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Explain the Difference Between Autobiography and Biography

Posted by Admin

Two common terms frequently used worldwide are autobiography and biography when we discuss the world of stories. Both of these genres aim to recount the individual life, and they achieve this through different perspectives and approaches. They both might be similar, but as their approaches and perspectives are different, it is important to understand the difference between autobiography and biography, which is important for the understanding of the writer; this blog aims to explore these differences by providing clarity and insights for anyone who has the interest in the art of writing.

What is an Autobiography?

The term autobiography refers to the self-written account of any author's life. This genre is known for allowing individuals to share their own experiences, thoughts, and reflections directly with the audience. The word autobiography is the combination of the three Greek words “auto,” which means self, “bio,” life, and “graph” (to write). Hence, the literal meaning of the autobiography is self-written. Autobiography words can take multiple forms, including intimate writing made during life, which is not done for publication. It may include letters, diaries, journals, memoirs, and reminiscences. Whereas the other type is a formal book-length autobiography. These formal autobiographies offer a special type of biographical truth, a life reshaped by recollection within all recollections, conscious and unconscious omissions, and distortions.

Characteristics of an Autobiography:

First-Person Perspective:

Autobiographies usually are written in the first person, where I, We, and you can be used. It provides an intimate look at the life of an author.

Personal Insight:

In autobiographies, the authors usually offer their own insights and interpretations of the vents while presenting their own thoughts, feelings, and motivations.

Chronological Structure:

Most autobiographies follow some chronological order by focusing on the details of the author's own life, starting with the birth and their present state; it may include the place where they were born, how they were raised, and the struggles and achievements in their life.

Subjective Viewpoint:

As it is mostly an author writing about their own life, the narrative is fundamentally subjective, and personal biases can influence it.


As it is subjective writing and uses the first person, it mainly includes reflective passages where authors anticipate their actions, choices, and their impact on their life journey.

What is a Biography?

On the other hand, a biography is a detail of a person’s life written by someone else. The goal of a biography is to present a comprehensive and honest portrayal of the subject’s life. This review of someone else’s life may include their achievements, struggles, and legacy. Unlike autobiography, biographies are primarily written in the third person and rely on extensive research and interviews. As it is the portrayal of someone else’s life, it is important to know every detail about them through authentic resources to justify that information. Biographies are generally for publication purposes only; therefore, they are primarily written in formal language and cannot include the first person as they do not include the writer's perspective.

Characteristics of a Biography:

Third-Person Perspective:

The autobiography is written in the third person, using “he,” “she,” and “they” to provide a more detached and objective view of the subject's life.


As these biographies are about someone else’s life, they highly depend on the information extracted from some sources that must be the primary source to gather accurate information. Authentication is crucial as it is a sensitive task to talk about someone else's life, and wrong information can affect the writer's image. It is morally, ethically, and legally wrong to portray the wrong information without authorial proof.

Objective Tone:

The biography aims to present a balanced and objective account of the subjects’ lives. It often highlights struggles, achievements, and flows they have experienced in life's journey.

Narrative Structure:

Several biographies follow the chronological order, whereas some may only focus on specific themes, periods, or events that happened in the subject's life and were significant enough to be shared with others.

Analytical Approach:

Biographers mostly focus on interpreting the subject's actions, which have a significant role in changing society, making history, or becoming part of the culture.

Key Differences Between Autobiography and Biography


One of the primary differences is based on the authorship. The autobiography is well-written by the subjects themselves. In contrast, biography is about writing about someone else’s life without getting engrained and sharing one's own perspective.


autobiographies are written in the first person; they offer a personal, subjective view. In contrast, biographies are written in the third person by providing a more objective and detailed perspective of their life.


Biographers mostly focus on interpreting the subject's actions, which have a significant role in changing society, making history, or becoming part of the culture.


Biographers mostly focus on interpreting the subject's actions, which have a significant role in changing society, making history, or becoming part of the culture.


Biographies can work on the wider scope and perspective by incorporating the different views and extent of history context, whereas autobiographies are limited to the author's own experiences and perceptions about their life.

Why Choose One Over the Other?

Choosing between an autobiography and a biography depends on your interests and what you seek from the story. Suppose you intend to get detailed information about the individual's personal life. In that case, the autobiography may provide you with an intimate look into their life and help you get the information you seek. Whereas if you are looking for a rounded and researched perspective, biography can be a suitable option for you as it can provide you with the perspective of others about that individual.

For writers, choosing between autobiography or biography also depends on their purpose and target audience. If you plan to share your life story, autobiography is the best way to go. However, if you aim to discuss someone else life, a biography can be the best option.

The Role of Ghostwriting Services

For those who are planning to share their life story but have a busy schedule and lack writing skills or confidence, ghostwriting services can provide them with a helping hand. Harper Ghostwriting offers professional ghostwriting services that can help service users bring autobiographies or biographies writing services. We have a team of experienced writers who work closely to capture your vision and voice to ensure they deliver what you expect through biography writing services.

Enhancing Your Book with Additional Services

Along with ghostwriting, Harper Ghostwriting also provides different types of services that can help you improve your book; those services are listed below:

Book Cover Illustration: The attractive cover page plays a significant role in impressing readers. Our team of talented designers can create stunning covers that visually reflect your story through book cover illustrations .

Book Publishing Services: Navigating the publishing process can be challenging. We offer comprehensive book publishing services to provide you with guidance regarding publishing your book, from manuscript to printed book.

Book Marketing Services: Effectively promoting a book is also important for its success. Our marketing team develops targeted strategies to reach your audience and maximize your visibility through effective book marketing services.


Understanding the difference between biography and autobiography is important for the writers and readers; each of these genres has unique insights and perspectives. It can either be a personal reflection or a meticulously researched account. At Harper Ghostwriters, we are committed to helping you tell your story, whether you are looking to write an autobiography, commission a biography, or need marketing services. Visit Harper Ghostwriters to learn more about how we can help bring your story to life. By choosing us, our professional services will ensure that you tell your story in a way that can resonate with the readers and stand the test of time.

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