How long should a biography be?

How long should a biography be
A man thinking about how long should a biography be.

The question how long should a biography be have been asked by thousands of people in the past with the aim of getting a reliable answer to the question either for an assignment as students or for authors ( both upcoming and freelancers).

Look no more because the best answer you are looking for has been provided here.

Naturally before understanding how long should a biography be, we need to look briefly at the following in other to simplify our understanding of the subject matter.

what is a biography?

A brief look into about biography, we returned with the most accurate defination of 2022. biography is simply “the story of a real person’s life. It could be about a person who is still alive, someone who lived centuries ago, someone who is globally famous, an unsung hero forgotten by history, or even a unique group of people. The facts of their life, from birth to death (or the present day of the author), are included with life-changing moments often taking center stage. The author usually points to the subject’s childhood, coming-of-age events, relationships, failures, and successes in order to create a well-rounded description of her subject.”

types of biography.

There are various types of biographical research, below are the five most popular types of biography often noted: scholarly chronicles, life history writing, memoir biography, narrative biography. Intellectual biography validated by our researches over a long period of time.

  1. The schol­arly chronicle is regarded as the most common type of biography, which focuses its research intention on the portrayal of the historical life of an individual. This type of biography has its basic attention on chronological explanation the subject in order while at the same giving attention on step by step pattern of his development in life. It also descriptively highlighting important event in the subject’s life.
  • Intellectual biography on the other hand jettison the need of a biography using chronological basis in explanation but rather it rely solely on the motives, ideas and beliefs of the individual without going into seeking for explanations of justifications behind the motives or beliefs of the individual. The intellectual biography puts more emphasis on narratives and description of the individual above any other consideration.
  • Life history writing this type of biography, relies on discussing narratives and oral history in generating its content.
  • Memoir biography (this is still different from autobiogra­phy) this type of biography has to do primarily with a collection of personal individual memories which are specifically related to specific events or moments in the author’s life.
  • Narrative biog­raphy, this is a type of biography that gives emphasis narrating the life of the individual without giving to much facts and explanations to reasons behind his or her certain actions.
    Reasons for biographies existence:
    The purpose of the existence of a biography is to share the life of another person with an audience. An author may choose to write a biography because they find the subject’s story to be interesting or to have themes that apply to life today.

examples of biography:

Here are a list of 5 of most popular biographies in existence, they are all interesting to check whenever you got a spare time.

  1. “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson.
  2. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik.
  3. “A Song for Nagasaki: The Story of Takashi Nagai: Scientist, Convert, and Survivor of the Atomic Bomb” by Paul Glynn.
  4. “The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X” by Les Payne and Tamara Payne.
  5. “The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear” by Kate Moore.

how long should a biography be?

How long should a biography be depends on the purpose of writing the biography, if it is for a resume or job applications, it needs to be brief with 250 to 500 word counts describing who you are to the interviewers or potential employers in a preferably single paragraph.

If the biography is for other purposes, you must consider the following:
Is the purpose of writing the biography achieved? If the answer is yes that the story has been fully told covering all the necessary angles then it is time to drop the pen and allow it to dry, if not, then you need to make sure that you continue writing the story until you are satisfied that the story is told as fully as it needs to be told to the satisfaction of your intended audience.

Furthermore, majority of the world most famous biographies are mostly within the range of 60 to 75 thousand words, which is a clear indication to you that you either break it into two or more different books when the words count is much more higher than 80 thousand words or try to minimised it altogether to avoid repetition by weeding out areas that have no value or significance to the reader or to yourself.

Also, it will be more professional if you can adopt a particular theme you will cover in the book which will help in streamlining the process and saving you lots of time and resources if you adopt a different approach.

However, as a writer do not let yourself to be bothered unnecessarily with other things that did not matter in your project. Make sure that you write a very engaging and concise biography as long as it needs to be and no more. Don’t go about stuffing it with repetitions to make it more bulkier in pages or heavy in word count and also you should make sure that important events, history and actions have not been cut off in your attempt to minimised the word counts.

Always remember, a very good quality job will be much more appreciated and commended than a shoddy, incomplete and unreliable research and publications any time any day all around the world (maybe doing a good job may even get you a pulitzer prize or a Nobel laureate in the future).


It is always fulfilling and exciting when you publish a new article, biography or academic paper, therefore, the question how long should a biography be? Can depend on several factors discussed above.

But, it is equally important for a personal biography on a resume or job hunting purposes to note that the most acceptable is a single paragraph with a minimum of 250 and maximum of 500 words describing who you are and your experiences in a brief and confident manner.

From here in United States to anywhere in the world a biography with good Content will always make the best impact on the reader.

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