Biographies are histories of a person's life or parts of his/her life. They can introduce students to a whole new world of historical figures and different eras. Studying them can also inspire students as they read about people who overcame problems, faced obstacles and criticism, but persevered to succeed.

A biography that is written by a person about his/her own life is called an autobiography. These are located in the nonfiction area. 

Types of Biography:

Authentic Biography:

  • Follows the same role as scholarly works written for adults
  • Well-documented, carefully researched account of a person's life
  • Contains actual statements from the subject when dialogue is used
  • Must be true in every detail

Fictionalized Biography:

  • Fictionalizes certain events and tries to personalize the subject more
  • Includes invented dialogue and unspoken thoughts from the subject
  • These dialogue and thoughts are based on facts in journals, diaries, or other period sources on the subject
  • Must be true to factual record and its inventions must be believable to the times

Subject Guide

Web Resources