Saturday 23 March 2019
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Literary Terms: Biography vs Autobiography vs Memoir

There are so many literary terms that often confuses the best of us. You need to know your literature to fully understand the differences between writing types. We are going to explore the differences between a biography, autobiography and a memoir. One would assume that the differences would solely be based on who the story is about, but there is more to it.

A cio bio would be a very specific piece of writing, whereas a memoir consists of a lot more facts. Writers have to put on various hats at times and knowing the difference is crucial. It is also a great lesson for the avid reader. Here are some of the most distinctive differences.


The clear objective for a bio writer is to get into the head of the person the biography is based on. This means that the story is told by an outsider. A biography is an account of events, emotions and life of someone with a story to tell. This does not mean that the individual it is based on does not have the writing skills to do it themselves. Most of the time, this is done for celebrities or people who have influenced history. This will be written in third person. This is one of the best versions where it comes to an in-depth look into someone’s life.


Some individuals prefer to write their own life stories. You are more likely to capture the emotions of what you have been through. An autobiography is a book based on the experiences from the horse’s mouth. There is no studying of facts involved. You won’t find biography interview questions and the writer has a lot of freedom with the book. You do not have to be a celebrity to write an autobiography. It’s like writing a journal and combining it into a book. Anyone with a story worth telling can get up tomorrow and start writing their own autobiography. An autobiography is written in third person. The writer can chose what to share and what to leave out.


A memoir and biography is usually seen as the same type of literature, but there is a clear difference. The writing of a memoir does not require any research. You would write a memoir from the perspective of the individual it is based on. The memoir is not written by the person directly, but it is done as if it was. You would write it in first person. A memoir also does not go that into detail as a biography would, but it’s raw and authentic.


As you can see, there are a few differences between these types of literature. It is important for us to understand the complexity of writing. You will not be able to easily identify which group a book falls into. Even though these are all non-fiction, a biography is written like a story. It is relaxed and you can really get lost in the story of someone else’s life.