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What are the elements of a biography?

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Quick Answer

Elements of a biography include the person’s date of birth, major accomplishments, career summary and an overview of why the person is interesting or important. The length of the biography is also an important element, as it affects the type of information that is appropriate to include.

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Full Answer

The purpose of a biography is to provide an overview of a person's life and explain why they are significant. Nearly all biographies include basic details about the person, such as their date of birth and where they lived, but other elements vary depending on the length and type of biography.

Other potential elements of a biography include the person's education, date of death and a history of their personal relationships. Longer biographies also include interesting stories about the person that the reader may find insightful or entertaining. Shorter biographies focus only on the most important details.

The audience of the biography also affects the information that should be included. If, for example, the biography is going to be mainly read by colleagues of the person, then it should include more details about his or her work life. A biography that is written for a general audience is likely to contain elements of both the personal and work life.

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