No matter what topic you’re covering, when writing a paper for a class, you need to make sure that your work is interesting and compelling. This can be very difficult when you’re writing a biography, though. Biography writing often comes across as dry and boring.
It doesn’t have to be though. The next time you’re asked to write a biography for an assignment, keep these tips in mind. They’ll help you earn your ‘A+’.
1. Use Interesting Trivia
Your biography shouldn’t just be a list of interesting facts about a person. While these may entertain a reader, if they’re unrelated, your overall work will come across as random and unfocused. However, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore any interesting pieces of trivia that you come across. After you write your paper, look back through it and see if there are any places where you could incorporate these facts. They’ll help you make the overall work much more compelling for a reader.
2. Discuss Their Early Life
Too often, students tasked to write a biography, they focus only on the portion of a person’s life that made them famous. The problem is, most people are familiar with this info already. Even if they’re not, they know they can easily find it with a quick internet search.
Your paper should give people an experience they can’t necessarily get anywhere else. That means covering aspects of your subject’s life that aren’t as commonly-known, such as their childhood, or the period of time after their success. The point is to tell a story that others haven’t heard before.
Of course, keep in mind that the story needs to be interesting. If there truly is nothing worth mentioning about the person’s childhood, don’t spend too much time focusing on it.
3. Make Them Relatable
If your teacher asks you to write a biography on someone, odds are good the person you’re writing about will be a famous or historical figure. It’s very easy to treat these people as larger-than-life figures. The problem is, this makes too hard for most people to relate to. Often, it’s more interesting to read about someone who accomplished extraordinary things, but also had the traits or experience of an ordinary person. Readers like to feel that they can understand who a person is, and that requires being able to relate to them.
To make your biography paper more compelling, look for stories from this person’s life that humanize them for the reader.
4. Be Focused and Specific
Before taking this approach, check with your instructor to confirm that they approve of it. Sometimes, a biography assignment requires you to write a paper covering the person’s overall life and career.
However, if you’re looking for a way to make it interesting, it often pays to devote most of your paper to covering a very specific period of time in your subject’s life. By focusing on a major accomplishment, you can explore their whole life and character in greater detail, instead of broad strokes.
Don’t assume that your biography paper will inevitably come across as boring. If you keep these tips in mind, you can write something that truly captures the attention of a reader.