and life experiences that they will address in their writing. In this case, the standard requirement is that the individual must be a famous person who once lived. For research purposes, students need to select a subject for whom scholars have written articles and books. Also, another part of the preparation is to identify a significant event or events that shaped the subject’s life.

Choose the audience. Another issue that a writer should address during preparation is the target audience – the population most likely to show interest in understanding the life, personality, and life experiences of the subject. As already indicated, biographical essays are common in literal arts disciplines, like history and cultural studies. As such, a writer should target scholars in these disciplines and those in the general public who are interested in understanding history. Ideally, the subject provides writers with an idea of the audience’s target needs in terms of knowledge acquisition.

Prepare ideas. Lastly, students should be prepared by generating ideas about their essays, such as what to cover and what to ignore. For example, writing about a famous individual’s life is demanding and requires a writer to determine what stories are relevant and which ones are not. In this case, while it is essential to talk about childhood, dwelling on it at the expense of adult life is counterproductive. Therefore, deciding what details to capture, such as significant life events, helps writers to generate ideas about the biography essay.

2️⃣ Set-Up Stage

After preparation, the next phase in writing a biography essay is setting up the stage. Here, writers should focus on academic sources that they will use to back up their claims about the subject and the essay outline that the essay should adopt. Basically, creating an outline helps students to make notes on different topics that they intend to address in the essay, such as the subject’s childhood, education, and work experience. In turn, writers should also make an annotated bibliography to get an idea of what to capture in the essay.

Researching . The process of finding sources for use in a biographical essay denotes research – the identification of documented information (articles, books, and newspaper articles) about the subject. By reading these sources, writers gain a clearer picture of famous individuals, what inspired them, and how their experiences shaped their personalities. Ultimately, these sources help students argue about contributions that the subject made, whether positive or negative. Moreover, using different sources helps writers to note different opinions that scholars have about the subject, which is vital to make the writing objective rather than subjective.

Note-making. When researching a topic, students make notes of what they learn. Basically, this aspect supports or strengthens their opinion about the issue. Moreover, when writing a biography essay, writers should make notes as they read different sources that they intend to use to support their thesis statement. In this case, students must identify themes related to the thesis statement and use them to guide the note-making process. To avoid subjectivity, writers must note facts only and not their opinions when narrating specific events in the subject’s life. Besides, mentioning significant events, interests, and persons in the subject’s life helps students to make a biography essay both educative and engaging to read.

Creation of an outline. Before embarking on writing a biography essay, a writer must create an outline to guide their story. Although biographical essays do not necessarily follow the standard structure of traditional essays (introduction, body, and conclusion), they follow a structure that provides a logical flow of information. In this case, the information, based on research, should provide insight into the life of the subject from childhood to adulthood or their demise. As such, ideas in each body paragraph must give a progressive narrative about the individual’s life and times. In this sense, writers need to create an outline that adopts the introduction-body-conclusion structure.

Creation of an annotated bibliography. To ensure sources that writers select are relevant to the biography essay, they must create an annotated bibliography. Basically, this feature means that each source should have a brief descriptive paragraph that informs readers of the relevance and accuracy of picked sources. In this case, students must demonstrate a variety of intellectual skills in writing the annotated bibliography, including concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed and in-depth research. In short, the process involves identifying sources (books, articles, and other documents) that contain useful information and ideas about the subject and a brief examination and review of sources.

3️⃣ Writing Activity

After preparing and setting up the stage, authors of a biography essay should start writing the paper. Here, students should use the outline that they have created to guide their writing with notes taken during the reading of sources. Basically, it plays a pivotal role in shaping the narrative. Like the traditional essay, a biography essay should use the thesis statement as the central opinion that writers rely on to construct arguments throughout the paper.

Preparation of the draft. To ensure a quality product, it is essential for the writer of a biography essay to start with a draft essay. Ideally, this essay acts as a reflection of the finished product, meaning that it helps students to note mistakes and correct them before presenting the final product. Moreover, the opening chapter of the draft, like an introduction, should engage readers and make them excited about reading the essay. In this case, the thesis statement should ‘hook’ readers and make them interested in the writing. In turn, the more substantial part of the paper, which is the body, should dwell on interesting facts about discussed subjects – their childhood, significant life events, achievements, and contributions to the world. Also, the closing chapter should remind readers about the writer’s original intention and provide details about how the essay has accomplished it.

The thesis statement. Like a traditional essay, a biography essay should have a thesis statement to provide writers with their direction. Basically, this direction involves how writers choose to present their ideas about the subject, such as whether to focus on their mistakes, life achievements, life challenges, or missed opportunities. In essence, the thesis statement gives readers an idea of what authors of a biographical essay focus on when telling the story of the subject’s life and times. Hence, all aspects that writers talk about in the essay should revolve around the thesis statement.

4️⃣ Wrapping It Up

After completing the biography draft, writers should read it through to identify mistakes and correct them. Basically, the writing activity is mentally involving, which means that writers are prone to make several mistakes, such as inconsistencies in arguments, grammatical errors, and irrelevant content. Hence, this is why students need to read through their writing at least twice to make sure that such mistakes are corrected. Moreover, the processes of correction involve conducting revisions and editions. As such, subjecting the essay to vigorous assessment is necessary to ensure every mistake is identified and corrected.

Revisions. To avoid overlooking mistakes, it is essential for writers of a biography essay to give their works to other persons, such as peers, friends, teachers, and mentors, to read it through. Basically, doing so provides them with an opportunity of getting honest feedback about their writing. Moreover, such feedback involves whether the paper is easy to read, makes logical sense, or is interesting to read. Then, some of the input will pinpoint mistakes and errors, making it easy for students to revise the draft appropriately. In turn, authors should understand that a biography essay should make sense to the target audience, meaning that they must remain objective and not subjective when making revisions.

Editions. In academic writing, students learn the importance of proofreading their work. For instance, it helps make them professional. When writing a biography essay, proofreading the draft helps writers identify grammatical errors, including spellings and punctuations, and correct them. Also, an essay with these kinds of errors is likely to turn off readers’ interest, which would mean that the writing would not command respect among scholars. Hence, such an outcome would mean a biography essay is a wasted scholarly work.

Topic sentences . The standard structure of a paragraph in a traditional essay is to have a topic sentence that makes a claim that is relevant to the thesis statement. Then, the rest of the paragraph involves information that backs up this claim, which is mostly researched from external sources. Basically, a good biography essay follows the same structure, where paragraphs open with topic sentences. Moreover, these sentences make a claim about the subject, which writers go ahead to prove through evidence from selected sources. Ideally, topic sentences serve to provide readers with the issue that writers focus on in that particular paragraph.

Concluding sentences. In every essay, a writer must provide a conclusion, which can be in the form of a paragraph or sentence. For example, a concluding sentence is what an author writes when bringing a paragraph to a closure. In this case, standards of academic writing dictate that the concluding sentence must refer back to the topic sentence and show its relevance to the thesis statement. Then, the concluding sentence captures the thoughts of writers about the issue raised in the topic sentence and is backed up by evidence from different sources. Also, the concluding sentence does not only refer back to topic sentences but also transitions to the next paragraph.

Transitions. When writing an essay, it is very critical for students to ensure that information flows logically throughout the biography paper. For instance, transitions mean the words and phrases that help readers to sense this logical flow of ideas. Therefore, one can argue that writers of all forms of essays use transitions to arrange their writing expertly. In this case, readers sense this effectiveness when they notice words that connect the main idea with supporting ideas, or when they notice the use of a compare and contrast method. In other words, transitions are words that writers use within and between paragraphs to create a logical flow of information and ideas. Besides providing students with a clearer picture of what they want to write about, an outline also helps them to get ideas about the kind of transitions that they can use.

Formatting. It is the standard protocol that writers of essays should follow a particular format – APA, MLA, Harvard, or Chicago/Turabian. As such, authors of a biography essay must always confirm that they have used the right format, while every detail follows that format. Basically, these details include the outline, the use of headings and subheadings, and citations of sources. When citing sources, writers should take note of their kind – books, journal articles, e-books, newspaper articles, periodicals, and so on.

Peer review. Peer-reviewed articles denote scholarly works that writers have been subjected to scrutiny by peers in specific disciplines. In this case, peer review is the process of assessing the validity, quality, and originality of articles for publication. In turn, concerning biography essays, peer review would indicate subjecting the essay to scrutiny by peers and even instructors to ensure that it meets the highest standards of academic writing. Moreover, the advantage of subjecting a biography essay to a peer review is that writers need to know if what they have written is true or false. Therefore, it is common for famous individuals to have several writers interested in telling their stories, meaning that it is easier to note inconsistencies in these stories.

5️⃣ Final Draft

After writers of a biography essay have subjected the first draft to vigorous scrutiny through revisions, editions, and peer review, they should embark on writing the final draft. Basically, this draft denotes a polished essay, free of punctuation, grammatical, and spelling mistakes. Also, it lacks inconsistencies in arguments, irrelevant sentences, and poor transitions. Then, final drafts should show an improved paper from first drafts because writers have incorporated feedback from peers, friends, and teachers. Moreover, writers need to read through the final draft, at least once, to ensure that the paper is perfect before submission or publication. In turn, any indication of several mistakes should mean another revision. Hence, authors should focus on the content, organization of ideas, style of writing, and format.

Techniques for Writing a Good Biography Essay

When writing any type of essay, writers should use some techniques that are likely to make their writing top-notch. When writing a biography essay, a writer should use a technique that prioritizes the following details:

  • the childhood of the subject;
  • family history;
  • significant life events;
  • significant personal and professional accomplishments;
  • and historical significance- significant contributions to society and the world at large.

How to “Show, Not Tell”

Unlike traditional essays, authors of biographical essays should focus on writing vivid details about the life, personality, and life experiences of the subject. Basically, this aspect means that they should not focus not only on telling readers about the subject but also on “showing” them the life of the subject through sensory details. In other words, a biography essay should not be an exposition but a real-life story with dramatic events. Ultimately, the writer’s mission is to make readers immersed in the text. In turn, after reading it, they can narrate the story to another person without referring to the writing.

Major Mistakes When Writing a Biography Essay

When writing a biography essay, students tend to make several specific mistakes. Firstly, they tend to cover too much about the subject’s life, which makes their writing lose focus. In this case, the solution to this mistake is to identify what is exciting and eventful about the subject’s life and create a thesis statement around it. Secondly, writers tend to miss the big story by getting caught up in details. In most cases, the life of a famous individual is characterized by dramatic events, and it is easy to get caught up in some at the expense of others. Hence, the solution to this mistake is to recognize what other authors have written about the subject, as it indicates what history remembers.

Example Template on How to Write a Short Biography Essay

❖ introduction.

As one of America’s Founding Fathers, George Washington stands out as a leader who never shied from giving his best in every endeavor. Growing up as a boy, he made up sayings that shaped his attitude about life. One of these sayings reads: “Lean not on anyone” (Lengel, 2007). As he grew older, he developed a great sense of self-reliance and responsibility, which made him committed to family, military service, and country. In turn, these character traits were fundamental in shaping his achievements and contributions to America.

❖ Childhood

Although he grew up on his family’s Virginia plantation, Washington made up his mind as a young boy to become a land surveyor. At the age of 16, he had his first surveying expedition, where he slept outdoors and hunted for food (Lengel, 2007). Basically, these experiences made him a more mature teenager, and this aspect was evident in his sense of responsibility. Then, one can argue that these early experiences positioned Washington for military service. For example, the year 1775 was eventful in Washington’s life as it marked his entry into military leadership (Lengel, 2007). After the Second Continental Congress named him commander in chief of the army, he made significant contributions before retiring from the position in 1783. Although he helped his soldiers to overcome significant obstacles, many deserted after supplies ran out. Also, Washington served two terms as the first President of the US from 1789 to 1797.

❖ National Hero

However, his service during the American Revolution affords Washington the tag of an American hero. For example, historians suggest that he was a good general than a military strategist, as his strength lay in his ability to keep the struggling army together despite battlefield hardships (Lengel, 2007). Although he commanded a troop made up of poorly trained soldiers, serving with diminishing food, ammunition, and other essential supplies, Washington was effective in providing direction and motivation. Then, records showed that he was inspiring to his troops during the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge, where the above hardships, combined with severe weather, made the troops weak and vulnerable (Lengel, 2007). Throughout the grueling eight-year war, Washington helped to lead the colonial forces in conquering the British. In October 1781, the Continental forces, with the French’s help, captured British troops in the Battle of Yorktown. Hence, this action brought to an end the Revolutionary War, with Washington being declared a national hero.

❖ Historical Significance

Washington’s rise to the presidency began in 1783 after the US and Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris. Believing he had served his country well, Washington left the army so that he could return to Mount Vernon to become a farmer and family man. However, in 1787, he received an invitation to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia (Franklin, 1998). During the event, he was requested to head the committee to draft the new constitution. On account of his outstanding leadership, the delegates became convinced that he was, by far, the most qualified to become the first president of the fledgling nation.

❖ Conclusion

Despite the challenges that came his way during military service and politics, Washington remained an American patriot to the end. After his death, countless people of great repute paid tribute to this great American. In turn, his fellow Founding Father Thomas Jefferson eulogized him as a person of pure integrity and inflexible justice. Hence, history will always remember Washington as among the individuals that laid the foundation for America to become the greatest nation on Earth.

Franklin, J. H. (1998). George Washington Williams: A biography . Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Lengel, E. G. (2007). General George Washington: A military life . New York, NY: Random House.

Summing Up on How to Write a Good Biography Essay

A biography essay differs from a traditional essay in that it focuses on the life, personality, and life experiences of a specific famous individual. Although the essay does not necessarily follow the introduction-body-conclusion structure of a standard essay, it follows a structure that introduces a logical flow of details. In most cases, writers of these essays adopt the structure of the standard essay. Also, a typical biographical essay is longer than a standard essay. Hence, when writing a biography essay, writers should master the following tips:

  • Narrow the focus by concentrating on significant events in the subject’s life.
  • Use facts but write the essay like fiction for purposes of arousing the readers’ interest.
  • Make the essay an emotional journey by capturing details about the subject that are surprising, exciting, revealing, and even unbelievable.
  • Ensure the subject is a famous individual that once lived.
  • Talk about the subject’s childhood briefly.
  • Include family history.
  • Mention one or several significant life events.
  • Cover significant personal and professional accomplishments.
  • Address the subject’s historical significance – the significant contributions that a famous person made to society and the world at large.

Enago Academy

How to Write a Good Academic Biography (Part 1)

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When your journal article gets accepted or you are preparing for a public presentation, you will often be asked for a short academic biography. For many people, these academic bios are more difficult to write than a dissertation. How do you sum up yourself and your work in 3-5 sentences? What do you need to include? What should you leave out?

What You Should Do

  • Start with your full name followed by your current position, your general interests, and your current project, keeping them all very brief.
  • If you are within a year of receiving a prestigious award, mention that as well.
  • Finally, finish with a sentence that’s personal: add a hobby, a pet’s name, the city you live in—whatever you are comfortable with that is personal but not too private.

What You Should Avoid

  • Avoid speaking in the first person, i.e., don’t use “I.”
  • Don’t divulge details beyond your current position.
  • In a longer bio of multiple paragraphs, you may add more awards and information about your master’s and bachelor’s degrees, but not in a short bio. Moreover, don’t add anything that happened before grad school—including your place of birth. For example:

Hi! My name is Scott. I was originally born in Vermont and now I’m a professor at North Yankee University in Fargone, New York (in upstate New York). I study antelopes’ migration patterns and their impact of native grain growth. My interest in antelopes began as a teenager when I first saw one in the wild. I did my undergrad degree in biology at SUNY and my masters and UCLA and my PhD in Forestry at Hunter College.

Related: Finished drafting your academic biography and heading for an international conference? Check out this post now!

The above example is far too casual and Scott’s work and current position are overshadowed by all the other random details. This can be written in a much better way:

Scott Sampson is a professor of Wildlife Biology at North Yankee University. His work focuses specifically on the migration patterns of antelope and their impact on the growth of native grain. His favorite place to do research in his backyard, which opens to the Akron National Forest.

This improvised version is concise, relevant, and makes Scott’s bio appear professional while giving a short description of his personal details.

Longer Bios

For longer bios, follow the same basic rules, but go into a bit more depth about your work, your education, and your future projects or interests. You may also consider adding a line about your immediate family. But as always, leave the personal details for a short and friendly mention at the end of the bio.

Mostly, your bio will be used by someone to introduce you at a conference or public event so if you write your bio using these tips, you will help them give a smooth and accurate introduction. Remember that the bio is the first thing that people know about you so pack it full of the most important things about yourself!

If you would like to know more about different formats of academic biography, read the next article in this series!

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A Definitive Guide To Writing a Biography

  • March 1, 2022
  • 12 Comments

BIOGRAPHY

Writing a biography is a chronological account of a person’s life, written by another person. Sometimes, the description only includes significant events in your life; while others include everything from childhood to death. Although there is no absolute standard regarding the length of a biography writing , most are at least several thousand words. It is a great choice if you have little to no experience with creating content, but are interested in trying it out. 

The best way to write a biography begins with finding some interesting facts about yourself that you can share. The best biographies have real facts that have inspired stories attached to them. 

Introduction to a Biography Writing: How is it different from an Autobiography?

A biography writing , or simply a bio, is a detailed description of a person’s life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person’s experience of these life events.  

Unlike a profile or curriculum vitae (résumé), a biography presents a subject’s life story, highlighting various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of the subject’s personality. 

  • Biographical works are usually non-fiction, but fiction can also portray a person’s life. One in-depth form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing.  
  • From literature to film, works in diverse media form the genre known as biography.  
  • An authorized biography is written with the permission, cooperation, and at times, participation of a subject or a subject’s heirs.  
  • Whereas an autobiography is written by the person themselves, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or ghostwriter. 

Formulate your Thesis Statement:

A thesis statement is a sentence that makes an assertion about a topic and predicts how the topic will be developed.  

  • It does not simply announce a topic: it says something about the topic.  
  • The thesis statement is usually just one sentence long, but it might be longer—even a whole paragraph—usually, if you’re writing a large content like a Biography.   
  • A good thesis statement makes a debatable point, meaning a point someone might disagree with and argue against.  
  • It also serves as a guide to remind the writer of what he/she should write about and consult when lost regarding the content’s focus. 

Construct a Strong Timeline of the Person’s Life:

There are lots of ways to develop a perfect timeline. Either you can do it trying a simple method, or you can improvise it even better by adding some essence to it.  

If you decide to go for a simple arena, here’s how you can do it: 

Include the dates of all events in the person’s life put together descriptions of each. 

  • Birth 
  • Childhood 
  • Education 
  • Career highlights 
  • Personal life 
  • Death 

BIOGRAPHY

For cultivating the best results, improvise your points with these:

  • Give the reader an idea of what your subject is like as a person. Does he/she enjoy socializing with other people? What are his/her likes and dislikes? 
  • What are the major events that happened in his/her life? (This could be related to their family, personal life, career, etc.) 
  • Create a timeline of the person’s life. This will help you organize your thoughts and decide what information should go into your biography writing . 
  • Give examples of how the subject’s past experiences have shaped him or her into the person they are today.
  • Try to include quotes from your subject throughout the biography writing.   

Choose your method of writing the Biography:

There are different methods of writing a biography –  

  • One is to write in chronological order. This method has been used since the days of Herodotus and Plutarch . In this type of biography, you would start with the person’s birth and write about his life in order from that point on.
  • A second way to write a biography is to focus on a person’s key accomplishments in an order that emphasizes their importance, even if the events didn’t happen that way in real life.  
  • Other biographies can be written from a psychological perspective, which focuses on internal motivation, or a historical perspective that uses background events as an important part of the story.  
  • A final way to write a biography is to focus on one specific event or aspect of someone’s life. 

Writing the First Draft of Biography:  

To write your first draft, you will need to: 

  • Avoid editing as you go. Writing is a process, and it’s hard to get it right the first time. When you edit as you go, you slow yourself down. Worse yet, you might stop altogether because you’re never happy with what you’ve written.  
  • To get a first draft done quickly, focus on quantity over quality. Write fast and edit later. 
  • Consider talking out loud instead of writing. It’s easier to use your natural voice when spoken words are not transcribed verbatim.  
  • Write in bursts with short breaks in between. Sitting down for an hour or more is difficult for many people, but if you take frequent breaks. Every 25 minutes–you’ll be able to write for longer periods of time without feeling drained or exhausted from the activity.  

Conclude with Impact:  

Now that you’ve made your case, it’s time to wrap it up with a conclusion that seals the deal. This final section can be anywhere from three sentences to three paragraphs, but it should wrap up the biography writing nicely and leave a lasting impression on your readers. 

A great way to do this is to include one or two quotes from people who were impacted by the person you are writing about. You could also end with a memorable quote from the person or some type of legacy statement that highlights their most notable achievements. 

BIOGRAPHY

Writ e a biography has more to do with being able to get into the right mindset of your subject than writing skills. However, the key thing is being honest. In other words, it’s not about trying to become someone you’re not (even if that also means being a bit creative). Lastly, write like you speak and let the words flow. 

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Send your query, 12 thoughts on “a definitive guide to writing a biography”.

Very nice blog. Now I can start writing a biography of my personal life after reading this blog. Thanks 👍 for sharing this blog.

Thanks for sharing this blog. I have just started my career in Biography writing and I know this blog will help me a lot and one day I will become professional biography writer.

The blog is really amazing but I have a question that can anyone write their own biography?

I have a question that I want to ask after reading this blog, are biographies similar to memoirs?

The information given in this blog is really amazing 👌👌👌. Thanks for sharing this blog.

Wow, so can I get a biography written for myself? What kind of help can I get if I wanna make a short movie of my life? Is that possible?

My friend wants to get a help in writing a biography for his father. I’m sure this blog will help him a lot.

Very amazing blog and nicely written. The most engaging part of this blog is that we can start a biography without any doubt because most of people get confused from where should they start to write a biography.

Thankyou so much for this blog. I’m a student and i had to write a biography of few scientist but i didn’t know how to start. It really helped me a lot.

I appreciate your work that how easily you have explained it. It would definitely have help everyone in writing a biography, how to start and the way of writing.

I’ve taken away so many valuable tips from your post. Your tips are fantastic!

Thankyou so much for the feedback, it means so much to us and we aspire to bring you more of them. Read more on ( link )

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How to write a biography essay

The complete guide on biographical storytelling

Anyone can learn how to write a perfect biography essay about someone else’s life by making sure to focus on true, objective facts about a specific person. First, determine the scope of the person’s life (years), pick a central theme, and write out the biography using the classic narrative arc.

Many college courses include an essay writing component, and a biography essay is one of the types of essays that you may encounter, especially if you are taking courses in liberal arts disciplines such as history or cultural studies. This guide from Ultius will provide you with a thorough overview of how to write an effective biography essay. The guide will include the following sections:

  • purpose of a biography essay
  • biography and culture
  • elements of a good biography essay
  • how to write a great biography essay
  • samples/examples
  • additional information

After reading this guide, you should feel confident in your ability to write a strong biography essay, or at least in your ability to find the right kind of help to write such an essay.

Purpose of a biography essay

"Biography" literally means the story of a life. So, when you write a biography essay, what you are trying to do is to write the story of someone's life. ( Autobiography is a related concept that refers to the story of your own life.) If your biography essay is successful, then by the end of reading it, the reader should have a clear idea of what your subject did in his/her life and why his/her life was interesting and/or important enough to be the subject of a biography essay.

According to the Ultius glossary, a biography is a detailed descriptions of a famous person’s life and accomplishments (as a genre). Biographies typically contain intricate details of the subject’s personal life and sometimes include an analysis of the person’s personality and attributes.

A biography essay is similar to other forms of essays, such as the narrative essay, insofar as it involves telling a story. A biography essay, however, is supposed to be rooted in historical fact, and it should describe your subject using objective tone and language.

Narrative essay how-to guide. Click here is you are interested in learning how to write a narrative essay instead.

There are two important things to remember about a biography essay.

1. It is a true story that describes the life of your subject. You are not allowed to just make things up, and there should be scholarly documentation confirming that what you are writing is valid.

2. It is a story about someone else, generally a famous historical figure . If you were writing about yourself, that would be a memoir, which for present purposes should be considered as different from a biographical essay.

Only use details and facts that can be verified through documents or existing sources. An important hallmark of biography essays is that they are true.

The importance of biography essays

The English writer Samuel Johnson had this to say about biographies:

"No species of writing seems more worthy of cultivation than biography, since none can be more delightful or more useful, none can more certainly enchain the heart by irresistible interest, or more widely diffuse instruction to every diversity of condition.”

The main idea here is that my reading biographies, people can gain insight into the lives of other people who have done amazing things. This can be enchanting in its own right, and it can also provide the reader with inspiration for his own life and help the reader look at his own life with fresh eyes.

Stuck with writing? Essay services from Ultius can help with biography writing.

For example, are you interested in doing philosophy? If so, you may find it inspiring to read biographies such as:

  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius , by Ray Monk
  • Albert Camus: A Life , by Olivier Todd
  • Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography , by Joakim Garff

A nice thing about the genre of biography is also that biographies are written about a huge range of different figures in different disciplines, meaning that you can find biographical subject that may specifically interest you or move your heart.

Biography and culture

Biographies play an important role in preserving human cultural memory: it is like history, except focused on the life of one person. People have been telling stories about heroes and other admirable figures since the beginning of the human species.

Alexander the Great mosaic

Modern biography, though, is somewhat different from the old heroic stories, in that modern biography is supposed to be objective and scholarly, and it is generally rooted in a secular view of time and history. In other words, modern biographies are based in reason more than imagination, and they are not supposed to include magical and/or irrational events.

Biography vs. legend

Biography is a modern scholarly discipline that has some similarities to the much older genre of the legend, but it is also different in some important ways.

So, the genre of biography carries on the old tradition of telling stories about the lives of admirable figures. But whereas the old legends were more imaginative and quasi-fictional in their tellings, modern biography is supposed to be based on reason and objective, verifiable facts about the life of the subject.

Elements of a good biography essay

In order to write a compelling biography essay, there are certain elements that you will have to include. Here are some of them.

Linear narrative arc

This may seem somewhat obvious, but a human life naturally resembles a story, starting with birth and ending in death, with various drama and events happening in between. This is the natural arc that you should follow when writing your biography essay. In general, you should begin your essay with the birth of your historical figure and then follow him/her through the events of his/her life until death.

The plot rainbow | Ultius

Some biography essays might be able to get with innovations such as non-linear structure, but unless you really know what you are doing, that can get very confusing, and your biography essay would be difficult to follow. So, for all intent and purpose, we can say that following a linear narrative arc is a best practice for writing a biography essay.

Different types of narrative structures

These are some of the possible types of narrative structure. When writing a biography essay, you are strongly advised to stick to the linear structure.

The linear structure is the standard for most biographies; it starts at a specific point in the protagonist's life and moves forward in chronological order. Nonlinear structure is more complex as this style moves between time periods with time skips and flashbacks. Thematic structure strategically conveys given and new information to frame and insert specific themes.

Choose a compelling biography essay subject

For your biography essay, your subject will be the person whose life story you will be writing. In order for your biography essay to be effective, you will have to pick a subject who is interesting, important, or otherwise qualified to be the subject of a biography essay. You should ask yourself the question: why choose your subject, and what has your subject done that deserves to be recorded and remembered?

Of course, there's a sense in which every single human life is interesting and important. But for the purposes of your biography essay, you will want to dig deeper and consider why your subject is worthy of being remembered in the collective cultural memory.

An effective biography usually focuses on someone who has affected history, or someone who has achieved a high level of excellence within his/her discipline or field.

Søren Kierkegaard: A very important philosopher

Portrait of Søren Kierkegaard

Kierkegaard would be an example a good subject for a biography essay, because his works are generally considered a turning point in modern philosophy.

The subject of your biography essay does not necessarily need to be well-known. In fact, it can be a lot of fun to dig into the life of someone is not well known but should be. The important thing is that your subject must be compelling, and there must be a solid reason why his/her story should be told.

Also, when picking a subject, you may want to make sure that you actually like your subject. That can make writing a biography essay more fun, and your respect for the subject (or lack thereof) will also probably come across in your writing. If you want to convince others that your subject is compelling, then it would help if you find him/her compelling.

Choose biographical (life) events wisely

A lot can happen in a life, and it would probably be impossible for you to include everything there is to know about your subject within a single biography essay. So, you should choose the high point, or the most important points, and then focus on those.

Events in the life of Kierkegaard

These are key events that could be the focus of a biography essay on Kierkegaard.

Garff, Joakim. Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography. Princeton: Princeton U P, 2007.

How to write a great biography essay

Now that you know about the elements of a biography essay, you can follow these steps in order to ensure that your biography essay turns out to be a success.

Writing a Biography Essay | Ultius

Next, integrate the specific biography related aspects listed below.

Determine the scope of your biographical essay

Again, your biography essay won't be able to include everything there is to know about your subject. So, you will want to map out the scope of your biography essay before you get started. The birth and death of your subject are the logical starting and ending points for your essay. Then, you will want to select a few events or accomplishments in the life of your subject that are worthy of remembrance.

You can develop a full-fledged outline, or you can use a table like the one developed above. Either way, though, you will have to have a clear idea of where you will begin, where you will end, and the path that you will take from the beginning to the end.

Compile credible sources

Your biography essay has to be rooted in verifiable facts about the life of your subject. This means that it is important that you identify and document the sources of your information. The essay sources should generally be scholarly in nature, and you should avoid using websites to the greatest extent possible. This is because it is often difficult to tell whether the content on websites have been drawn from credible sources.

Questions to ask when compiling sources

Questions to ask when finding sources

If there are references listed on a website about your subject, then you should trace those references back to the original academic sources. Those are the sources you should use for your biography essay.

The differences between primary and secondary sources | Ultius

Write in a clear and compelling style

Remember: with your biography essay, you are at least partly trying to show your reader why your subject is interesting and why he/she deserves to have an essay written about him/her.

Your interest in your subject should come across in your writing style. After all, if you feel bored with your subject, then why should anyone else pay attention?

The language you use should be scholarly (but still filled with imagery ), but you should also focus on varying sentence structure, using excellent word choice, and other writing techniques that tell the life story of your subject in a compelling way that does justice to the importance of your subject.

Samples/examples

See the example biographical essay below for a clear example of how it needs to be written.

As the sample shows, it’s very important to be focused on true details. Please see the list of blog posts below for more examples of biography essays:

  • Biography essay on Hillary Clinton
  • Biography essay on Frank Rosolino
  • Short essay on Edgar Allan Poe

If you need more help or would like something written for your own needs, consider buying custom essays from Ultius . Our talented writes can help you get something done in as fast as three hours.

Additional information

That brings us to the close of this guide on the biography essay. Here is a recapitulation of some of the best practices that have been covered here.

Develop a focused arc

You should use a linear narrative structure, starting with the birth of your subject, ending with their death, and focusing on selected key events and accomplishments in the subject's life.

Write in the scholarly mode

Although a biography essay is a kind of "story," it should still be written in a rational, scholarly way, and referencing in MLA or Chicago style is usually required for this kind of essay.

Love your subject

If you get to choose your subject, then you should pick a subject that you personally admire. This will make the writing process more fun, and your interest will also show in your writing and make the biography essay more enjoyable for the reader.

Find help if you need it

Finally, Ultius has plenty of resources that can help you write a successful biography essay and hone your skills as a writer. Please feel free to lean on us.

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How to Write an Interesting Biography

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A biography is a written account of the series of events that make up a person's life. Some of those events are going to be pretty boring, so you'll need to try to make your account as interesting as possible!

Every student will write a biography at some point, but the level of detail and sophistication will differ. A fourth grade biography will be much different from a middle school-level biography or a high school or college-level biography.

However, each biography will include the basic details. The first information you should gather in your research will include biographical details and facts. You must use a trustworthy resource to ensure that your information is accurate.

Using research note cards , collect the following data, carefully recording the source for each piece of information:

Including Basic Details

  • Date and place of birth and death
  • Family information
  • Lifetime accomplishments
  • Major events of life
  • Effects/impact on society, historical significance

While this information is necessary to your project, these dry facts, on their own, don't really make a very good biography. Once you've found these basics, you'll want to dig a little deeper.

You choose a certain person because you think he or she is interesting, so you certainly don't want to burden your paper with an inventory of boring facts. Your goal is to impress your reader!

Start off with great first sentence . It's a good idea to begin with a really interesting statement, a little-known fact, or really intriguing event.

You should avoid starting out with a standard but boring line like:

"Meriwether Lewis was born in Virginia in 1774."

Instead, try starting with something like this:

"Late one afternoon in October, 1809, Meriwether Lewis arrived at a small log cabin nestled deep in the Tennessee Mountains. By sunrise on the following day, he was dead, having suffered gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

You'll have to make sure your beginning is motivating, but it should also be relevant. The next sentence or two should lead into your thesis statement , or main message of your biography.

"It was a tragic end to a life that had so deeply affected the course of history in the United States. Meriwether Lewis, a driven and often tormented soul, led an expedition of discovery that expanded a young nation's economic potential, increased its scientific understanding, and enhanced its worldwide reputation."

Now that you've created an impressive beginning , you'll want to continue the flow. Find more intriguing details about the man and his work, and weave them into the composition.

Examples of Interesting Details:

  • Some people believed that Lewis and Clark would encounter elephants in the western wilderness, having misunderstood the wooly mammoth bones discovered in the United States.
  • The expedition resulted in the discovery and description of 122 new animal species and subspecies.
  • Lewis was a hypochondriac.
  • His death is still an unsolved mystery, although it was ruled a suicide.

You can find interesting facts by consulting diverse sources.

Fill the body of your biography with material that gives insight into your subject's personality. For instance, in a biography about Meriwether Lewis, you would ask what traits or events motivated him to embark on such a monumental exercise.

Questions to Consider in Your Biography:

  • Was there something in your subject's childhood that shaped his/her personality?
  • Was there a personality trait that drove him/her to succeed or impeded his progress?
  • What adjectives would you use to describe him/her?
  • What were some turning points in this life?
  • What was his/her impact on history?

Be sure to use transitional phrases and words to link your paragraphs and make your composition paragraphs flow . It is normal for good writers to re-arrange their sentences to create a better paper.

The final paragraph will summarize your main points and re-assert your main claim about your subject. It should point out your main points, re-name the person you're writing about, but it should not repeat specific examples.

As always, proofread your paper and check for errors. Create a bibliography and title page according to your teacher's instructions. Consult a style guide for proper documentation.

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Literacy Ideas

How to Write a Biography

good thesis for biography

Biographies are big business. Whether in book form or Hollywood biopics, the lives of the famous and sometimes not-so-famous fascinate us.

While it’s true that most biographies are about people who are in the public eye, sometimes the subject is less well-known. Mostly though, famous or not, the person who is written about has led a life that is in some way incredible.

While your students will most likely have a basic understanding of a biography, it’s worth taking a little time before they put pen to paper to tease out a crystal clear definition of a biography.

Visual Writing Prompts

What Is a Biography?

how to write a biography | how to start an autobiography | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

Simply put, a biography is an account of someone’s life written by someone else . While there is a genre known as a fictional biography, for the most part, biographies are, by definition, nonfiction.

Generally speaking, biographies provide an account of the subject’s life from the earliest days of their childhood right up to the present day or their death if the subject is deceased.

The job of a biography is more than just to outline the bare facts of a person’s life.

Rather than just listing the basic details of their upbringing, hobbies, education, work, relationships, and death, a well-written biography should also paint a picture of the subject’s personality, and as well as their experience of life.

A COMPLETE UNIT ON TEACHING BIOGRAPHIES

how to write a biography | biography and autobiography writing unit 1 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

Teach your students to write AMAZING BIOGRAPHIES & AUTOBIOGRAPHIES using proven RESEARCH SKILLS and WRITING STRATEGIES .

  • Understand the purpose of both forms of biography.
  • Explore the language and perspective of both.
  • Prompts and Challenges to engage students in writing a biography.
  • Dedicated lessons for both forms of biography.
  • Biographical Projects can expand students’ understanding of reading and writing a biography.
  • A COMPLETE 82-PAGE UNIT – NO PREPARATION REQUIRED.

What Are the Main Features of a Biography?

Before students begin writing a biography, they’ll need to have a firm grasp of the main features of the genre. A good way to determine how well they understand these essential elements of the genre is by asking them to compile a checklist.

At a minimum, their checklists should contain the items below. Be sure to help them fill in any gaps before moving on to the writing process.

The purpose of a biography is to provide an account of someone’s life.

Biography structure.

ORIENTATION (BEGINNING) Open your biography with a strong hook to grab the reader’s attention

SEQUENCING: In most cases, biographies are written in chronological order unless you are a very competent writer consciously trying to break from this trend.

COVER: childhood, upbringing, education, influences, accomplishments, relationships, etc. – everything that helps the reader to understand the person.

CONCLUSION: Wrap your biography up with some details about what the subject is doing now if they are still alive. If they have passed away, make mention of what impact they have made and what their legacy is or will be.

BIOGRAPHY FEATURES

LANGUAGE Use descriptive and figurative language that will paint images inside your audience’s minds as they read. Use time connectives to link events.

PERSPECTIVE Biographies are written from the third person’s perspective.

DETAILS: Give specific details about people, places, events, times, dates, etc. Reflect on how events shaped the subject. You might want to include some relevant photographs with captions. A timeline may also be of use depending upon your subject and what you are trying to convey to your audience.

TENSE Written in the past tense (though ending may shift to the present/future tense)

THE PROCESS OF WRITING A BIOGRAPHY

Like any form of writing, you will find it simple if you have a plan and follow it through. These steps will ensure you cover the essential bases of writing a biography essay.

Firstly, select a subject that inspires you. Someone whose life story resonates with you and whose contribution to society intrigues you. The next step is to conduct thorough research. Engage in extensive reading, explore various sources, watch documentaries, and glean all available information to provide a comprehensive account of the person’s life.

Creating an outline is essential to organize your thoughts and information. The outline should include the person’s early life, education, career, achievements, and any other significant events or contributions. It serves as a map for the writing process, ensuring that all vital information is included.

Your biography should have an engaging introduction that captivates the reader’s attention and provides background information on the person you’re writing about. It should include a thesis statement that summarizes the main points of the biography.

Writing a biography in chronological order is crucial . You should begin with the person’s early life and move through their career and achievements. This approach provides clarity on how the person’s life unfolded and how they accomplished their goals.

A biography should be written in a narrative style , capturing the essence of the person’s life through vivid descriptions, anecdotes, and quotes. Avoid dry, factual writing and focus on creating a compelling narrative that engages the reader.

Adding personal insights and opinions can enhance the biography’s overall impact, providing a unique perspective on the person’s achievements, legacy, and impact on society.

Editing and proofreading are vital elements of the writing process. Thoroughly reviewing your biography ensures that the writing is clear, concise, and error-free. You can even request feedback from someone else to ensure that it is engaging and well-written.

Finally, including a bibliography at the end of your biography is essential. It gives credit to the sources that were used during research, such as books, articles, interviews, and websites.

Tips for Writing a Brilliant Biography

Biography writing tip #1: choose your subject wisely.

There are several points for students to reflect on when deciding on a subject for their biography. Let’s take a look at the most essential points to consider when deciding on the subject for a biography:

Interest: To produce a biography will require sustained writing from the student. That’s why students must choose their subject well. After all, a biography is an account of someone’s entire life to date. Students must ensure they choose a subject that will sustain their interest throughout the research, writing, and editing processes.

Merit: Closely related to the previous point, students must consider whether the subject merits the reader’s interest. Aside from pure labors of love, writing should be undertaken with the reader in mind. While producing a biography demands sustained writing from the author, it also demands sustained reading from the reader.

Therefore, students should ask themselves if their chosen subject has had a life worthy of the reader’s interest and the time they’d need to invest in reading their biography.

Information: Is there enough information available on the subject to fuel the writing of an entire biography? While it might be a tempting idea to write about a great-great-grandfather’s experience in the war. There would be enough interest there to sustain the author’s and the reader’s interest, but do you have enough access to information about their early childhood to do the subject justice in the form of a biography?

Biography Writing Tip #2: R esearch ! Research! Research!

While the chances are good that the student already knows quite a bit about the subject they’ve chosen. Chances are 100% that they’ll still need to undertake considerable research to write their biography.

As with many types of writing , research is an essential part of the planning process that shouldn’t be overlooked. If a student wishes to give as complete an account of their subject’s life as possible, they’ll need to put in the time at the research stage.

An effective way to approach the research process is to:

1. Compile a chronological timeline of the central facts, dates, and events of the subject’s life

2. Compile detailed descriptions of the following personal traits:

  •      Physical looks
  •      Character traits
  •      Values and beliefs

3. Compile some research questions based on different topics to provide a focus for the research:

  • Childhood : Where and when were they born? Who were their parents? Who were the other family members? What education did they receive?
  • Obstacles: What challenges did they have to overcome? How did these challenges shape them as individuals?
  • Legacy: What impact did this person have on the world and/or the people around them?
  • Dialogue & Quotes: Dialogue and quotations by and about the subject are a great way to bring color and life to a biography. Students should keep an eagle eye out for the gems that hide amid their sources.

As the student gets deeper into their research, new questions will arise that can further fuel the research process and help to shape the direction the biography will ultimately go in.

Likewise, during the research, themes will often begin to suggest themselves. Exploring these themes is essential to bring depth to biography, but we’ll discuss this later in this article.

Research Skills:

Researching for biography writing is an excellent way for students to hone their research skills in general. Developing good research skills is essential for future academic success. Students will have opportunities to learn how to:

  • Gather relevant information
  • Evaluate different information sources
  • Select suitable information
  • Organize information into a text.

Students will have access to print and online information sources, and, in some cases, they may also have access to people who knew or know the subject (e.g. biography of a family member).

These days, much of the research will likely take place online. It’s crucial, therefore, to provide your students with guidance on how to use the internet safely and evaluate online sources for reliability. This is the era of ‘ fake news ’ and misinformation after all!

COMPLETE TEACHING UNIT ON INTERNET RESEARCH SKILLS USING GOOGLE SEARCH

how to write a biography | research skills 1 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

Teach your students ESSENTIAL SKILLS OF THE INFORMATION ERA to become expert DIGITAL RESEARCHERS.

⭐How to correctly ask questions to search engines on all devices.

⭐ How to filter and refine your results to find exactly what you want every time.

⭐ Essential Research and critical thinking skills for students.

⭐ Plagiarism, Citing and acknowledging other people’s work.

⭐ How to query, synthesize and record your findings logically.

BIOGRAPHY WRITING Tip #3: Find Your Themes In Biography Writing

Though predominantly a nonfiction genre, the story still plays a significant role in good biography writing. The skills of characterization and plot structuring are transferable here. And, just like in fiction, exploring themes in a biographical work helps connect the personal to the universal. Of course, these shouldn’t be forced; this will make the work seem contrived, and the reader may lose faith in the truthfulness of the account. A biographer needs to gain and maintain the trust of the reader.

Fortunately, themes shouldn’t need to be forced. A life well-lived is full of meaning, and the themes the student writer is looking for will emerge effortlessly from the actions and events of the subject’s life. It’s just a case of learning how to spot them.

One way to identify the themes in a life is to look for recurring events or situations in a person’s life. These should be apparent from the research completed previously. The students should seek to identify these patterns that emerge in the subject’s life. For example, perhaps they’ve had to overcome various obstacles throughout different periods of their life. In that case, the theme of overcoming adversity is present and has been identified.

Usually, a biography has several themes running throughout, so be sure your students work to identify more than one theme in their subject’s life.

BIOGRAPHY WRITING Tip: #4 Put Something of Yourself into the Writing

While the defining feature of a biography is that it gives an account of a person’s life, students must understand that this is not all a biography does. Relating the facts and details of a subject’s life is not enough. The student biographer should not be afraid to share their thoughts and feelings with the reader throughout their account of their subject’s life.

The student can weave some of their personality into the fabric of the text by providing commentary and opinion as they relate the events of the person’s life and the wider social context at the time. Unlike the detached and objective approach we’d expect to find in a history textbook, in a biography, student-writers should communicate their enthusiasm for their subject in their writing.

This makes for a more intimate experience for the reader, as they get a sense of getting to know the author and the subject they are writing about.

Student Examples of Biography Writing

  • Year 5 Example
  • Year 7 Example
  • Year 9 Example

“The Rock ‘n’ Roll King: Elvis Presley”

Elvis Aaron Presley, born on January 8, 1935, was an amazing singer and actor known as the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Even though he’s been dead for nearly 50 years, I can’t help but be fascinated by his incredible life!

Elvis grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi, in a tiny house with his parents and twin brother. His family didn’t have much money, but they shared a love for music. Little did they know Elvis would become a music legend!

When he was only 11 years old, Elvis got his first guitar. He taught himself to play and loved singing gospel songs. As he got older, he started combining different music styles like country, blues, and gospel to create a whole new sound – that’s Rock ‘n’ Roll!

In 1954, at the age of 19, Elvis recorded his first song, “That’s All Right.” People couldn’t believe how unique and exciting his music was. His famous hip-swinging dance moves also made him a sensation!

Elvis didn’t just rock the music scene; he also starred in movies like “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock.” But fame came with challenges. Despite facing ups and downs, Elvis kept spreading happiness through his music.

how to write a biography | A4H32CWFYQ72GPUNCIRTS5Y7P4 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

Tragically, Elvis passed away in 1977, but his music and charisma live on. Even today, people worldwide still enjoy his songs like “Hound Dog” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Elvis Presley’s legacy as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll will live forever.

Long Live the King: I wish I’d seen him.

Elvis Presley, the Rock ‘n’ Roll legend born on January 8, 1935, is a captivating figure that even a modern-day teen like me can’t help but admire. As I delve into his life, I wish I could have experienced the magic of his live performances.

Growing up in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis faced challenges but found solace in music. At 11, he got his first guitar, a symbol of his journey into the world of sound. His fusion of gospel, country, and blues into Rock ‘n’ Roll became a cultural phenomenon.

The thought of being in the audience during his early performances, especially when he recorded “That’s All Right” at 19, sends shivers down my spine. Imagining the crowd’s uproar and feeling the revolutionary energy of that moment is a dream I wish I could have lived.

Elvis wasn’t just a musical prodigy; he was a dynamic performer. His dance moves, the embodiment of rebellion, and his roles in films like “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock” made him a true icon.

After watching him on YouTube, I can’t help but feel a little sad that I’ll never witness the King’s live performances. The idea of swaying to “Hound Dog” or being enchanted by “Can’t Help Falling in Love” in person is a missed opportunity. Elvis may have left us in 1977, but he was the king of rock n’ roll. Long live the King!

Elvis Presley: A Teen’s Take on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Icon”

Elvis Presley, born January 8, 1935, was a revolutionary force in the music world, earning his title as the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Exploring his life, even as a 16-year-old today, I’m captivated by the impact he made.

Hailing from Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis grew up in humble beginnings, surrounded by the love of his parents and twin brother. It’s inspiring to think that, despite financial challenges, this young man would redefine the music scene.

At 11, Elvis got his first guitar, sparking a self-taught journey into music. His early gospel influences evolved into a unique fusion of country, blues, and gospel, creating the electrifying genre of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In 1954, at only 19, he recorded “That’s All Right,” marking the birth of a musical legend.

Elvis wasn’t just a musical innovator; he was a cultural phenomenon. His rebellious dance moves and magnetic stage presence challenged the norms. He transitioned seamlessly into acting, starring in iconic films like “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock.”

how to write a biography | Elvis Presley promoting Jailhouse Rock | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

However, fame came at a cost, and Elvis faced personal struggles. Despite the challenges, his music continued to resonate. Even now, classics like “Hound Dog” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” transcend generations.

Elvis Presley’s impact on music and culture is undeniable. He was known for his unique voice, charismatic persona, and electrifying performances. He sold over one billion records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling solo artists in history. He received numerous awards throughout his career, including three Grammy Awards and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Elvis’s influence can still be seen in today’s music. Many contemporary artists, such as Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, and Justin Timberlake, have cited Elvis as an inspiration. His music continues to be featured in movies, TV shows, and commercials.

Elvis left us in 1977, but his legacy lives on. I appreciate his breaking barriers and fearlessly embracing his artistic vision. Elvis Presley’s impact on music and culture is timeless, a testament to the enduring power of his artistry. His music has inspired generations and will continue to do so for many years to come.

how to write a biography | LITERACY IDEAS FRONT PAGE 1 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.

BIOGRAPHY WRITING TEACHING IDEAS AND LESSONS

We have compiled a sequence of biography-related lessons or teaching ideas that you can follow as you please. They are straightforward enough for most students to follow without further instruction.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 1:

This session aims to give students a broader understanding of what makes a good biography.

Once your students have compiled a comprehensive checklist of the main features of a biography, allow them to use it to assess some biographies from your school library or on the internet using the feature checklist.

When students have assessed a selection of biographies, take some time as a class to discuss them. You can base the discussion around the following prompts:

  • Which biographies covered all the criteria from their checklist?
  • Which biographies didn’t?
  • Which biography was the most readable in terms of structure?
  • Which biography do you think was the least well-structured? How would you improve this?

Looking at how other writers have interpreted the form will help students internalize the necessary criteria before attempting to produce a biography. Once students have a clear understanding of the main features of the biography, they’re ready to begin work on writing a biography.

When the time does come to put pen to paper, be sure they’re armed with the following top tips to help ensure they’re as well prepared as possible.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 2:

This session aims to guide students through the process of selecting the perfect biography subject.

Instruct students to draw up a shortlist of three potential subjects for the biography they’ll write.

Using the three criteria mentioned in the writing guide (Interest, Merit, and Information), students award each potential subject a mark out of 5 for each of the criteria. In this manner, students can select the most suitable subject for their biography.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 3:

This session aims to get students into the researching phase and then prioritise events and organise them chronologically.

Students begin by making a timeline of their subject’s life, starting with their birth and ending with their death or the present day. If the student has yet to make a final decision on the subject of their biography, a family member will often serve well for this exercise as a practice exercise.

Students should research and gather the key events of the person’s life, covering each period of their life from when they were a baby, through childhood and adolescence, right up to adulthood and old age. They should then organize these onto a timeline. Students can include photographs with captions if they have them.

They can present these to the class when they have finished their timelines.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 4:

Instruct students to look over their timeline, notes, and other research. Challenge them to identify three patterns that repeat throughout the subject’s life and sort all the related events and incidents into specific categories.

Students should then label each category with a single word. This is the thematic concept or the broad general underlying idea. After that, students should write a sentence or two expressing what the subject’s life ‘says’ about that concept.

This is known as the thematic statement . With the thematic concepts and thematic statements identified, the student now has some substantial ideas to explore that will help bring more profound meaning and wider resonance to their biography.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 5:

Instruct students to write a short objective account of an event in their own life. They can write about anyone from their past. It needn’t be more than a couple of paragraphs, but the writing should be strictly factual, focusing only on the objective details of what happened.

Once they have completed this, it’s time to rewrite the paragraph, but they should include some opinion and personal commentary this time.

The student here aims to inject some color and personality into their writing, to transform a detached, factual account into a warm, engaging story.

Biography Graphic Organizer

Get our FREE Biography Writing Graphic Organizer

Use this valuable tool in the research and writing phases to keep your students on track and engaged.

WRITING CHECKLIST & RUBRIC BUNDLE

writing checklists

To Conclude

By this stage, your students should have an excellent technical overview of a biography’s essential elements.

They should be able to choose their subject in light of how interesting and worthy they are, as well as give consideration to the availability of information out there. They should be able to research effectively and identify emerging themes in their research notes. And finally, they should be able to bring some of their personality and uniqueness into their retelling of the life of another.

Remember that writing a biography is not only a great way to develop a student’s writing skills; it can be used in almost all curriculum areas. For example, to find out more about a historical figure in History, to investigate scientific contributions to Science, or to celebrate a hero from everyday life.

Biography is an excellent genre for students to develop their writing skills and to find inspiration in the lives of others in the world around them.

HOW TO WRITE A BIOGRAPHY TUTORIAL VIDEO

how to write a biography | YOUTUBE 1280 x 720 11 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

OTHER GREAT ARTICLES RELATED TO BIOGRAPHY WRITING

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15 Awesome Recount & Personal Narrative Topics

how to write a biography | how to write a personal narrative | Personal Narrative Writing Guide | literacyideas.com

Personal Narrative Writing Guide

The content for this page has been written by Shane Mac Donnchaidh.  A former principal of an international school and English university lecturer with 15 years of teaching and administration experience. Shane’s latest Book, The Complete Guide to Nonfiction Writing , can be found here.  Editing and support for this article have been provided by the literacyideas team.

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Good Thesis Statement Examples, How to Write, Tips

Good thesis statement examples

Crafting a compelling thesis statement is pivotal in guiding your audience through the heart of your argument. Whether you’re a budding writer or an academic veteran, diving into exemplary thesis statements can refine your understanding and elevate your writing prowess. This guide showcases sterling examples, offers step-by-step writing insights, and provides invaluable tips, ensuring that your thesis statement stands tall with clarity, precision, and confidence.

What is an Example of Good Thesis Statement?

A good thesis statement clearly conveys the main argument or point of a paper and gives direction to the content that follows. Here’s an example of a good thesis statement:

“In William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, the ambition of the main character acts as a double-edged sword, driving him to achieve power at any cost, yet simultaneously leading to his tragic downfall.”

This statement provides a clear position on the role of ambition in the play, setting the stage for a detailed analysis of Macbeth’s character and the play’s themes.

100 Good Thesis Statement Examples

good thesis statement examples

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A thesis statement is the cornerstone of academic writing. It encapsulates the main argument or point of a paper in a concise manner. A well-crafted thesis provides direction for the content and signals to the reader what to expect. Here are 100 examples of good thesis statements to inspire your own academic endeavors.

  • “The advancement of internet technology has revolutionized modern communication, leading to numerous societal changes, including a more interconnected world and the rise of telecommuting.”
  • “Climate change poses a severe threat to global ecosystems, necessitating immediate and substantive action to mitigate its destructive impacts.”
  • “The portrayal of women in classic literature often reflects societal norms of their time, offering insights into gender roles and societal expectations.”
  • “While many view animal testing as a necessary evil, alternative methods can and should be developed to reduce the reliance on animal cruelty.”
  • “The impact of the Industrial Revolution extended beyond economics, reshaping societal structures, living conditions, and even art.”
  • “The rise of fast food has played a significant role in the obesity epidemic facing many developed nations.”
  • “The ‘American Dream’ in Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ underscores the illusion of prosperity and the decay of moral values in the Roaring Twenties.”
  • “Children exposed to violent video games are more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior, underscoring the need for parental guidance.”
  • “The effects of social media on mental health, particularly among adolescents, is a growing concern that warrants in-depth research and awareness campaigns.”
  • “The colonization of Africa had long-lasting effects, including cultural assimilation, resource exploitation, and the reshaping of geopolitical boundaries.”
  • “Digital currencies, like Bitcoin, present both significant potential for reshaping global finance and inherent risks related to regulation and stability.”
  • “The Renaissance period, while renowned for its artistic achievements, also laid the groundwork for scientific discoveries and the spirit of inquiry.”
  • “Adopting a plant-based diet not only promotes personal health but also significantly reduces one’s carbon footprint.”
  • “In George Orwell’s ‘1984’, the omnipresent surveillance state serves as a chilling commentary on government overreach and the dangers of unchecked power.”
  • “Education reform is essential in addressing systemic inequalities and ensuring every student has access to quality learning.”
  • “The use of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, is imperative in combating the detrimental effects of fossil fuels.”
  • “The character of Hamlet explores the complex interplay between madness and sanity, revealing deep insights into human nature.”
  • “Urbanization, while driving economic growth, also presents challenges like increased pollution and strains on public infrastructure.”
  • “Migration patterns in the 21st century are heavily influenced by geopolitical unrest, economic disparities, and climate change.”
  • “Childhood vaccinations are crucial in preventing deadly diseases and ensuring the overall health of a community.
  • “Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not merely a moral obligation but a strategic move that can provide companies with a competitive edge in the modern business environment.”
  • “Despite the advent of e-books and digital reading platforms, physical books remain significant due to their tangible nature and the immersive reading experience they offer.”
  • “The prohibition era in the U.S. illustrates the unintended consequences of policies that don’t consider societal behaviors and demands.”
  • “Despite its controversial nature, stem cell research holds the key to potential cures for terminal diseases and understanding cellular growth.”
  • “Modern education needs to incorporate more emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving rather than rote memorization.”
  • “The cultural and societal implications of artificial intelligence will be as impactful, if not more, than its technological advancements.”
  • “Language evolves over time, reflecting societal changes, migrations, and cultural mergers, and it’s essential to study these shifts to understand societies better.”
  • “Marketing in the age of social media requires a shift from traditional strategies to a more interactive and customer-centric approach.”
  • “Elderly populations in developed countries are on the rise, necessitating a comprehensive approach to geriatric care and social support systems.”
  • “While globalization has led to more interconnected economies and cultures, it has also resulted in significant cultural homogenization and loss of local identities.”
  • “Mental health, once a taboo subject, requires increased awareness and resources, given its impact on overall health, productivity, and societal well-being.”
  • “Space exploration, beyond its scientific implications, has profound effects on how humans perceive themselves in the universe.”
  • “The concept of heroism in literature has evolved, reflecting societies’ changing values, moral codes, and perceptions of heroics.”
  • “Dietary habits are deeply interwoven with culture, traditions, and in many cases, religious beliefs, making them more than mere choices of food.”
  • “While urbanization offers numerous opportunities, it also exacerbates challenges like housing shortages, traffic congestion, and environmental pollution.”
  • “The global financial crisis of 2008 underscores the need for transparency, regulation, and ethical considerations in banking and investment sectors.”
  • “Art movements, from Renaissance to Surrealism, reflect more than aesthetic preferences: they mirror political, social, and cultural evolutions of their times.”
  • “The rise of gig economies challenges traditional employment models, necessitating new legal and social frameworks.”
  • “Music’s evolution over the decades is not just a progression of genres but a reflection of societal changes, technological advancements, and cultural shifts.”
  • “The ethics of gene editing, especially CRISPR technology, needs comprehensive debate, considering its profound implications on human evolution and identity.
  • “The emergence of telemedicine, accelerated by the global pandemic, offers a new horizon for healthcare but also prompts significant considerations regarding access, quality, and patient privacy.”
  • “Climate change’s implications stretch beyond environmental degradation, influencing migration patterns, geopolitical tensions, and global economic shifts.”
  • “The Renaissance’s influence isn’t restricted to art and literature but extends to scientific thinking, societal norms, and the evolution of political thought.”
  • “Consumerism’s rise in modern societies doesn’t only influence economies but also molds individual identities, values, and life purposes.”
  • “With rising automation, the definition of work is undergoing a transformation, calling for adaptive educational systems and new social structures.”
  • “Historically, pandemics have reshaped societies, and COVID-19’s impacts will be seen in domains ranging from international relations to local community structures.”
  • “The portrayal of women in media, while slowly changing, has long-term effects on societal gender norms and individual self-perceptions.”
  • “The growing popularity of plant-based diets isn’t merely a health trend but a reflection of increasing environmental awareness and ethical considerations.”
  • “While nuclear energy presents a solution to fossil fuel dependency, it also poses profound ethical, environmental, and geopolitical challenges.”
  • “The transformation of the family unit in contemporary societies reveals broader trends concerning mobility, gender roles, and individualism.”
  • “As cryptocurrencies gain traction, they challenge traditional economic systems, question the role of centralized banks, and redefine value.”
  • “Migration patterns throughout history don’t merely reflect economic pursuits but are intertwined with cultural exchanges, conflict resolutions, and the global shaping of identities.”
  • “The minimalist movement goes beyond aesthetic choices, reflecting a broader societal fatigue with consumerism and a quest for genuine experiences.”
  • “The evolution of fashion isn’t just about changing styles but mirrors societal attitudes, economic conditions, and even political movements.”
  • “Increased screen time among younger generations necessitates a reevaluation of learning models, social interactions, and the definition of community.”
  • “Colonization’s legacies are still evident today, influencing global politics, cultural interactions, and even individual identities.”
  • “The pursuit of happiness in modern societies is increasingly tied to material acquisitions, calling for a reevaluation of values and measures of well-being.”
  • “Water scarcity, an impending global challenge, will dictate geopolitical strategies, economic models, and demand innovative technological solutions.”
  • “Digital privacy concerns in the age of big data don’t just relate to personal safety but challenge fundamental rights and the very nature of democracy.”
  • “Urban green spaces, beyond their environmental benefits, play crucial roles in mental well-being, community building, and fostering biodiversity.
  • “While space exploration heralds new frontiers for humanity, it brings forth ethical, financial, and existential questions that must be addressed.”
  • “The dynamics of global politics are increasingly being shaped by technology, redefining national security, diplomacy, and global citizenry.”
  • “The role of folklore in preserving cultural identities is critical in this era of globalization, aiding in understanding shared human experiences.”
  • “Declining bee populations are not only an environmental concern but an impending economic crisis due to their crucial role in pollination.”
  • “The gig economy, while offering flexibility, poses challenges related to job security, benefits, and the very definition of employment.”
  • “Holistic education goes beyond academics, addressing students’ emotional, social, and physical needs, preparing them for the complexities of modern life.”
  • “Urbanization, while indicative of progress, also brings forth challenges related to sustainability, social disparities, and cultural preservation.”
  • “The resurgence of vinyl in a digital age signifies a longing for tangibility and the intrinsic value of experiences.”
  • “Cultural festivals, beyond their entertainment value, serve as bridges for intercultural understanding, fostering peace and global camaraderie.”
  • “The debate over artificial intelligence surpassing human intelligence delves into philosophy, ethics, and the potential redefinition of life itself.”
  • “Genetic editing, while promising medical breakthroughs, also opens Pandora’s box of ethical considerations related to identity, evolution, and societal norms.”
  • “The blending of traditional and western medicine presents opportunities for holistic health solutions, yet raises concerns about authenticity and misuse.”
  • “Mental health awareness in contemporary societies is not just a health concern but an economic, social, and cultural imperative.”
  • “Craftsmanship in the age of mass production celebrates human ingenuity, authenticity, and a counter-narrative to rampant consumerism.”
  • “Language extinction is not merely a linguistic loss but erodes cultural diversity, shared histories, and human perspectives.”
  • “The rise of e-sports challenges traditional definitions of sports, athleticism, and physicality, reflecting shifts in entertainment and cultural values.”
  • “The ocean’s depths, less explored than outer space, harbor potential solutions to medical, technological, and environmental challenges.”
  • “Plant consciousness, while scientifically controversial, encourages a reevaluation of life, inter-species relationships, and our role in the ecosystem.”
  • “The philosophy of minimalism, in contrast to modern excess, suggests a life of purpose, clarity, and sustainable choices.”
  • “Architectural trends, like the tiny house movement, reflect evolving societal values concerning sustainability, materialism, and the concept of home.
  • “The growing popularity of farm-to-table dining isn’t just a culinary trend, but a statement on sustainability, locality, and the personal connection to food sources.”
  • “The proliferation of digital detox retreats illustrates society’s increasing acknowledgment of technology’s impact on mental well-being and the yearning for authentic human interactions.”
  • “Rise of homeschooling, propelled by customizable learning experiences, showcases an evolution in educational philosophies and parental roles in a child’s academic journey.”
  • “The interest in ancestral DNA testing unveils an intrinsic human desire to understand one’s origins, identity, and the interconnectedness of cultures.”
  • “Virtual reality, while a technological marvel, forces us to confront and redefine our understanding of experiences, relationships, and reality itself.”
  • “Solar energy’s ascension isn’t merely about environmental conservation; it’s a testament to human adaptability and the pivot towards sustainable choices.”
  • “Revival of handwritten letters in the digital age signifies a desire for personal connection, authenticity, and the tangible amidst the ephemeral.”
  • “Shifts in fashion towards gender-neutral clothing reflect broader societal conversations around gender identities, fluidity, and the deconstruction of stereotypes.”
  • “The embrace of urban farming in metropolises worldwide underscores the importance of sustainability, self-sufficiency, and reconnection with nature even within urban landscapes.”
  • “The growing trend of unplugged weddings emphasizes the importance of being present, cherishing moments, and prioritizing personal connections over digital documentation.”
  • “The movement towards ethical consumerism isn’t just a shopping trend; it’s a societal shift towards responsibility, awareness, and the power of collective impact.”
  • “The resurgence of board games in an era dominated by video games underscores the human need for direct interaction, strategy, and tactile experiences.”
  • “Sustainable tourism is not merely an industry response; it’s a commitment to preserving culture, environment, and ensuring mutual respect between travelers and local communities.”
  • “Intergenerational living, or multiple generations under one roof, challenges the conventional Western living standards and underscores the importance of family, shared responsibilities, and cultural preservation.”
  • “The adoption of adult coloring books highlights the universal need for creative outlets, mindfulness, and the therapeutic value of art.”
  • “The zero-waste movement is more than an environmental initiative; it’s a global call to action, emphasizing individual responsibility and systemic change.”
  • “The increasing importance given to soft skills in professional settings speaks to the evolving understanding of holistic employee value, team dynamics, and long-term organizational success.”
  • “The preference for experiences over possessions among younger generations challenges materialistic values and emphasizes the impermanence and value of memories.”
  • “The rise of artisanal and handcrafted goods counters the age of mass production and highlights the appreciation for uniqueness, tradition, and human touch.”
  • “The embrace of slow living in fast-paced societies underscores the yearning for mindfulness, purpose, and the significance of life’s simple pleasures.

Good Thesis Statement Starter Examples

Beginning a thesis statement requires a concise premise that draws the reader’s attention. Here are examples that illustrate how to commence your thesis effectively:

  • “First and foremost, urban development…”
  • “At the core of this argument, environmental conservation…”
  • “Central to this discussion, global economic trends…”
  • “Fundamentally, artistic expression…”
  • “The primary consideration, ethical consumption…”
  • “An essential perspective, child development…”
  • “At the heart of the matter, digital communication…”
  • “Rooted in historical context, the Renaissance era…”
  • “Pivotal to this debate, the role of artificial intelligence…”
  • “Integral to this analysis, cultural integration…”

Good Thesis Statement Examples for Research Paper

A thesis statement for research paper demands a clear, specific, and thought-provoking thesis. Here are suitable examples:

  • “Recent studies on climate change demonstrate the dire need for renewable energy transition.”
  • “Neurological research reveals that bilingualism significantly impacts cognitive ability.”
  • “Archaeological evidence from the Mediterranean supports the existence of matriarchal societies in ancient times.”
  • “Data-driven marketing strategies have revolutionized e-commerce and consumer behavior.”
  • “A review of mental health studies shows a strong correlation between social media usage and anxiety among teenagers.”
  • “Genetic research indicates certain mutations as predictive markers for specific cancers.”
  • “Recent advancements in AI are tracing the line between human intelligence and machine learning.”
  • “Microplastics in marine ecosystems have a detrimental effect, as indicated by recent oceanographic research.”
  • “Quantitative analysis of global trade indicates a shift towards service-oriented economies.”
  • “Cultural anthropology studies reveal the importance of oral narratives in indigenous societies.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples for Essays

Crafting a thesis for essays involves capturing the essence of your narrative or argument. Here are examples:

  • “Modern parenting challenges differ significantly from those of a generation ago, especially with the rise of technology.”
  • “Nostalgia, while a comforting emotion, can sometimes prevent progress and keep us anchored to the past.”
  • “The introduction of digital reading is redefining the experience of literature.”
  • “Despite its challenges, traveling solo can be an enlightening and transformative experience.”
  • “Embracing minimalism can lead to a more fulfilling and less cluttered life.”
  • “The transition from childhood to adulthood is marked by significant emotional, social, and psychological changes.”
  • “A vegan lifestyle, beyond dietary preferences, represents a choice for health and ethical practices.”
  • “Cultural festivals, more than celebrations, are reflections of identity, heritage, and community bonding.”
  • “Design, in its essence, isn’t just about aesthetics, but about function, purpose, and intuition.”
  • “Music transcends languages, bridging gaps, and resonating emotions universally.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples for Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay’s thesis statement should clearly state your position. Here are solid stances:

  • “Compulsory voting ensures a democratic process that truly reflects a nation’s collective decision.”
  • “While technology has its advantages, it cannot replace the value of traditional classroom learning.”
  • “Animal testing is not only ethically problematic but also scientifically limited and should be replaced with alternative methods.”
  • “Legalizing marijuana can provide significant economic benefits and reduce crime rates.”
  • “Censorship, under the guise of protection, can often stifle creativity and freedom of expression.”
  • “Childhood vaccinations should be mandatory, given their crucial role in preventing outbreaks and ensuring public health.”
  • “Fast fashion is not only environmentally harmful but also promotes unethical labor practices.”
  • “Privacy in the digital age is not a luxury but a fundamental human right that needs stringent protection.”
  • “While sports promote discipline and teamwork, an undue emphasis on winning can deter the essence of play.”
  • “Capital punishment, despite its deterrent effect, raises ethical dilemmas and should be reconsidered.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples for Compare and Contrast Essay

Compare and contrast essays require a clear delineation between two subjects. Here are examples that set the stage:

  • “While both classical and modern music have their merits, they cater to different emotional palettes and generational contexts.”
  • “Ancient Greek and Ancient Egyptian civilizations, though contemporaries, had distinctly different cultural and architectural achievements.”
  • “Freelancing and traditional employment both have their pros and cons concerning flexibility, job security, and career growth.”
  • “While both Apple and Microsoft have impacted computing, their philosophies, aesthetics, and user experiences differ markedly.”
  • “Renting and buying a home, each have their financial implications, but also offer varying degrees of freedom and permanence.”
  • “Both introversion and extraversion have unique strengths and challenges, influencing how individuals navigate social contexts.”
  • “American football and soccer, while both team sports, have different rules, global reach, and cultural significance.”
  • “While cats are known for their independence, dogs are often appreciated for their loyalty and companionship.”
  • “Novels and short stories, though both literary forms, cater to different attention spans and narrative depths.”
  • “Traditional marketing and digital marketing, while aiming for the same goal, employ different mediums and strategies.

Good Thesis Statement Examples About Success

Success is multifaceted and personal. These thesis statements delve into various perceptions and interpretations of success:

  • “Success isn’t merely measured by financial wealth but by personal growth and fulfillment.”
  • “True success lies in one’s ability to maintain balance in personal and professional life.”
  • “For many, success is the realization of personal freedom and the ability to dictate one’s own pace of life.”
  • “Modern society often equates success with material possession, overlooking emotional and spiritual well-being.”
  • “The journey, with its challenges and lessons, is as significant as the end-point in defining success.”
  • “Success in academics doesn’t always translate to success in real-life scenarios and vice versa.”
  • “The parameters of success differ across cultures, reflecting diverse values and priorities.”
  • “Individuals who overcome adversity often have a richer understanding of success.”
  • “Long-term contentment and understanding of self are underappreciated markers of success.”
  • “Success isn’t static; its definition evolves with personal experiences and milestones.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples for College

College life brings about a plethora of experiences and learnings. These college essay thesis statements shed light on the myriad facets of collegiate life:

  • “College isn’t merely an academic pursuit but a journey of self-discovery and growth.”
  • “The college experience is as much about developing soft skills as it is about academic excellence.”
  • “While college provides a structured learning environment, self-motivation remains a critical determinant of success.”
  • “Extracurricular activities in college play a pivotal role in shaping an individual’s character and perspective.”
  • “The diversity in a college setting fosters cultural appreciation and global-mindedness.”
  • “College debts, while burdensome, are investments in one’s future potential and aspirations.”
  • “Digital advancements have revolutionized the traditional college experience, making education more accessible.”
  • “The challenges faced during college years equip individuals with resilience and adaptability for future endeavors.”
  • “Networking in college can pave the way for professional opportunities and lasting friendships.”
  • “Critical thinking, a skill honed in college, is indispensable in navigating real-world complexities.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples for Students

Student life is characterized by its challenges, learnings, and milestones. These thesis statements reflect diverse aspects of student experiences:

  • “Balancing academics with extracurriculars equips students with multitasking abilities and time management skills.”
  • “For students, failure can be a profound learning experience, shaping resilience and adaptability.”
  • “Modern students grapple with the pressures of digital distractions and the advantages of technology-enhanced learning.”
  • “International exchange programs provide students with a broader perspective and cultural appreciation.”
  • “Students today are more attuned to global issues, thanks to digital interconnectedness.”
  • “Peer pressure, while often viewed negatively, can also motivate students to excel and set higher benchmarks.”
  • “Real-life education, often neglected in curriculum, is crucial in preparing students for adulthood challenges.”
  • “Active participation in student governance instills leadership qualities and a sense of responsibility.”
  • “Practical internships and workshops complement theoretical knowledge, giving students an edge in professional realms.”
  • “Mental health and well-being are as vital as academic achievements for holistic student development.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples About a Person

Thesis statements about individuals shed light on their characteristics, achievements, or significance. Here are some crafted examples:

  • “Nelson Mandela’s resilience against apartheid showcases the power of perseverance in the face of adversity.”
  • “Steve Jobs, beyond his technological innovations, exemplified the essence of visionary leadership and creative thinking.”
  • “Mother Teresa’s life underscores the profound impact of compassion and selflessness in addressing societal challenges.”
  • “Frida Kahlo, through her art, gave voice to pain, love, and the complexities of identity.”
  • “Mahatma Gandhi’s principle of non-violence resonates globally, advocating peace over conflict.”
  • “Oprah Winfrey’s journey from adversity to global influence underscores the possibilities of determination and a positive mindset.”
  • “Leonardo da Vinci, a polymath, exemplifies the limitless potential of human curiosity and innovation.”
  • “Malala Yousafzai’s advocacy for girls’ education sheds light on the transformative power of youth activism.”
  • “Elon Musk’s ventures span various industries, reflecting an insatiable quest for innovation and progress.”
  • “Jane Austen, through her novels, offered incisive commentary on society, love, and individuality.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples About Family

Family forms the foundational fabric of our lives. These thesis statements reflect on its multifaceted nature:

  • “The modern family structure has evolved, reflecting societal changes and diverse cultural norms.”
  • “Families, beyond biological ties, are bound by shared experiences, values, and unconditional support.”
  • “Blended families, with their unique challenges, underscore the universality of love and understanding.”
  • “The role of grandparents in families extends beyond tradition, offering wisdom and timeless bonds.”
  • “In the digital age, maintaining familial connections requires conscious efforts amidst technological distractions.”
  • “The dynamics of sibling relationships play a pivotal role in shaping individual personalities and perspectives.”
  • “Families act as safe havens, providing emotional anchorage in an unpredictable world.”
  • “The challenges of modern parenting lie in balancing tradition with contemporary realities.”
  • “Familial roles are fluid, constantly adapting to changing life stages and circumstances.”
  • “Family traditions, while reflective of heritage, also evolve, mirroring changing times and values.”

Good Thesis Statement Examples About Life

Life, with its myriad experiences, offers endless perspectives. These thesis statements delve into its vast expanse:

  • “Life’s unpredictability demands resilience, adaptability, and an undying spirit of exploration.”
  • “Digital advancements, while enhancing life’s quality, also present challenges to genuine human connections.”
  • “The pursuit of happiness in life is a journey of self-discovery, introspection, and meaningful connections.”
  • “Life’s challenges, often viewed as setbacks, are pivotal in shaping character and destiny.”
  • “The essence of life lies in cherishing fleeting moments, recognizing their transient nature.”
  • “Balancing personal aspirations with societal expectations is a recurring challenge in modern life.”
  • “Mindfulness practices, in the hustle of life, offer solace and a deeper connection to the present.”
  • “Life, in its essence, is a continuous learning experience, offering lessons in unexpected places.”
  • “The concept of success in life is personal, reflecting individual goals, values, and benchmarks.”
  • “Life’s beauty lies in its diversity, presenting myriad experiences, emotions, and milestones.

What 3 things should be in a good thesis?

A well-crafted thesis statement serves as the backbone of your paper, providing clarity and direction. For a thesis to be effective, it should possess the following three characteristics:

  • Clear Focus: The thesis should pinpoint a specific idea or argument rather than being overly broad or vague. It should give the reader a clear understanding of what the paper will discuss.
  • Arguable Point: A good thesis often presents an argument that could be challenged. It shouldn’t state a fact but rather a claim that others might dispute.
  • Supporting Evidence or Reasoning: While the thesis statement doesn’t need to list all the supporting points, it should hint at or introduce the line of reasoning you’ll use to back up your claim.

How do you write a catchy thesis statement? – Step by Step Guide

  • Understand the Assignment: Before crafting your thesis, make sure you comprehend the requirements of the assignment. Is it analytical, argumentative, expository, etc.?
  • Research the Topic: A thorough understanding of your subject matter will help you formulate a robust and intriguing thesis. Dive deep into the available literature.
  • Identify a Specific Focus: Narrow down your topic to a specific area of interest or argument.
  • Draft a Preliminary Statement: Begin with a broad thesis statement, which you can refine as you progress.
  • Make it Debatable: Ensure your thesis makes a claim or presents a viewpoint that others could challenge.
  • Keep it Concise: While your thesis should be detailed enough to convey your argument, it should also be succinct and free from unnecessary jargon.
  • Revise and Refine: As you continue your research and start writing, revisit your thesis. Make sure it remains relevant and adjust as necessary for clarity and precision.
  • Seek Feedback: Discuss your thesis with peers, instructors, or mentors to get their insights.
  • Finalize with Confidence: Once you’ve honed your thesis to its best form, confidently place it at the beginning of your paper, usually at the end of the introduction.

Tips for Writing a Good Thesis Statement

  • Position it Right: Typically, the thesis statement should be at the end of your introduction, setting the tone for the rest of the paper.
  • Avoid Ambiguity: Be clear and precise. Vague thesis statements can confuse readers.
  • Stay Away from Clichés: While some generic statements can apply to many topics, they often lack depth and originality.
  • Use Strong Language: Avoid wishy-washy phrases like “I think” or “I believe.” Be assertive in presenting your argument.
  • Stay Relevant: As you progress in your writing, ensure every part of your paper supports or relates back to your thesis.
  • Avoid Superlatives: Words like “best,” “most,” “all,” etc., can make your thesis weaker. Stick to more nuanced language.
  • Revisit Regularly: As your paper evolves, make sure your thesis remains applicable. Adjust if necessary to reflect your paper’s direction.
  • Limit to One or Two Sentences: While this isn’t a strict rule, a concise thesis often makes a stronger point.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: The more you practice writing thesis statements, the better you’ll get at crafting compelling and effective ones.
  • Stay Passionate: If you’re genuinely interested in your thesis, it’ll reflect in your writing, making your entire paper more engaging.

good thesis for biography

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25 Thesis Statement Examples That Will Make Writing a Breeze

JBirdwellBranson

Understanding what makes a good thesis statement is one of the major keys to writing a great research paper or argumentative essay. The thesis statement is where you make a claim that will guide you through your entire paper. If you find yourself struggling to make sense of your paper or your topic, then it's likely due to a weak thesis statement.

Let's take a minute to first understand what makes a solid thesis statement, and what key components you need to write one of your own.

Perfecting Your Thesis Statement

A thesis statement always goes at the beginning of the paper. It will typically be in the first couple of paragraphs of the paper so that it can introduce the body paragraphs, which are the supporting evidence for your thesis statement.

Your thesis statement should clearly identify an argument. You need to have a statement that is not only easy to understand, but one that is debatable. What that means is that you can't just put any statement of fact and have it be your thesis. For example, everyone knows that puppies are cute . An ineffective thesis statement would be, "Puppies are adorable and everyone knows it." This isn't really something that's a debatable topic.

Something that would be more debatable would be, "A puppy's cuteness is derived from its floppy ears, small body, and playfulness." These are three things that can be debated on. Some people might think that the cutest thing about puppies is the fact that they follow you around or that they're really soft and fuzzy.

All cuteness aside, you want to make sure that your thesis statement is not only debatable, but that it also actually thoroughly answers the research question that was posed. You always want to make sure that your evidence is supporting a claim that you made (and not the other way around). This is why it's crucial to read and research about a topic first and come to a conclusion later. If you try to get your research to fit your thesis statement, then it may not work out as neatly as you think. As you learn more, you discover more (and the outcome may not be what you originally thought).

Additionally, your thesis statement shouldn't be too big or too grand. It'll be hard to cover everything in a thesis statement like, "The federal government should act now on climate change." The topic is just too large to actually say something new and meaningful. Instead, a more effective thesis statement might be, "Local governments can combat climate change by providing citizens with larger recycling bins and offering local classes about composting and conservation." This is easier to work with because it's a smaller idea, but you can also discuss the overall topic that you might be interested in, which is climate change.

So, now that we know what makes a good, solid thesis statement, you can start to write your own. If you find that you're getting stuck or you are the type of person who needs to look at examples before you start something, then check out our list of thesis statement examples below.

Thesis statement examples

A quick note that these thesis statements have not been fully researched. These are merely examples to show you what a thesis statement might look like and how you can implement your own ideas into one that you think of independently. As such, you should not use these thesis statements for your own research paper purposes. They are meant to be used as examples only.

  • Vaccinations Because many children are unable to vaccinate due to illness, we must require that all healthy and able children be vaccinated in order to have herd immunity.
  • Educational Resources for Low-Income Students Schools should provide educational resources for low-income students during the summers so that they don't forget what they've learned throughout the school year.
  • School Uniforms School uniforms may be an upfront cost for families, but they eradicate the visual differences in income between students and provide a more egalitarian atmosphere at school.
  • Populism The rise in populism on the 2016 political stage was in reaction to increasing globalization, the decline of manufacturing jobs, and the Syrian refugee crisis.
  • Public Libraries Libraries are essential resources for communities and should be funded more heavily by local municipalities.
  • Cyber Bullying With more and more teens using smartphones and social media, cyber bullying is on the rise. Cyber bullying puts a lot of stress on many teens, and can cause depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. Parents should limit the usage of smart phones, monitor their children's online activity, and report any cyber bullying to school officials in order to combat this problem.
  • Medical Marijuana for Veterans Studies have shown that the use of medicinal marijuana has been helpful to veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Medicinal marijuana prescriptions should be legal in all states and provided to these veterans. Additional medical or therapy services should also be researched and implemented in order to help them re-integrate back into civilian life.
  • Work-Life Balance Corporations should provide more work from home opportunities and six-hour workdays so that office workers have a better work-life balance and are more likely to be productive when they are in the office.
  • Teaching Youths about Consensual Sex Although sex education that includes a discussion of consensual sex would likely lead to less sexual assault, parents need to teach their children the meaning of consent from a young age with age appropriate lessons.
  • Whether or Not to Attend University A degree from a university provides invaluable lessons on life and a future career, but not every high school student should be encouraged to attend a university directly after graduation. Some students may benefit from a trade school or a "gap year" where they can think more intensely about what it is they want to do for a career and how they can accomplish this.
  • Studying Abroad Studying abroad is one of the most culturally valuable experiences you can have in college. It is the only way to get completely immersed in another language and learn how other cultures and countries are different from your own.
  • Women's Body Image Magazines have done a lot in the last five years to include a more diverse group of models, but there is still a long way to go to promote a healthy woman's body image collectively as a culture.
  • Cigarette Tax Heavily taxing and increasing the price of cigarettes is essentially a tax on the poorest Americans, and it doesn't deter them from purchasing. Instead, the state and federal governments should target those economically disenfranchised with early education about the dangers of smoking.
  • Veganism A vegan diet, while a healthy and ethical way to consume food, indicates a position of privilege. It also limits you to other cultural food experiences if you travel around the world.
  • University Athletes Should be Compensated University athletes should be compensated for their service to the university, as it is difficult for these students to procure and hold a job with busy academic and athletic schedules. Many student athletes on scholarship also come from low-income neighborhoods and it is a struggle to make ends meet when they are participating in athletics.
  • Women in the Workforce Sheryl Sandberg makes a lot of interesting points in her best-selling book, Lean In , but she only addressed the very privileged working woman and failed to speak to those in lower-skilled, lower-wage jobs.
  • Assisted Suicide Assisted suicide should be legal and doctors should have the ability to make sure their patients have the end-of-life care that they want to receive.
  • Celebrity and Political Activism Although Taylor Swift's lyrics are indicative of a feminist perspective, she should be more politically active and vocal to use her position of power for the betterment of society.
  • The Civil War The insistence from many Southerners that the South seceded from the Union for states' rights versus the fact that they seceded for the purposes of continuing slavery is a harmful myth that still affects race relations today.
  • Blue Collar Workers Coal miners and other blue-collar workers whose jobs are slowly disappearing from the workforce should be re-trained in jobs in the technology sector or in renewable energy. A program to re-train these workers would not only improve local economies where jobs have been displaced, but would also lead to lower unemployment nationally.
  • Diversity in the Workforce Having a diverse group of people in an office setting leads to richer ideas, more cooperation, and more empathy between people with different skin colors or backgrounds.
  • Re-Imagining the Nuclear Family The nuclear family was traditionally defined as one mother, one father, and 2.5 children. This outdated depiction of family life doesn't quite fit with modern society. The definition of normal family life shouldn't be limited to two-parent households.
  • Digital Literacy Skills With more information readily available than ever before, it's crucial that students are prepared to examine the material they're reading and determine whether or not it's a good source or if it has misleading information. Teaching students digital literacy and helping them to understand the difference between opinion or propaganda from legitimate, real information is integral.
  • Beauty Pageants Beauty pageants are presented with the angle that they empower women. However, putting women in a swimsuit on a stage while simultaneously judging them on how well they answer an impossible question in a short period of time is cruel and purely for the amusement of men. Therefore, we should stop televising beauty pageants.
  • Supporting More Women to Run for a Political Position In order to get more women into political positions, more women must run for office. There must be a grassroots effort to educate women on how to run for office, who among them should run, and support for a future candidate for getting started on a political career.

Still stuck? Need some help with your thesis statement?

If you are still uncertain about how to write a thesis statement or what a good thesis statement is, be sure to consult with your teacher or professor to make sure you're on the right track. It's always a good idea to check in and make sure that your thesis statement is making a solid argument and that it can be supported by your research.

After you're done writing, it's important to have someone take a second look at your paper so that you can ensure there are no mistakes or errors. It's difficult to spot your own mistakes, which is why it's always recommended to have someone help you with the revision process, whether that's a teacher, the writing center at school, or a professional editor such as one from ServiceScape .

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Biographical Thesis

Guide to writing a biographical thesis.

A biographical thesis is an attempt to infuse meaning into the events of a person’s life. By recounting pertinent occurrences in the hero’s life, the writer seeks to prove his opinion about a certain aspect of the hero’s personality. This facet of the hero’s being may be his philosophy towards life, the major role he has in precipitating historical events or a special characteristic that makes him stand out among others of his class. To complete a biographical thesis successfully, the writer has to know the socio-political setting in which the protagonist’s life took place. To learn by example, you need only view the article archives of ProfEssays.com . This collection contains fine samples of any type of essay whether narrative essays , scientific essays , dissertations or theses.

ProfEssays.com leads in the field of custom essay assistance. Motivated by the desire to improve written communication, they have been providing help for the literary requirements of students and professionals alike for some time now. The value which they put into their products is unparalleled; the academic and professional quality of the paper, their perfect compliance with the pre-sets of the client and the assurance of 100 percent originality has earned the gratitude and admiration of their many satisfied and returning clients.

To successfully accomplish an autobiographical thesis here are some suggested steps to take:

  • Think of a person (famous ones or people you know personally) who impress you as having made a notable contribution to humanity.
  • In two or three sentences, define that important or significant accomplishment that this person has done. Be sure to mention separately and clearly the elements that led to that achievement in their logical or chronological order.
  • Reflect carefully about each major element and then write down the details constituting each one.
  • The next step is deciding whether you will tackle the biographical thesis in the logical order of your arguments or using the chronological framework of the person’s life, or both.
  • Create a sentence essay outline as a guide for the final thesis, observing carefully the rules of the essay format you have chosen.
  • Finally transform the outline into the custom thesis .

For many people, especially those who are not training to become writers, the last step might pose considerable difficulty. The art of any language cannot be mastered overnight, or even in a month’s or a year’s time. It usually takes several years of struggling with the idioms of a language to deserve to be called a “proficient writer.” In this case, the most practical option for the student is to have the final article written by an expert such as the expert writers at ProfEssays.com .

You can avail of their comprehensive and quality custom essay writing services at a very minimal cost. Using their interactive customer support module, you can easily and clearly communicate your concerns to them. Delivery is always on or before deadline. Post-delivery modifications of the biographical thesis are done for free and your privacy is 100 percent secured with ProfEssays.com

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College Admissions , College Essays

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The personal statement might just be the hardest part of your college application. Mostly this is because it has the least guidance and is the most open-ended. One way to understand what colleges are looking for when they ask you to write an essay is to check out the essays of students who already got in—college essays that actually worked. After all, they must be among the most successful of this weird literary genre.

In this article, I'll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great. I've also compiled an enormous list of 100+ actual sample college essays from 11 different schools. Finally, I'll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. With links to 177 full essays and essay excerpts , this article is a great resource for learning how to craft your own personal college admissions essay!

What Excellent College Essays Have in Common

Even though in many ways these sample college essays are very different from one other, they do share some traits you should try to emulate as you write your own essay.

Visible Signs of Planning

Building out from a narrow, concrete focus. You'll see a similar structure in many of the essays. The author starts with a very detailed story of an event or description of a person or place. After this sense-heavy imagery, the essay expands out to make a broader point about the author, and connects this very memorable experience to the author's present situation, state of mind, newfound understanding, or maturity level.

Knowing how to tell a story. Some of the experiences in these essays are one-of-a-kind. But most deal with the stuff of everyday life. What sets them apart is the way the author approaches the topic: analyzing it for drama and humor, for its moving qualities, for what it says about the author's world, and for how it connects to the author's emotional life.

Stellar Execution

A killer first sentence. You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again: you have to suck the reader in, and the best place to do that is the first sentence. Great first sentences are punchy. They are like cliffhangers, setting up an exciting scene or an unusual situation with an unclear conclusion, in order to make the reader want to know more. Don't take my word for it—check out these 22 first sentences from Stanford applicants and tell me you don't want to read the rest of those essays to find out what happens!

A lively, individual voice. Writing is for readers. In this case, your reader is an admissions officer who has read thousands of essays before yours and will read thousands after. Your goal? Don't bore your reader. Use interesting descriptions, stay away from clichés, include your own offbeat observations—anything that makes this essay sounds like you and not like anyone else.

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Technical correctness. No spelling mistakes, no grammar weirdness, no syntax issues, no punctuation snafus—each of these sample college essays has been formatted and proofread perfectly. If this kind of exactness is not your strong suit, you're in luck! All colleges advise applicants to have their essays looked over several times by parents, teachers, mentors, and anyone else who can spot a comma splice. Your essay must be your own work, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting help polishing it.

And if you need more guidance, connect with PrepScholar's expert admissions consultants . These expert writers know exactly what college admissions committees look for in an admissions essay and chan help you craft an essay that boosts your chances of getting into your dream school.

Check out PrepScholar's Essay Editing and Coaching progra m for more details!

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Links to Full College Essay Examples

Some colleges publish a selection of their favorite accepted college essays that worked, and I've put together a selection of over 100 of these.

Common App Essay Samples

Please note that some of these college essay examples may be responding to prompts that are no longer in use. The current Common App prompts are as follows:

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. 2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? 4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you? 5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. 6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Now, let's get to the good stuff: the list of 177 college essay examples responding to current and past Common App essay prompts. 

Connecticut college.

  • 12 Common Application essays from the classes of 2022-2025

Hamilton College

  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2026
  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2022
  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2018
  • 8 Common Application essays from the class of 2012
  • 8 Common Application essays from the class of 2007

Johns Hopkins

These essays are answers to past prompts from either the Common Application or the Coalition Application (which Johns Hopkins used to accept).

  • 1 Common Application or Coalition Application essay from the class of 2026
  • 6 Common Application or Coalition Application essays from the class of 2025
  • 6 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2024
  • 6 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2023
  • 7 Common Application of Universal Application essays from the class of 2022
  • 5 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2021
  • 7 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2020

Essay Examples Published by Other Websites

  • 2 Common Application essays ( 1st essay , 2nd essay ) from applicants admitted to Columbia

Other Sample College Essays

Here is a collection of essays that are college-specific.

Babson College

  • 4 essays (and 1 video response) on "Why Babson" from the class of 2020

Emory University

  • 5 essay examples ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ) from the class of 2020 along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on why the essays were exceptional
  • 5 more recent essay examples ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ) along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on what made these essays stand out

University of Georgia

  • 1 “strong essay” sample from 2019
  • 1 “strong essay” sample from 2018
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2023
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2022
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2021
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2020
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2019
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2018
  • 6 essays from admitted MIT students

Smith College

  • 6 "best gift" essays from the class of 2018

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Books of College Essays

If you're looking for even more sample college essays, consider purchasing a college essay book. The best of these include dozens of essays that worked and feedback from real admissions officers.

College Essays That Made a Difference —This detailed guide from Princeton Review includes not only successful essays, but also interviews with admissions officers and full student profiles.

50 Successful Harvard Application Essays by the Staff of the Harvard Crimson—A must for anyone aspiring to Harvard .

50 Successful Ivy League Application Essays and 50 Successful Stanford Application Essays by Gen and Kelly Tanabe—For essays from other top schools, check out this venerated series, which is regularly updated with new essays.

Heavenly Essays by Janine W. Robinson—This collection from the popular blogger behind Essay Hell includes a wider range of schools, as well as helpful tips on honing your own essay.

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Analyzing Great Common App Essays That Worked

I've picked two essays from the examples collected above to examine in more depth so that you can see exactly what makes a successful college essay work. Full credit for these essays goes to the original authors and the schools that published them.

Example 1: "Breaking Into Cars," by Stephen, Johns Hopkins Class of '19 (Common App Essay, 636 words long)

I had never broken into a car before.

We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up. Not until we were stranded did we realize we were locked out of the van.

Someone picked a coat hanger out of the dumpster, handed it to me, and took a few steps back.

"Can you do that thing with a coat hanger to unlock it?"

"Why me?" I thought.

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame. Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.

My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally. My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed. "The water's on fire! Clear a hole!" he shouted, tossing me in the lake without warning. While I'm still unconvinced about that particular lesson's practicality, my Dad's overarching message is unequivocally true: much of life is unexpected, and you have to deal with the twists and turns.

Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned. A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with reality, negotiate a quick deal, and give the improbable a try. I don't sweat the small stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness. So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people? Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night.

But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power. Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me. I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder. Different things to different people, as the situation demanded. I learned to adapt.

Back then, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival. But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?"

The question caught me off guard, much like the question posed to me in Laredo. Then, I realized I knew the answer. I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me.

Growing up as the middle child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. It's family. It's society. And often, it's chaos. You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence.

What Makes This Essay Tick?

It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives. Stephen's essay is very effective. Let's find out why!

An Opening Line That Draws You In

In just eight words, we get: scene-setting (he is standing next to a car about to break in), the idea of crossing a boundary (he is maybe about to do an illegal thing for the first time), and a cliffhanger (we are thinking: is he going to get caught? Is he headed for a life of crime? Is he about to be scared straight?).

Great, Detailed Opening Story

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame.

It's the details that really make this small experience come alive. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. The volunteers aren't going to get food or dinner; they're going for "Texas BBQ." The coat hanger comes from "a dumpster." Stephen doesn't just move the coat hanger—he "jiggles" it.

Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene. The person who hands Stephen the coat hanger isn't just uncomfortable or nervous; he "takes a few steps back"—a description of movement that conveys feelings. Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop. Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking.

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Turning a Specific Incident Into a Deeper Insight

Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.

Stephen makes the locked car experience a meaningful illustration of how he has learned to be resourceful and ready for anything, and he also makes this turn from the specific to the broad through an elegant play on the two meanings of the word "click."

Using Concrete Examples When Making Abstract Claims

My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally.

"Unpredictability and chaos" are very abstract, not easily visualized concepts. They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability. By instantly following up with highly finite and unambiguous illustrations like "family of seven" and "siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing," Stephen grounds the abstraction in something that is easy to picture: a large, noisy family.

Using Small Bits of Humor and Casual Word Choice

My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed.

Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: "in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed."

The humor also feels relaxed. Part of this is because he introduces it with the colloquial phrase "you know," so it sounds like he is talking to us in person. This approach also diffuses the potential discomfort of the reader with his father's strictness—since he is making jokes about it, clearly he is OK. Notice, though, that this doesn't occur very much in the essay. This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant.

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An Ending That Stretches the Insight Into the Future

But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?"

The ending of the essay reveals that Stephen's life has been one long preparation for the future. He has emerged from chaos and his dad's approach to parenting as a person who can thrive in a world that he can't control.

This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays. Colleges are very much looking for mature, self-aware applicants. These are the qualities of successful college students, who will be able to navigate the independence college classes require and the responsibility and quasi-adulthood of college life.

What Could This Essay Do Even Better?

Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due." So what would we tweak in this essay if we could?

Replace some of the clichéd language. Stephen uses handy phrases like "twists and turns" and "don't sweat the small stuff" as a kind of shorthand for explaining his relationship to chaos and unpredictability. But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring.

Use another example from recent life. Stephen's first example (breaking into the van in Laredo) is a great illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected situation. But his essay also emphasizes that he "learned to adapt" by being "different things to different people." It would be great to see how this plays out outside his family, either in the situation in Laredo or another context.

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Example 2: By Renner Kwittken, Tufts Class of '23 (Common App Essay, 645 words long)

My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver. I saw it in my favorite book, Richard Scarry's "Cars and Trucks and Things That Go," and for some reason, I was absolutely obsessed with the idea of driving a giant pickle. Much to the discontent of my younger sister, I insisted that my parents read us that book as many nights as possible so we could find goldbug, a small little golden bug, on every page. I would imagine the wonderful life I would have: being a pig driving a giant pickle truck across the country, chasing and finding goldbug. I then moved on to wanting to be a Lego Master. Then an architect. Then a surgeon.

Then I discovered a real goldbug: gold nanoparticles that can reprogram macrophages to assist in killing tumors, produce clear images of them without sacrificing the subject, and heat them to obliteration.

Suddenly the destination of my pickle was clear.

I quickly became enveloped by the world of nanomedicine; I scoured articles about liposomes, polymeric micelles, dendrimers, targeting ligands, and self-assembling nanoparticles, all conquering cancer in some exotic way. Completely absorbed, I set out to find a mentor to dive even deeper into these topics. After several rejections, I was immensely grateful to receive an invitation to work alongside Dr. Sangeeta Ray at Johns Hopkins.

In the lab, Dr. Ray encouraged a great amount of autonomy to design and implement my own procedures. I chose to attack a problem that affects the entire field of nanomedicine: nanoparticles consistently fail to translate from animal studies into clinical trials. Jumping off recent literature, I set out to see if a pre-dose of a common chemotherapeutic could enhance nanoparticle delivery in aggressive prostate cancer, creating three novel constructs based on three different linear polymers, each using fluorescent dye (although no gold, sorry goldbug!). Though using radioactive isotopes like Gallium and Yttrium would have been incredible, as a 17-year-old, I unfortunately wasn't allowed in the same room as these radioactive materials (even though I took a Geiger counter to a pair of shoes and found them to be slightly dangerous).

I hadn't expected my hypothesis to work, as the research project would have ideally been led across two full years. Yet while there are still many optimizations and revisions to be done, I was thrilled to find -- with completely new nanoparticles that may one day mean future trials will use particles with the initials "RK-1" -- thatcyclophosphamide did indeed increase nanoparticle delivery to the tumor in a statistically significant way.

A secondary, unexpected research project was living alone in Baltimore, a new city to me, surrounded by people much older than I. Even with moving frequently between hotels, AirBnB's, and students' apartments, I strangely reveled in the freedom I had to enjoy my surroundings and form new friendships with graduate school students from the lab. We explored The Inner Harbor at night, attended a concert together one weekend, and even got to watch the Orioles lose (to nobody's surprise). Ironically, it's through these new friendships I discovered something unexpected: what I truly love is sharing research. Whether in a presentation or in a casual conversation, making others interested in science is perhaps more exciting to me than the research itself. This solidified a new pursuit to angle my love for writing towards illuminating science in ways people can understand, adding value to a society that can certainly benefit from more scientific literacy.

It seems fitting that my goals are still transforming: in Scarry's book, there is not just one goldbug, there is one on every page. With each new experience, I'm learning that it isn't the goldbug itself, but rather the act of searching for the goldbugs that will encourage, shape, and refine my ever-evolving passions. Regardless of the goldbug I seek -- I know my pickle truck has just begun its journey.

Renner takes a somewhat different approach than Stephen, but their essay is just as detailed and engaging. Let's go through some of the strengths of this essay.

One Clear Governing Metaphor

This essay is ultimately about two things: Renner’s dreams and future career goals, and Renner’s philosophy on goal-setting and achieving one’s dreams.

But instead of listing off all the amazing things they’ve done to pursue their dream of working in nanomedicine, Renner tells a powerful, unique story instead. To set up the narrative, Renner opens the essay by connecting their experiences with goal-setting and dream-chasing all the way back to a memorable childhood experience:

This lighthearted–but relevant!--story about the moment when Renner first developed a passion for a specific career (“finding the goldbug”) provides an anchor point for the rest of the essay. As Renner pivots to describing their current dreams and goals–working in nanomedicine–the metaphor of “finding the goldbug” is reflected in Renner’s experiments, rejections, and new discoveries.

Though Renner tells multiple stories about their quest to “find the goldbug,” or, in other words, pursue their passion, each story is connected by a unifying theme; namely, that as we search and grow over time, our goals will transform…and that’s okay! By the end of the essay, Renner uses the metaphor of “finding the goldbug” to reiterate the relevance of the opening story:

While the earlier parts of the essay convey Renner’s core message by showing, the final, concluding paragraph sums up Renner’s insights by telling. By briefly and clearly stating the relevance of the goldbug metaphor to their own philosophy on goals and dreams, Renner demonstrates their creativity, insight, and eagerness to grow and evolve as the journey continues into college.

body_fixers

An Engaging, Individual Voice

This essay uses many techniques that make Renner sound genuine and make the reader feel like we already know them.

Technique #1: humor. Notice Renner's gentle and relaxed humor that lightly mocks their younger self's grand ambitions (this is different from the more sarcastic kind of humor used by Stephen in the first essay—you could never mistake one writer for the other).

My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver.

I would imagine the wonderful life I would have: being a pig driving a giant pickle truck across the country, chasing and finding goldbug. I then moved on to wanting to be a Lego Master. Then an architect. Then a surgeon.

Renner gives a great example of how to use humor to your advantage in college essays. You don’t want to come off as too self-deprecating or sarcastic, but telling a lightheartedly humorous story about your younger self that also showcases how you’ve grown and changed over time can set the right tone for your entire essay.

Technique #2: intentional, eye-catching structure. The second technique is the way Renner uses a unique structure to bolster the tone and themes of their essay . The structure of your essay can have a major impact on how your ideas come across…so it’s important to give it just as much thought as the content of your essay!

For instance, Renner does a great job of using one-line paragraphs to create dramatic emphasis and to make clear transitions from one phase of the story to the next:

Suddenly the destination of my pickle car was clear.

Not only does the one-liner above signal that Renner is moving into a new phase of the narrative (their nanoparticle research experiences), it also tells the reader that this is a big moment in Renner’s story. It’s clear that Renner made a major discovery that changed the course of their goal pursuit and dream-chasing. Through structure, Renner conveys excitement and entices the reader to keep pushing forward to the next part of the story.

Technique #3: playing with syntax. The third technique is to use sentences of varying length, syntax, and structure. Most of the essay's written in standard English and uses grammatically correct sentences. However, at key moments, Renner emphasizes that the reader needs to sit up and pay attention by switching to short, colloquial, differently punctuated, and sometimes fragmented sentences.

Even with moving frequently between hotels, AirBnB's, and students' apartments, I strangely reveled in the freedom I had to enjoy my surroundings and form new friendships with graduate school students from the lab. We explored The Inner Harbor at night, attended a concert together one weekend, and even got to watch the Orioles lose (to nobody's surprise). Ironically, it's through these new friendships I discovered something unexpected: what I truly love is sharing research.

In the examples above, Renner switches adeptly between long, flowing sentences and quippy, telegraphic ones. At the same time, Renner uses these different sentence lengths intentionally. As they describe their experiences in new places, they use longer sentences to immerse the reader in the sights, smells, and sounds of those experiences. And when it’s time to get a big, key idea across, Renner switches to a short, punchy sentence to stop the reader in their tracks.

The varying syntax and sentence lengths pull the reader into the narrative and set up crucial “aha” moments when it’s most important…which is a surefire way to make any college essay stand out.

body-crying-upset-cc0

Renner's essay is very strong, but there are still a few little things that could be improved.

Connecting the research experiences to the theme of “finding the goldbug.”  The essay begins and ends with Renner’s connection to the idea of “finding the goldbug.” And while this metaphor is deftly tied into the essay’s intro and conclusion, it isn’t entirely clear what Renner’s big findings were during the research experiences that are described in the middle of the essay. It would be great to add a sentence or two stating what Renner’s big takeaways (or “goldbugs”) were from these experiences, which add more cohesion to the essay as a whole.

Give more details about discovering the world of nanomedicine. It makes sense that Renner wants to get into the details of their big research experiences as quickly as possible. After all, these are the details that show Renner’s dedication to nanomedicine! But a smoother transition from the opening pickle car/goldbug story to Renner’s “real goldbug” of nanoparticles would help the reader understand why nanoparticles became Renner’s goldbug. Finding out why Renner is so motivated to study nanomedicine–and perhaps what put them on to this field of study–would help readers fully understand why Renner chose this path in the first place.

4 Essential Tips for Writing Your Own Essay

How can you use this discussion to better your own college essay? Here are some suggestions for ways to use this resource effectively.

#1: Get Help From the Experts

Getting your college applications together takes a lot of work and can be pretty intimidatin g. Essays are even more important than ever now that admissions processes are changing and schools are going test-optional and removing diversity standards thanks to new Supreme Court rulings .  If you want certified expert help that really makes a difference, get started with  PrepScholar’s Essay Editing and Coaching program. Our program can help you put together an incredible essay from idea to completion so that your application stands out from the crowd. We've helped students get into the best colleges in the United States, including Harvard, Stanford, and Yale.  If you're ready to take the next step and boost your odds of getting into your dream school, connect with our experts today .

#2: Read Other Essays to Get Ideas for Your Own

As you go through the essays we've compiled for you above, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you explain to yourself (or someone else!) why the opening sentence works well?
  • Look for the essay's detailed personal anecdote. What senses is the author describing? Can you easily picture the scene in your mind's eye?
  • Find the place where this anecdote bridges into a larger insight about the author. How does the essay connect the two? How does the anecdote work as an example of the author's characteristic, trait, or skill?
  • Check out the essay's tone. If it's funny, can you find the places where the humor comes from? If it's sad and moving, can you find the imagery and description of feelings that make you moved? If it's serious, can you see how word choice adds to this tone?

Make a note whenever you find an essay or part of an essay that you think was particularly well-written, and think about what you like about it . Is it funny? Does it help you really get to know the writer? Does it show what makes the writer unique? Once you have your list, keep it next to you while writing your essay to remind yourself to try and use those same techniques in your own essay.

body-gears-cogs-puzzle-cc0

#3: Find Your "A-Ha!" Moment

All of these essays rely on connecting with the reader through a heartfelt, highly descriptive scene from the author's life. It can either be very dramatic (did you survive a plane crash?) or it can be completely mundane (did you finally beat your dad at Scrabble?). Either way, it should be personal and revealing about you, your personality, and the way you are now that you are entering the adult world.

Check out essays by authors like John Jeremiah Sullivan , Leslie Jamison , Hanif Abdurraqib , and Esmé Weijun Wang to get more examples of how to craft a compelling personal narrative.

#4: Start Early, Revise Often

Let me level with you: the best writing isn't writing at all. It's rewriting. And in order to have time to rewrite, you have to start way before the application deadline. My advice is to write your first draft at least two months before your applications are due.

Let it sit for a few days untouched. Then come back to it with fresh eyes and think critically about what you've written. What's extra? What's missing? What is in the wrong place? What doesn't make sense? Don't be afraid to take it apart and rearrange sections. Do this several times over, and your essay will be much better for it!

For more editing tips, check out a style guide like Dreyer's English or Eats, Shoots & Leaves .

body_next_step_drawing_blackboard

What's Next?

Still not sure which colleges you want to apply to? Our experts will show you how to make a college list that will help you choose a college that's right for you.

Interested in learning more about college essays? Check out our detailed breakdown of exactly how personal statements work in an application , some suggestions on what to avoid when writing your essay , and our guide to writing about your extracurricular activities .

Working on the rest of your application? Read what admissions officers wish applicants knew before applying .

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

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Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

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How to Write a Conclusion for a Biography

Last Updated: March 30, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Alexander Peterman, MA . Alexander Peterman is a Private Tutor in Florida. He received his MA in Education from the University of Florida in 2017. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 111,400 times.

Biographies offer readers a unique glimpse into the lives of others. Some biographies are supportive, while others are critical. Some observe a life through a political perspective, while others are told through the context of history and particular circumstances. However the story is told, the biography’s conclusion should offer the readers a sense of closure. If you describe the subject’s legacy, incorporate personal details, and support your main thesis, you can write a successful conclusion for a biography.

Reminding the Reader of the Subject’s Importance

Step 1 Summarize the subject's most memorable actions.

  • A conclusion in Jane Austen’s biography, for example, should mention that she wrote 6 novels, some of which are regarded among the memorable and influential works of English literature. [2] X Research source

Step 2 Describe the subject's impact.

  • A biography about Martin Luther, the 16th-century monk who lead the Protestant Reformation, should mention his impact on the development of religious beliefs throughout Europe. Not only did he challenge the ruling Catholic Church, but he made the Bible more accessible to all individuals, not just the clergy. A conclusion should mention that his actions influenced religious beliefs during the Renaissance.

Step 3 Discuss the subject's legacy.

  • A biography of Susan B. Anthony, for example, could mention that her actions and beliefs influenced generations of women and their continued fight for gender equality.
  • A conclusion of the biography of Albert Einstein could mention that his theories and publications have influenced the development of quantum theory and generations of scientists who work toward unifying his theories of the universe. [4] X Research source
  • A biography of author Upton Sinclair could mention that his novel The Jungle influenced the American public health system and helped create laws for regulating the food and drug industries. [5] X Research source
  • For instance, a biography written by your grandmother may focus on how moving to a metropolitan area when she got married changed her perspective on women in the workforce.
  • If you’re writing the biography about yourself , note the greatest life lessons you’ve learned or the biggest achievements you’ve had so far.

Including Personal Details

Step 1 Humanize the subject.

  • Discuss how they loved visiting their grandmother, or mention that their favorite place was a quiet cabin in the mountains.

Step 2 Mention their challenges.

  • The late Nelson Mandela led an influential, prominent, and successful life as a South African activist and former president. Although he earned many awards and honors, he admitted that he was not a very good student when he was trying to earn a law degree. [8] X Research source A reader may be able to better understand that Nelson Mandela had to work hard during his life.

Step 3 Describe their hobbies or passions.

  • Weave their personal interests into the conclusion by acknowledging how those interests influenced their work or life decisions.

Bringing It All Together

Step 1 Recap your key points.

  • Briefly remind the audience of the key points that influenced your thesis. Perhaps your subject moved a lot as a child, and you believe the subject’s bestselling novels were influenced by this. Point out that the main character in the novel is often on the go, and that was the basis for your thesis.

Step 2 Refrain from introducing new ideas or details.

  • If you believed that the subject’s actions later in life were a result of their experiences during war, briefly reassert what major decisions you think were affected. Perhaps they participated in anti-war protests, founded an organization that promotes peace, and worked to uphold human rights. Make a note that their actions revolved around establishing peace.
  • Remind the reader what makes the subject unique or special and what life events demonstrate these qualities.

Step 4 Avoid using transitional phrases.

  • Instead of saying, "in conclusion," try to provide your reader with a subtle transition instead. Conclude by saying, "Because of the magic and popularity of her novels, I believe that J.K. Rowling will continue to influence young readers for generations to come."

Step 5 Use direct quotes from your subject if they will strengthen your thesis.

  • This is an exception to the rule of not adding new information to the conclusion, as quotes shouldn’t be repeated throughout the biography.

Step 6 Provide closure.

  • Conclude with a sense of hope or continued progress. Allow your reader to imagine that this person’s life story will continue influence the lives of others. If your subject is still alive, for example, provide a hopeful ending by saying “Elizabeth continues to fight for the rights of those who have been repressed by being a vocal leader in the United States Senate.”

Expert Q&A

Alexander Peterman, MA

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Write a News Article

  • ↑ https://penandthepad.com/write-conclusion-biography-5840696.html
  • ↑ http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199846719/obo-9780199846719-0081.xml
  • ↑ http://penandthepad.com/write-conclusion-biography-5840696.html
  • ↑ http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/people/einstein-albert-major-contributions-to-science.html
  • ↑ https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/obituaries/archives/upton-sinclair-meat-industry
  • ↑ https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/writing/how-to-write-a-biography.html
  • ↑ https://www.nelsonmandela.org/content/page/biography
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/conclusions/
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-write-a-bio/
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.gmu.edu/articles/7015
  • ↑ https://www.uvm.edu/wid/writingcenter/tutortips/engssupport.html
  • ↑ http://www.tameri.com/write/nonfiction/biography.html

About This Article

Alexander Peterman, MA

Writing the conclusion of your biography assignment is an opportunity to bring your points together and leave a lasting impression on your readers. Use your conclusion to summarize your subject’s achievements and the impact they had on the world. For example, if you're writing a paper about Jane Austen, you could mention her influence on modern literature and the lasting popularity of her novels. You can also revisit the opening scene or a key event from your biography to link your conclusion back to your introduction. If you find a good quote from your subject or one of their critics that highlights your thesis, include this in your conclusion. For more tips from our Educational co-author, including how to include examples to support your thesis, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Prize-Winning Thesis and Dissertation Examples

Published on September 9, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on July 18, 2023.

It can be difficult to know where to start when writing your thesis or dissertation . One way to come up with some ideas or maybe even combat writer’s block is to check out previous work done by other students on a similar thesis or dissertation topic to yours.

This article collects a list of undergraduate, master’s, and PhD theses and dissertations that have won prizes for their high-quality research.

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Table of contents

Award-winning undergraduate theses, award-winning master’s theses, award-winning ph.d. dissertations, other interesting articles.

University : University of Pennsylvania Faculty : History Author : Suchait Kahlon Award : 2021 Hilary Conroy Prize for Best Honors Thesis in World History Title : “Abolition, Africans, and Abstraction: the Influence of the “Noble Savage” on British and French Antislavery Thought, 1787-1807”

University : Columbia University Faculty : History Author : Julien Saint Reiman Award : 2018 Charles A. Beard Senior Thesis Prize Title : “A Starving Man Helping Another Starving Man”: UNRRA, India, and the Genesis of Global Relief, 1943-1947

University: University College London Faculty: Geography Author: Anna Knowles-Smith Award:  2017 Royal Geographical Society Undergraduate Dissertation Prize Title:  Refugees and theatre: an exploration of the basis of self-representation

University: University of Washington Faculty:  Computer Science & Engineering Author: Nick J. Martindell Award: 2014 Best Senior Thesis Award Title:  DCDN: Distributed content delivery for the modern web

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University:  University of Edinburgh Faculty:  Informatics Author:  Christopher Sipola Award:  2018 Social Responsibility & Sustainability Dissertation Prize Title:  Summarizing electricity usage with a neural network

University:  University of Ottawa Faculty:  Education Author:  Matthew Brillinger Award:  2017 Commission on Graduate Studies in the Humanities Prize Title:  Educational Park Planning in Berkeley, California, 1965-1968

University:  University of Ottawa Faculty: Social Sciences Author:  Heather Martin Award:  2015 Joseph De Koninck Prize Title:  An Analysis of Sexual Assault Support Services for Women who have a Developmental Disability

University : University of Ottawa Faculty : Physics Author : Guillaume Thekkadath Award : 2017 Commission on Graduate Studies in the Sciences Prize Title : Joint measurements of complementary properties of quantum systems

University:  London School of Economics Faculty: International Development Author: Lajos Kossuth Award:  2016 Winner of the Prize for Best Overall Performance Title:  Shiny Happy People: A study of the effects income relative to a reference group exerts on life satisfaction

University : Stanford University Faculty : English Author : Nathan Wainstein Award : 2021 Alden Prize Title : “Unformed Art: Bad Writing in the Modernist Novel”

University : University of Massachusetts at Amherst Faculty : Molecular and Cellular Biology Author : Nils Pilotte Award : 2021 Byron Prize for Best Ph.D. Dissertation Title : “Improved Molecular Diagnostics for Soil-Transmitted Molecular Diagnostics for Soil-Transmitted Helminths”

University:  Utrecht University Faculty:  Linguistics Author:  Hans Rutger Bosker Award: 2014 AVT/Anéla Dissertation Prize Title:  The processing and evaluation of fluency in native and non-native speech

University: California Institute of Technology Faculty: Physics Author: Michael P. Mendenhall Award: 2015 Dissertation Award in Nuclear Physics Title: Measurement of the neutron beta decay asymmetry using ultracold neutrons

University:  Stanford University Faculty: Management Science and Engineering Author:  Shayan O. Gharan Award:  Doctoral Dissertation Award 2013 Title:   New Rounding Techniques for the Design and Analysis of Approximation Algorithms

University: University of Minnesota Faculty: Chemical Engineering Author: Eric A. Vandre Award:  2014 Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award in Fluid Dynamics Title: Onset of Dynamics Wetting Failure: The Mechanics of High-speed Fluid Displacement

University: Erasmus University Rotterdam Faculty: Marketing Author: Ezgi Akpinar Award: McKinsey Marketing Dissertation Award 2014 Title: Consumer Information Sharing: Understanding Psychological Drivers of Social Transmission

University: University of Washington Faculty: Computer Science & Engineering Author: Keith N. Snavely Award:  2009 Doctoral Dissertation Award Title: Scene Reconstruction and Visualization from Internet Photo Collections

University:  University of Ottawa Faculty:  Social Work Author:  Susannah Taylor Award: 2018 Joseph De Koninck Prize Title:  Effacing and Obscuring Autonomy: the Effects of Structural Violence on the Transition to Adulthood of Street Involved Youth

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I Write Espionage Books, But My Own Life Is Actually One Big Plot Twist

One day, I was 50 and single. Then I went out on a date that changed everything in a beautifully chaotic way.

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I’ve been writing novels professionally for 15 years, but I’ve never managed to craft a second-act plot twist in one of my thrillers as dramatic as the one my own life took. I transitioned from 50 and single to married with a houseful of kids and dogs, while still under deadlines that didn’t care if I was stuck at the veterinarian all morning, the pediatric orthodontist all afternoon and a swim meet all evening.

I grew up wanting a family, certain that things would just magically fall into place when the time was right. But the time never seemed right, and as I worked hard to pursue my professional dreams, my personal life suffered.

a person in a military uniform

But deep down, I felt unfulfilled, because while my professional fortunes grew and grew, my personal life had completely tanked. I married in 2015 and divorced three years later, and I saw my lifelong dream of having kids pass me by. I was single and in my 50s, after all.

The Plot Thickens

Then, in April of 2019, I went on a blind date arranged by a friend. Allison, like me, was divorced. Also like me, she had two rescue dogs. Unlike me, however, Allison had three children: Ava, then 15, Sophie, 11 and Kemmons, 10.

I fell in love with Allison the first time we met, finishing one another’s sentences and entrées at a Thai restaurant in Memphis, Tenn. Her humor and her spirit were the breath of fresh air that my staid and rigid “work first” life so desperately needed, a beaming bright light that shined for me at exactly the right time. We were all but inseparable after that first night, and after a couple of months of dating, it was time for me to meet the kids.

hollywood, california july 13 mark greaney arrives at the world premiere of netflixs the gray man at tcl chinese theatre on july 13, 2022 in hollywood, california photo by steve granitzfilmmagic

Connecting with Kemmons was a piece of cake. We bonded over cars, Nerf guns and dogs, and I loved him instantly. Ava was in boarding school at the time, so I didn’t get to really know her until she moved back home, but we formed a great “relationship” over the phone and on Facetime.

Eleven-year-old Sophie was the lone holdout to my affection. She was ambivalent about this new guy in her world, to say the least, and I began to feel like I was back in junior high, desperately trying to make a girl laugh or at least talk to me, evaluating every interaction with her to decide if she was finally warming up to my charms. The more I tried, the more she yawned, played with my dogs or looked past me, not at me, when I tried to get to know her.

But I was undeterred. Six months into my relationship with Allison, I told Sophie that someday she and I would be best friends, and I believed it. Slowly, she began to realize I was there for her, her brother and her sister, and I wasn’t just swooping in to snatch up her mother.

Nine months into my relationship with Allison, we were all eating at a restaurant when Sophie walked around the table and whispered into my ear. “If you’re going to propose to my mom, you’ve gotta tell me first.” I already had the ring, and planned to propose in just a couple of weeks, so I immediately agreed to Sophie’s demands.

Because I didn’t have the alone time I needed with her before the proposal, I wrote Sophie and her two siblings each a letter, telling them that I wanted to ask her mother to marry me, and promising that I’d always listen to them, and do my best to be a great stepfather. All three were thrilled, and they loved having the inside information about the proposal.

The COVID Twist

Allison and I got engaged in January 2020 with plans to marry in September, but in March, COVID-19 shut down the world. The only way to see each other, and for me to get to know the kids better, was for us to all move in together. So Allison and the kids packed bags and came to my house.

This “insta-family” was intimidating for a guy with no experience, but I told myself I could handle the lifestyle change and still get my next book in on time.

As the kids homeschooled around the house those first few months, I remember Allison telling me — in a tone that revealed she was worried about the culture shock I was going through — “I promise, they’re usually not home all day, every day!” The truth was, I enjoyed the energy of having everyone around.

a scuba diver under water

As a writer of military and espionage themes, I’ve never let the fact that I didn’t serve in either the military or the CIA deter me from plunging into research to get the information I needed to do my job. I’ve flown in the back of fighter jets, gone swimming with sharks, shadowed State Department security officers in West Africa, trained in shoot-houses with SWAT teams, and stood at the helm of a Navy destroyer.

Parenting felt similar to me in that this wasn’t the world I was accustomed to, but I’d managed to find myself right in the middle of it, and I needed to learn my way around—fast!

There were, and are to this day, many challenges. I’m a pretty laid-back person, so while the kids brought tremendous joy to my life, I was unprepared for the occasional moments of pandemonium.

Still, I shocked myself by how quickly I developed a “dad voice” when necessary.

Finding Balance

Staying disciplined in my writing through all this was a challenge, to say the least. It was as if the voices of the characters in my mind had to compete with the noise from the real world generated by the other eight living creatures in my home. It seemed impossible to find the focus I’d once taken for granted, with my characters and my step kids all clambering for my attention. When my stepson needed help studying for exams each night, for example, I privately told my wife I wasn’t sure I had the energy to make it through another six years of junior high and high school.

a group of people posing for a photo

Balancing writing life with family life, I’ve found, is all about discipline: carving out the necessary unobstructed time to work, and then being able to shut that part of my brain off and flip on the “dad mode” switch.

It’s the little things I love most. Playing soccer with Kemmons, rubbing Sophie’s shoulders while we watch an 80’s teen movie, listening to Ava’s music (she’s a brilliant songwriter and singer). Time with them is fleeting, so I’m trying to soak up as much as I can, and I tell my wife all the time that I feel like I’ve “caught up” to where I always wanted to be.

The Chaos Agent (Gray Man Book 13)

The Chaos Agent (Gray Man Book 13)

Both my work and my family are a beautiful chaos, and I marvel that there is no other place on earth I would rather be than right in the middle of the bedlam.

My quest for the right work/life equilibrium continues, and I suppose it will until I either stop working or stop living. Each chapter of my family’s time together brings new joys and new challenges, and as I enter my fourth year with this wild crew of humans and beasts, I find myself occasionally exhausted and often overwhelmed, but constantly excited about what’s to come.

Mark Greaney's new book, The Chaos Agent , is out on February 20.

@media(max-width: 64rem){.css-o9j0dn:before{margin-bottom:0.5rem;margin-right:0.625rem;color:#ffffff;width:1.25rem;bottom:-0.2rem;height:1.25rem;content:'_';display:inline-block;position:relative;line-height:1;background-repeat:no-repeat;}.loaded .css-o9j0dn:before{background-image:url(/_assets/design-tokens/goodhousekeeping/static/images/Clover.5c7a1a0.svg);}}@media(min-width: 48rem){.loaded .css-o9j0dn:before{background-image:url(/_assets/design-tokens/goodhousekeeping/static/images/Clover.5c7a1a0.svg);}} GH Book Club: Essays From Our Favorite Authors

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  3. 45 Perfect Thesis Statement Templates (+ Examples) ᐅ TemplateLab

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  6. Writing the Conclusion to a Biography

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  1. Biography Thesis Examples That Really Inspire

    Good Thesis On California Fracking Regulation And Agenda Setting An Analysis of the Formulation of California Senate Bill 4 Chapter IV: Findings Introduction The research had the ambitious goal of identifying the political process that took for the passing of SB 4.

  2. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Step 1: Start with a question Step 2: Write your initial answer Step 3: Develop your answer Step 4: Refine your thesis statement Types of thesis statements Other interesting articles Frequently asked questions about thesis statements What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay.

  3. How to Write a Biography: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

    Part 1 Researching Your Subject Download Article 1 Ask the subject for permission to write the biography. Before you dive into your research, make sure you get the okay from the subject to write their biography. Ask them if they are willing to be the subject.

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    7. Get feedback and polish the text. If you're going to self-publish your biography, you'll have to polish it to professional standards. After leaving your work to rest for a while, look at it with fresh eyes and self-edit your manuscript eliminating passive voice, filler words, and redundant adverbs.

  5. How to Write a Biography Essay of a Famous Person

    📚 1. Preparation 🛠️ 2. Set-Up Stage ️ 3. Writing Activity 🎁 4. Wrapping It Up ️ 5. Final Draft 📝 Techniques for Writing a Good Biography Essay

  6. How To Write A Good Academic Biography

    What You Should Do Start with your full name followed by your current position, your general interests, and your current project, keeping them all very brief. If you are within a year of receiving a prestigious award, mention that as well.

  7. How To Structure A Successful Biography Research Project

    Completing a biography research guide will help your students remain focused and on task. The format and structure of the research guide is based on the needs of your students. Hopefully, the items listed below will point you in the right direction. Cover Page: It's important to review the meaning of the term biography and require students to ...

  8. A Definitive Guide To Writing a Biography

    The thesis statement is usually just one sentence long, but it might be longer—even a whole paragraph—usually, if you're writing a large content like a Biography. A good thesis statement makes a debatable point, meaning a point someone might disagree with and argue against.

  9. How to Write a Biography: 6 Tips for Writing Biographical Texts

    Biographies are how we learn information about another human being's life. Whether you want to start writing a biography about a famous person, historical figure, or an influential family member, it's important to know all the elements that make a biography worth both writing and reading.

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    scholarly citations are generally not required. There are two important things to remember about a biography essay. 1. It is a true story that describes the life of your subject. You are not allowed to just make things up, and there should be scholarly documentation confirming that what you are writing is valid. 2.

  11. How to Write an Interesting Biography

    Grace Fleming Updated on August 06, 2018 A biography is a written account of the series of events that make up a person's life. Some of those events are going to be pretty boring, so you'll need to try to make your account as interesting as possible!

  12. How to Write a Biography

    Explore the language and perspective of both. Prompts and Challenges to engage students in writing a biography. Dedicated lessons for both forms of biography. Biographical Projects can expand students' understanding of reading and writing a biography. A COMPLETE 82-PAGE UNIT - NO PREPARATION REQUIRED. DOWNLOAD NOW

  13. 100+ Good Thesis Statement Examples, How to Write, Tips

    Here are 100 examples of good thesis statements to inspire your own academic endeavors. "The advancement of internet technology has revolutionized modern communication, leading to numerous societal changes, including a more interconnected world and the rise of telecommuting.". "Climate change poses a severe threat to global ecosystems ...

  14. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Step 1: Hook your reader Step 2: Give background information Step 3: Present your thesis statement Step 4: Map your essay's structure Step 5: Check and revise More examples of essay introductions Other interesting articles Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction Step 1: Hook your reader

  15. 25 Thesis Statement Examples That Will Make Writing a Breeze

    Understanding what makes a good thesis statement is one of the major keys to writing a great research paper or argumentative essay. The thesis statement is where you make a claim that will guide you through your entire paper. If you find yourself struggling to make sense of your paper or your topic, then it's likely due to a weak thesis statement. Let's take a minute to first understand what ...

  16. Biographical Thesis Writing Help, Outline, Format, Examples

    To complete a biographical thesis successfully, the writer has to know the socio-political setting in which the protagonist's life took place. To learn by example, you need only view the article archives of ProfEssays.com.

  17. 177 College Essay Examples for 11 Schools + Expert Analysis

    Using real sample college essays that worked will give you a great idea of what colleges look for. Learn from great examples here. ... Now, let's get to the good stuff: the list of 177 college essay examples responding to current and past Common App essay prompts. ... Use another example from recent life. Stephen's first example (breaking into ...

  18. Writing your academic biography

    Accept. You'll often be asked to submit an academic biography if you propose a conference paper, contribute a chapter to an edited collection, or publish a journal article or book. In this blog post, I offer five formulations to help you write yours: the short-and-sweet bio; the brief bio; the detailed bio; the independent scholar bio; and ...

  19. Example of a Great Essay

    Published on February 9, 2015 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023 by Shona McCombes. This example guides you through the structure of an essay. It shows how to build an effective introduction, focused paragraphs, clear transitions between ideas, and a strong conclusion.

  20. 3 Ways to Write a Conclusion for a Biography

    1 Summarize the subject's most memorable actions. The conclusion of a biography should remind the reader of the subject's achievements or actions. Briefly describe their greatest achievements so that the reader can remember why it is important or enlightening to learn about their life. [1]

  21. 27 Outstanding College Essay Examples From Top Universities 2023

    This college essay tip is by Abigail McFee, Admissions Counselor for Tufts University and Tufts '17 graduate. 2. Write like a journalist. "Don't bury the lede!" The first few sentences must capture the reader's attention, provide a gist of the story, and give a sense of where the essay is heading.

  22. The 30 Best Biographies of All Time

    12. The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann. Another mysterious explorer takes center stage in this gripping 2009 biography. Grann tells the story of Percy Fawcett, the archaeologist who vanished in the Amazon along with his son in 1925, supposedly in search of an ancient lost city.

  23. Prize-Winning Thesis and Dissertation Examples

    Prize-Winning Thesis and Dissertation Examples. Published on September 9, 2022 by Tegan George.Revised on July 18, 2023. It can be difficult to know where to start when writing your thesis or dissertation.One way to come up with some ideas or maybe even combat writer's block is to check out previous work done by other students on a similar thesis or dissertation topic to yours.

  24. Author Mark Greaney on His Wife, Allison, and Their Children

    But the time never seemed right, and as I worked hard to pursue my professional dreams, my personal life suffered. In 2009, after 20 years of trying, my writing career officially kicked off with ...

  25. Madeleine

    soulistic_stream on February 22, 2024: "Negative emotions certainly don't feel good in the moment but that doesn't mean you should do..." Madeleine | Soulistic Living on Instagram: "Negative emotions certainly don't feel good in the moment but that doesn't mean you should do everything you can to make them go away.