What is the Difference Between a Biography and an Autobiography?

22 Mar 2019


In our previous blog, we discussed the difference between an autobiography and a memoir, but what is the difference between an autobiography and a biography?

Well, both are written accounts of a person’s life. There are some big differences that set them apart from each other, though.

A biography:

  • Is the story of a person’s life
  • Is generally written by a person who did an in-depth study of someone else’s life
  • Can be written with or without the consent of the subject
  • Is based on facts about the subject’s life
  • Is usually written in third person
  • Is objective
  • Has the purpose of informing the audience

An autobiography:

  • Is the story of one’s own life
  • Is generally written by (or with the help of) the subject matter
  • Is usually written in first person
  • Is based on facts about the subject’s life
  • Can also include the subject’s thoughts and feelings about the events in their life
  • Is subjective
  • Has the purpose of informing and explaining the motivation behind the subject’s actions
Jennifer Rizzo 
Jennifer Rizzo is a Denver based writer with a background in Healthcare, International Tour Management, Genealogical Research, and a passion for travel and languages. She studied Spanish at the University of Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Mexico and also lived and studied in Ancona, Italy. After spending nearly a decade working in the health care field, Jennifer has a well-rounded knowledge of hospital functionality, medical terminology, and disease processes. She has extended work experience with government medical benefits as well as Social Security law, which has allowed her to fine-tune her ability to sort through large amounts of medical records, research, and data, and turn that information into well written reports and case briefs. Since joining The Writers for Hire, Jennifer has written on vast array of topics and has done many in-depth ancestry research and family history projects. She has worked as Project Manager for various client websites, family history books, and RFPs, as well as other projects. She enjoys working closely with clients, and loves any opportunity that allows her to indulge her creative side.

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