What Is a Personal Autobiography Sample?

A personal autobiography sample is usually a shorter summary of someone's life or a retelling of a specific event as opposed to a vast memoir or novel-sized document. Personal autobiography samples are frequently requested for job and college applications, and they also are used to introduce people whose work is being showcased at an event.

Often called personal statements or narrative essays, personal autobiography samples can be very important documents. They can give prospective schools and employers a good idea of where applicants come from, where they want to go, and how they might, for example, overcome a difficult obstacle. Usually, autobiography samples are prompted by a question that can direct the writer to certain kinds of memories but is general enough that it can be applied to anyone's life. Responses can range in length from a few sentences to a few pages.

Examples of personal autobiographies of any length can be found online. Since an autobiography is a biography written by the subject, any kind of personal narrative essay, memoir or famous personal account is an example of an autobiography. According to Wikipedia, some of the most famous autobiographies include "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin," "The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass" and "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou.