How to Write a Biographical Narrative Essay

Among different essay types, the bibliographical narrative essay stands out as a unique and very exquisite one. While other more popular essay types, for example, descriptive, argumentative, and persuasive, are rather common among students’ academic writing tasks, the bibliographical narrative essay is more often associated with language, art, and literature studies. This is why a vast majority of students experience difficulties writing this essay type.

To address this knowledge and skill gap and to help students with writing a perfect biographical narrative essay, we offer a clear definition and a thorough step-by-step guide on composing this unique essay type.

Biographical Narrative Essay writing

The Definition

A biographical narrative essay is a type of essay, which aims to tell someone’s biography. Typically, it is a short essay of no more than 1000 words and 1-2 pages long. The flow and structure of a biographical narrative essay are much less strict and formal than with other academic essay types. The flexibility of building elements and free writing style are the key characteristics.

A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Choose a good topic. The topic for a biographical narrative essay is defined by a subject or a hero, whose story the author plans to tell. Needless to say, choosing a strong, interesting personality and a captivating story is key in composing a good biographical narrative essay. For example, writing about someone prominent and well known to a wide audience is more likely to capture the readers’ attention.
  2. Research the subject of your essay. Even when you know someone’s biography well, it is always a good habit to conduct additional research by studying the available sources and learning as much about your main character as possible. Your purpose is to write a deep and captivating story, where additional details and intriguing facts would be a big plus.
  3. Tell a good story. It is a mistake to be overly formal when writing a biographical narrative essay. It is not a purely scientific or biographic report, where events should follow in a strict chronological order and there is no place for creativity. On the contrary, as the word ‘narrative’ suggests, there must be a good story present. For example, tell the readers about something outstanding in the hero’s biography, how and why a certain life pass was chosen, what kind of hardships and achievements accompanied the hero’s life pass, etc.
  4. Include a thesis statement. Some students believe that if this is a narrative essay, there is no need to include a classical thesis statement. This is not right. In writing a biographical narrative essay, a thesis statement is as mandatory as in any other essay type; however, it might be less explicitly formulated and not always put in the introductory part. An example of a good thesis statement is when you announce your story and say what is there that is worth the reader’s attention.
  5. Do the fact-checking. Accuracy and attention to detail are hard to overestimate in writing a biographical narrative essay. Because in most cases you are writing about a well-known character, making even the slightest error in name or date is going to be detrimental to the success of your essay. For example, spelling the name of Albert Einstein with a typo in his second name (Einstain) will immediately catch the attention of an academic audience.

The Bottom Line

While a biographical narrative essay may not be the most popular essay type out there, it is certainly one of the most exquisite and creative ones. Writing a good biographical narrative essay is strongly connected to storytelling – a very versatile and useful skill of influencing other people and getting your voice heard. Many celebrities and famous entrepreneurs enjoy worldwide recognition and have millions of followers thanks to their exceptional talent for telling good and compelling stories. This is why developing a good biographical narrative essay writing skill is so important.