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How to Write Biographical Criticism in the University Essay?

Have you ever thought about the personality, brief and concept of the authors while reading a novel or a book? If yes, you can exactly know what an impact the author’s personality has on our understanding. Knowing the author can help us in trusting the text. That is why, a literary criticism named as biographical criticism is a popular technique to analyse the literature.

Biographical criticism is an approach to analyse literature by finding the relationship between the authors’ work and their life history. It aims to facilitate the readers to judge someone else work in the light of his/her personal life for knowing the purpose or meaning of writing. Thus, in this literary criticism, you can see the imaginative spirit of how the writer’s experiences (good or bad) reshapes his literature, especially poems and stories. This article will further discuss the techniques to write a biographical criticism and its characteristics.

How do you write a biographical criticism?

Biographical criticism, unlike simple biography, aims to find the relationship between an author’s life and his/her literature. To put it in another way, the concept behind biographical criticism is to connect the personal life experiences of an author with his/her professional or literary work.

This type of criticism overviews a person’s life events, consciousness, early childhood experiences, psychological wellness, personal desires, and even relational conflicts in relation to his/her work. In reality, biographical criticism is not a modern literature approach. However, psychoanalytical criticism, criticism with cultural studies and other types of criticism help critics in applying these approaches to the author’s biography. 

Like other types of criticism, biographical criticism is also a tool for subject analysis. Thus, it must also cover the four main components of criticism, including reading, analysing, interpreting, and accessing. Before starting the biographical criticism, you must first read the work as well as the life history of the author. Analysis means to examine what the real meaning and structure of the text are, which is under criticism. In part three, ‘interpretation’, the critic must talk about the significance and importance of each part of life and its impact on the work of an author.

The last and the fourth most important part of this literary criticism is the ‘assessment’. In other words, here, you need to tell your reader about the value and worth of someone else’s work in relation to his/her personal life (events). You can even get essay writing help in case of any issue.

1.1 Biographical criticism structuring and formatting

In general, the biographical criticism on literature can be done in five simple steps;

Step 1:

This type of literary literature starts by writing a summary of the author’s personal life. In the personal life history, you can write on the author’s personal traits, motivation, attitudes, moods, and some life-changing events in only 2-3 paragraphs.

Step 2:

After this, the next step must be to write on the 3-to 4 key players in the life of an author. For identification of the key players, you can use some descriptive words. It is better to use a word only for one person.

Step 3:

The knowledge about the author’s traits and key players helps you in making at least three analytical discussion questions. These analytical questions further support you in knowing more about the achievement and character of the author.

Step 4:

These significant life events or achievements can help you in drafting another paragraph on the most prominent part of an author’s life. 

Step 5:

You can end your biographical criticism by providing a brief explanation of the significant events.

Session wise distribution of content in the biographical criticism

In terms of structure, like other university essays, the biographical literature also consists of three main parts; introduction, body and conclusion. Yet, information necessary for writing a biographical approach to literature varies greatly from another type of university essay information.

1.2.1 Introduction

The introduction part of the biographical criticism must contain the name and title of the author. You can add a brief history and description of the work in the introduction. Moreover, the focusing sentence and general indication of the significance of the work are also the parts of the introduction. 

1.2.2 Body

The body is the main part, where you need to critique the work in light of different life events and the author’s brief. Thus, it must contain the following elements as well:

  • Description of the work
  • A brief note on the summary of life events
  • Analysis of different events and interpretation of the possible impact on the writing process.
  • Identification of biasness in ideas due to cultural, religious and other ideological differences
  • Explanation and identification of the relation between literary biasness and cultural, religious and other ideological differences

1.2.3 Conclusion

The conclusion, being the last part of this criticism essay, must overarch all the interpreted elements. It must sum up all elements used in the overall context and critical assessment (both positive and negative effect of author’s concept, experiences and ideologies on a literature understudy). You can end your biographical criticism by providing an overall judgment.

What are the characteristics of biographical criticism?

Biographical criticism is a process of reviewing a body of literature in the light of the life history of the person who writes it. The characteristics of such criticism are to acknowledge that the knowledge of a person is highly related to his life history. This approach claims that the more we know about the brief ideas and cultural values of an author, the better we can know his/her work.

Final thoughts

Biographical criticism is a practical approach to knowing the purpose, objectives and even meaning of writing something. It consists of two words, the ‘biography’ and the second is ‘criticism’. The literal meaning of the first word is to tell the life story of someone else (remember, the biographies are not written by the author himself). Similarly, the meaning of the latter meaning is to critique (see pros, cons/ merits/demerits) literature. So in biographical criticism, you need to critique any author’s literary work in account of bad and good life experiences. This type of criticism, like others, also includes four main components; read, analyse, interpret and access.   For writing it, you can write the life summary, key players, discussion questions, significant events or achievements, and the explanation. Finally, its characteristics include knowing the author’s brief, perception and other traits to best understand his/her point of view.     

Read More: Qualities to look for in an essay writer

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