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Understanding Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir

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1 Understanding Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir
Nonfiction Understanding Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir

2 Biography Story of a person’s life, told by someone other than that person Writers of biographies often rely on the following primary sources: Letters Diaries Journals Interviews

3 Biography Source: evidence of an event, idea, or a development
Primary source: direct evidence, or proof that comes straight from those involved The use of sources helps biographers and other writers find the most accurate and trustworthy information.

4 Autobiography & Memoir
The story of a person’s life, written by that person An autobiography expresses the first-person point of view and uses the pronoun “I.” A memoir is often confused with an autobiography and both terms are often used interchangeably. The main difference between an autobiography and a memoir is that, generally, an autobiography includes all or most of the significant experiences of the subject’s life, whereas a memoir typically focuses on one or more particular incidents or people who have been important to the memoirist.

5 Autobiography & Memoir
Another difference between the two forms is the order in which events unfold. Autobiographies are often written in chronological order, with details arranged in the order in which they occurred. Memoirs are usually less structured.

6 How to Read Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir

7 2 Common Purposes 1. Read to find out about a person’s life. If reading for this purpose, a graphic organizer like a time line can be used to keep track of important events. 2. Read to learn more about someone’s character. You read with this purpose when you want to know what this person is really like in his or her everyday life.

8 Other Forms of Nonfiction

9 Essay A short nonfiction work that presents a single main idea, or thesis, about a particular topic. Types of essays: 1. Expository Essay: explores a topic with the goal of informing or enlightening readers 2. Persuasive Essay: aims to convince the reader to accept a certain point of view 3. Personal Essay: explores a topic related to the life or interests of the writer

10 Speeches A public address written to be delivered orally.
Types of speeches: 1. Impromptu Speech: a speech that requires no advance preparation 2. Memorized Speech: requires more preparation in that the speaker writes and memorizes the speech word for word 3. Extemporaneous Speech: these are speeches that are prepared and rehearsed ahead of time

11 Informational Text A form of nonfiction that aims to convey or explain information Types of Informational Text: 1. Articles: an informational piece of writing about a particular topic, issue, event, or series of events 2. How-to Writing: tells the reader, in detail, how to do something 3. Websites: an electronic source of information that is available through the Internet 4. Graphic aids: charts, graphs, maps, diagrams, spreadsheets, drawings, and illustrations are visual materials that present information in understandable ways

12 Author’s Purpose in Nonfiction
Purpose: a writer’s aim or goal The following chart lists some of the modes, or forms, and purposes of writing. A piece of writing can have more than one purpose and may be written in more than one mode. It may then incorporate description, factual information, and a persuasive appeal to convince the reader to adopt a particular point of view.

13 Mode of Writing Purpose Examples Expository To inform News article, research report Narrative To express thoughts or ideas, or to tell a story Personal account, memoir Descriptive To portray a person, place, object, or event Travel brochure, personal profile Persuasive To convince people to accept a position and respond in some way Editorial, petition

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