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2. The Early Wittgenstein

Primary sources could include books, letters, pictures, newspapers and newspaper clippings, magazines, internet articles, journals, videos, interviews, existing biographies, or an autobiography by the subject. Look for these sources at your local library or online.

From the Archive, Issue 229

Read as much as you can about the subject and highlight any key information you come across in your sources. Why is this subject important to readers? What can I say that is new about the subject? What would I like to learn more about? Conduct interviews with the subject and those close to them. Interview the subject as well as people close to them, such as spouses, friends, business partners, family members, coworkers, and peers.

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Conduct the interview in person , by phone, or through e-mail. You may need to interview the subject and others several times to get the material you need.


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Visit locations that are important to the subject. Being physically in the area can give you a sense of how the subject might have felt and help you write their experiences more effectively. Consider the time period they grew up in as well as the history of the places where they lived. Do research on the economics, politics, and culture of their time period. Look at the news events happening in the place where they lived or worked.

What was going on economically and politically? How did the social and political climate affect the subject? Highlight key events or moments on the timeline. Include important dates, locations, and names. Go for a chronological structure. Start with birth and childhood. Then, go into young adulthood and adulthood. If the person is still alive, include information on their later life.

If they are no longer alive, include information on their death. Create a thesis for the biography. It may be helpful to create a thesis statement or a sentence with your main idea for the biography. Use the thesis to help you organize the rest of the biography. Make sure all of your content refers back in some way to your thesis.

You can then make sure all your content relates back to this thesis. Use flashbacks. Flashbacks are when where you move from the present to the past. Or you may have one chapter that focuses on the present and one chapter that focuses on the past, alternating as you go. Use your research notes and interviews with the subject to get a good sense of their past for the flashbacks. Focus on major events and milestones.

They may also have milestones like their first successful business venture or their first civil rights march. You may write a whole section about their contributions and participation in major civil rights marches in their hometown. You can then use the theme of overcoming adversity in the biography. Include your own opinions and thoughts about the person.

Do not be afraid to put your own thoughts about the person in the text. Reflect on your research and comment on how you view the person. You may also commend the person for their hard work and positive impact on society. Show the biography to others for feedback. Once you have completed a draft of the biography, show it to peers, friends, teachers, and mentors for feedback. Be open to feedback so you can improve the biography and make it better. Do not be afraid to cut or edit down the biography to suit the needs of your readers.

Proofread the biography. Check the biography for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Circle all punctuation in the text to confirm it is correct. Read the text backwards to check for spelling and grammar errors. Having a biography riddled with spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors can turn off your readers and result in a poor grade if you are handing in the text for a class. Cite all sources used in the biography. Most biographies will include information from sources such as books, articles, magazines, and interviews. Make sure you cite any sources you quote directly or paraphrase.

You may use in-text citations, footnotes, or endnotes. Sample Biography Outline. Sample Biography Excerpt. How do I make a story out of factual life information that is dry and often boring?

Samuel Johnson

Pick out points where the life was influential and explain why those are important. Then, sticking to the facts, emphasize the small conflicts and use a regular story flow to write the rest. Yes No. Not Helpful 10 Helpful How can I start writing the biography of my grandparent who is no longer alive?

Ask your parents and other relatives for information on them stories, pictures. Not Helpful 13 Helpful Research the person as much a you can by reading books and watching documentaries on YouTube or online. You can also use the Internet to find interviews with the person and other resources. Not Helpful 12 Helpful I would recommend trying to find an exciting hook that will interest your readers and encourage them to continue reading.

Maybe try to find an exciting event in the person's life to describe.

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For example, if you were writing a biography about Barack Obama, you could start out with a description of the night he won the presidency for the first time. Not Helpful 15 Helpful You should check out wikiHow's article on self-publishing. It will give you more information on how to publish your own books. Not Helpful 21 Helpful What do I do if I don't know anything about a person but want to write a biography about them?

Write a fictional account using what you think you know, or what you find interesting.

Paris Review - Hermione Lee, The Art of Biography No. 4

Or you may have one chapter that focuses on the present and one chapter that focuses on the past, alternating as you go. Use your research notes and interviews with the subject to get a good sense of their past for the flashbacks. Focus on major events and milestones. They may also have milestones like their first successful business venture or their first civil rights march.

You may write a whole section about their contributions and participation in major civil rights marches in their hometown. You can then use the theme of overcoming adversity in the biography. Include your own opinions and thoughts about the person. Do not be afraid to put your own thoughts about the person in the text. Reflect on your research and comment on how you view the person.

You may also commend the person for their hard work and positive impact on society. Show the biography to others for feedback. Once you have completed a draft of the biography, show it to peers, friends, teachers, and mentors for feedback. Be open to feedback so you can improve the biography and make it better. Do not be afraid to cut or edit down the biography to suit the needs of your readers. Proofread the biography. Check the biography for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Circle all punctuation in the text to confirm it is correct. Read the text backwards to check for spelling and grammar errors.

Having a biography riddled with spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors can turn off your readers and result in a poor grade if you are handing in the text for a class. Cite all sources used in the biography. Most biographies will include information from sources such as books, articles, magazines, and interviews. Make sure you cite any sources you quote directly or paraphrase.

You may use in-text citations, footnotes, or endnotes. Sample Biography Outline. Sample Biography Excerpt. How do I make a story out of factual life information that is dry and often boring? Pick out points where the life was influential and explain why those are important. Then, sticking to the facts, emphasize the small conflicts and use a regular story flow to write the rest. Yes No. Not Helpful 10 Helpful How can I start writing the biography of my grandparent who is no longer alive? Ask your parents and other relatives for information on them stories, pictures.

Not Helpful 13 Helpful Research the person as much a you can by reading books and watching documentaries on YouTube or online. You can also use the Internet to find interviews with the person and other resources. Not Helpful 12 Helpful I would recommend trying to find an exciting hook that will interest your readers and encourage them to continue reading. Maybe try to find an exciting event in the person's life to describe. For example, if you were writing a biography about Barack Obama, you could start out with a description of the night he won the presidency for the first time.

Not Helpful 15 Helpful You should check out wikiHow's article on self-publishing. It will give you more information on how to publish your own books. Not Helpful 21 Helpful What do I do if I don't know anything about a person but want to write a biography about them? Write a fictional account using what you think you know, or what you find interesting. Change the name you can make it similar and make up a story about that fictional person. A private person already has their own story, and a public person is easy to research.

You probably wouldn't want someone making stuff up about you, so a private person has a right to their privacy. Look at fanfiction to see what people are doing with famous people as characters. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 2. Not Helpful 14 Helpful An autobiography is just a biography you're writing about yourself.

You can use the steps in this article, and just use first person pronouns I, my, me, etc. Try to focus on the most important events in your life, and tell your story in an engaging manner.

How to Write an Interesting Biography

Not Helpful 1 Helpful 3. Not Helpful 5 Helpful 7. Unanswered Questions. Answer this question Flag as Flag as What is the average cost to commission someone to write a biography? What are APA citations and how do I use them? How do I write a title page for a biography? How do I arrange the provided information into a biography if the time during which the events took place is not mentioned? Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Tips Be careful when publishing private or embarrassing information, especially if the person is not a celebrity. You may violate their "Right of Privacy" or equivalent. Have the sources to back up your statements about the subject's life. Untruthful written statements can lead to litigation.

If it is your opinion, be clear that it is such and not fact although you can support your opinion with facts. Edit Related wikiHows. Article Summary X Before you write a biography, gather as much information about the subject that you can from sources like newspaper articles, interviews, photos, existing biographies, and anything else you can find.

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