Biography vs Autobiography – Difference and Comparison

What is Biography?

A life story or account of any person written by someone else is called a biography. A biography talks about the character and complete history of one’s life but in someone else’s words.

Simply put, biography is a person’s life story through the words of someone else. The biography is an account of a person who had made some remarkable contribution towards any field of life. It is a non-fiction form of literature.

A biography writer researches the life of the person he is writing through a journalistic approach by gathering correct and factful information. He collects the information by researching and evaluating that person’s life through pictures, events, interviews, friends and family.

Since someone else writes a biography so it is written in the third person and it follows a chronological pattern starting from birth, education and further achievements. The need for writing a biography is to show and preserve the contributions of that person to the world at present and in the future.

Simply put, a biography is the life story of someone alive or dead, it is in the written format, yet some biographies can be in a musical form or a documentary or movie.

What is Autobiography?

An autobiography is an account of someone’s life, written by that person himself. The motive for writing the autobiography is, to sum up, the account of his achievement and accomplishments. The writer of the autobiography is the person himself so he describes his life happenings not only through his own words but with true emotions.

An autobiography is an account that is purely personal including the timeline of one’s own life. The writer wants to express his life as he feels.

Auto means self, bio means life and graph means to write. So, autobiography is related to writing an account of own life. Anyone who wishes to sum up his life in a story format can write his autobiography, as the focus is on the person himself so he does not need permission from anyone else. He is the sole owner of his life along with his autobiography.

An autobiography is a personal description hence it is written in the first person. The author can use his personal diaries or take help from old pictures to recollect all the events of his life. Through an autobiography, writers enjoy the opportunity of showing their character and their opinions about certain events that happened during their life.

Difference Between Biography and Autobiography

The prime difference between a biography and an autobiography lies in the fact that a biography is objective as it contains facts and figures about the subject the biography is about, whereas an autobiography is a recollection of the writer’s own life through his own lens.

The second important difference is authority. A biography writer may need to seek permission from the person the biography is about. On the other hand, an autobiography writer does not need any such permissions.

As there is a third person describing the life of someone so it is written in the third form while the autobiography writer himself narrates his story so the first person is used.

Comparison Between Biography and Autobiography

Parameter of ComparisonBiographyAutobiography
MeaningAn account of someone else’s life through someone else’s wordsAn account of someone’s life through that particular person himself
AuthorityIn some cases, authorization is required from the person the biography is aboutNot required
WritingWritten by someone else so written in third personSelf-written so writing is in first person
MotiveTo give information about that person’s lifeTo express own life
ViewpointFacts about the subject’s lifeLoaded with emotions and thoughts