Tips for Improving your Autobiography CourseworkFriday, April 9th, 2010
Advice on getting extra credit in your autobiography coursework
Many times, a teacher may request you to write something about yourself. This kind of autobiography coursework is useful for evaluating your writing techniques such as your organization of the facts, the proper use of grammar and spelling, etc. But also, the teacher is willing to check if you can actually catch the reader’s attention with your essay. So it is very important that you prepare some material which is well written but also enjoyable and easy to read.
Choose a good topic
It is your real life experience what turns the autobiography into a significant reading. For that same reason, you should always write about something significant. Of course, not every day of your life is memorable. Not everything that happens in any person’s life is essay material. You should choose a topic which is interesting and enjoyable to read and which captures the reader’s attention at once. It doesn’t matter if yesterday you went to the supermarket: no one is willing to read about that.
Good topics for autobiographies include a learning experience (it can be something funny as well as something sad and difficult, for example overcoming a long disease), describing a person who influenced deeply on you, writing about the happiest moment of your life or telling about your childhood memories. The richer the details, the better the writing. Use adjectives and plenty of descriptions to arise in the reader a feeling of commitment and engagement to your work.
Write from your own experience
The events you write about in your autobiography coursework must be basically true. Indeed, some teachers even ask for a later interview, and you must be ready to expand the information you gave about yourself in your writing. Essays about your personal life should be a single, personal expression of something significant you have lived, so you should not copy ideas from a book or the Internet, because those things can be easily spotted and won’t help you at all to improve your grade.
However, you may enrich your written assignment with fictitious details, as long as they don’t change the main facts (for example, you may be writing about your dear grandmother who died a couple of years ago, and how much of her is still in you… feel free to give your “essay granny” the same colour of your eyes!).
Add some photographs and pictures
Photographs can be used in your autobiography coursework as paratexts –pieces of information that complete the main text-. By adding images to your essay, you will surely create more interest in the reader, who will find reflected in them the things, the places and (especially) the people you wrote about in the assignment. Adding a baby picture of you, or a photograph of the place where you grew up, can get you some valuable extra credit in this kind of assignments. So, next time you hand in an autobiography coursework, don’t forget to include them.