Ms. Gokturk

Expository Writing


The Biography Essay Assignment:

Other People Are Important!


In the pre-writing task, you chose a person to write about. You wrote about their physical description, their personality traits, and some hard facts. You wrote about incidents that occurred with this person.


This person should have taught you something, motivated you, encouraged you, or inspired you.  Now, it’s time to put it all together.



Biography of Influence:

Common Application Question: “Indicate a person who has had significant influence on you and describe that influence”

In this type, you are writing about how this person had an impact on you. Find a thematic link (or glue) that shows the person’s influence on making you better or worse. Like the significant moment essay, your reader’s should see a clear before and after.

Samples: “Unforgettable Miss Bessie,” “Intelligence,” “Of My Friend Hector…,” “How I Got Smart,” “I Just Wanna Be Average,” “The Grocer’s Daughter,” “Gryphon”



If possible, try to find a photo of the person. Examine the photo. What is the dominant impression you feel? What is it about this person you feel the rest of the world should note?


Formulate a thesis/glue and an outline that will direct your essay. Once it has been approved, start writing! Begin with the THREE DIFFERENT Intros, clearly labeling each device you use.


Requirements of the essay:

1.      500-1000 words, typed, double spaced

2.      have a strong thesis/strong dominant impression

3.      use dialogue

4.      Have a vivid physical description of the person

5.      use vivid descriptions: tap into all senses

6.      use similes and metaphors

7.      use incidents to illustrate the person and/or influence

8.      Optional: add historical moments/noteworthy events to give time and place