Biographical Sketch Examples – A Guide to Biographical Sketches

Biographical Sketch Examples – A Guide to Biographical Sketches

A biographical sketch can be regarded as an account of the life and activities of a person or family. This sketch should be written by someone else and not the person that it is written for. When properly written, biographical sketches can tell many interesting facts about a person they are written for. It mentions the age the person lives, their occupation, hobbies, and many other things worth mentioning. 

So, how do your Write a Biographical Sketch?

When you write a biographical sketch, you must remember the purpose of the sketch, be precise, and highlight the achievements and influences of the person. Arrange your information logically, and verify your information before putting them out there. 

What Is A Good Example Of A Biographical Sketch?

An excellent example of a biographical sketch should include information on the individual or family’s names, residence, education, occupation, life activities, and other vital information. A biographical sketch must also have hobbies, friends, interests, and the influence of people in the individual’s life and achievements. 

A biographical sketch should be around 500 words and should include answers to the following questions;

  • Where is the place of residence of the individual?
  • What did they do for a living?
  • Was the person married?
  • Did they had children?
  • What are the names of their parents or guardians?
  • How long did they live in their last place of residence?
  • Why did they join military or paramilitary forces like the Army or the Boys scout?
  • What happened to them when they joined the military?
  • What did they achieve in and outside of their main occupation?
  • When did they die?
  • How friends, family, and other people did remember them?

Please type your biographical sketch with the 12-point font and double-spaced. It is also essential to check for punctuation, spelling, and verbal usage errors. It would be best if you allowed friends, family, and another person who has come across the individual to contribute any vital information to the sketch, as they have the necessary information that can be useful in many ways. 

You may not be able to answer all the biographical sketch questions fully; that is okay as long as you make the final report very interesting. 

Tips And Ideas For Writing Biographical Sketch

A biographical sketch is supposed to paint the abbreviated picture of an individual’s life. It can be written about your own life or someone else’s. When written about someone else’s life, the sketch must explain who the person is and highlight their achievements. If a biological sketch is about you, then the same rule applies. 

You must get permission before you write a biography sketch. You must approach the individual or their family members and ask for their permission to write about the individual’s life. 

In some cases, asking for permission may not be necessary, for instance, if the individual is a public figure or deceased individual, but seeking approval will make your work a lot easier. 

If an individual wants a biographical sketch, they will surely provide some vital information or resources you will need to do the work. You may throw in your skill into the write-up, but the primary information about the person is more important. For this reason, getting permission and a true story from the right source is always an excellent step to take. 

In addition to presenting an individual or yourself in a positive light, you must keep readers engaged and wanting to know more. 

The first thing you must keep in mind when writing a biographical sketch is to remember your purpose. This notion means the sketch must provide the core information about the individual. You must include the full names, place of birth, occupation, family background, and significant accomplishments. 

If you are writing a biographical sketch about yourself, it is known as an autobiographical sketch. You may write this sketch to promote yourself, for instance, when you want to sell a book. When a biographical sketch is about you, then your primary focus should be your accomplishments.

Another tip that is vital for a successful biographical sketch is conciseness. It would be best if you were concise with all information provided. You should aim for 500 words or less with your biographical sketches. This should fit into a single-spaced, standard page. Keep in mind that a sketch is a condensed or compressed version of a fuller biography; hence you should pay attention to the core information. 

The core information in a biographical sketch includes; background and history plus accomplishments. To be concise with the information provided, you must choose the essential sentiments due to the space confinement for the report. 

It would be best if you highlighted the achievements and influences of the recipient of the biographical sketch. Highlighting the recipient’s accomplishments will impress the audience more and make them more interested in the person. 

It would be best to mention how life’s accomplishments affected the individual’s life, and you may incorporate their influences into the sketch.  An example of highlighting achievement in a biographical sketch is as follows;

“Marcus Rashford is a wall street Journal author who speaks worldwide about how small and medium businesses can escape the effects of marketing mediocrity to produce tangible results. Forbes named him one of the most influential people shaping modern business marketing”. 

This brief highlight showcases the occupation of the individual and his achievement within the sector. Every other achievement mentioned in a biographical sketch should follow a similar format to save space. 

Now that you have mentioned the life achievements of the individuals and their background, the next step is to arrange your information logically or in sequence. You must have gathered all the necessary information. Hence it would be best if you gathered your fact. 

Keep in mind that 500-word content will probably give you 4-5 paragraphs to include all necessary information. You may want to write the biographical sketch in chronological order or retell their life in full, but the space constraint remains an issue. 

In an autobiographical sketch, you may have to consider a bullet list to highlight achievements. It all depends on how much information you have and how well you want to summarize such. You must be ready to shorten your information to include all achievement highlights. 

Verifying your information is as essential as any other tip here. Before you publish or present a biographical sketch of an individual, you must double-check all your sources. You must confirm your information to be accurate to prevent misrepresentation that can mislead people. 

Sometimes, interviewing the person involved may be necessary; otherwise, you must have a credible source for your information. 

What Is The Difference Between Biographical Sketch And Capsule Biographical? 

People often confuse capsule biography with a biographical sketch, but there is a wide range of differences between the two. 

The main difference is that a biographical sketch is like a summary of a capsule biography, which means you can extend a biographical sketch into a full bio. The Capsule biography covers some essential elements: name, birthplace, parents’ names, significant achievements, and death. 

You may think that the elements in a capsule biography are the same as those in a biographical sketch, capsule biography can include more details on its descriptions. For instance, you can provide the achievements of the individual in more information; likewise, they may emphasize personal information more. 

What You Must Avoid In Biography Sketch

Aside from making brief descriptions of the accomplishments of an individual, there are some things you should avoid including in such a biography.

For instance, you must not include attempts at any accomplishments. These are regarded as incomplete, and they should not be mentioned in the sketch except when references are made. 

You must not include personal issues such as divorces, criminal convictions, and information on other related matters in biography sketches. Such sketches aim to emphasize the accomplishments of an individual and not their shortcomings. 

You must not include fabricated accomplishments, titles, positions, and awards in a biography sketch. You can quickly discover false information in this modern digital age; hence You could remove your biography sketch, and you could be sanctioned. It is better to avoid exaggerated achievements than to get caught up in lies. 


Everyone should have a biography sketch, and you don’t have to wait until you are old or passed away to have a biographical sketch. A biographical sketch can help generations after you know more about your life, and you may become a source of inspiration to them.  

If you are writing about someone else, you should do comprehensive research and confirm every detail of the information you get before you publish them in the biographical sketch. Not gaining permission for a biographical sketch can lead to litigations, and you may find yourself paying huge fines or even go to jail for such. Please make sure the relatives of the individual get the sketch before you publish it.

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