How to Write a Biography Section for a Research Paper

A research paper will have many parts to it. Your teacher will tell you what he or she wants in the paper. If you are discussing a politician, president, author, or other famous person, as well as his works or accomplishments, you will need a section in the paper where you write the biography.

Where Does It Go?

There are two places where you can place the biography in the research paper. Put it in the background section of the introduction, or give it its own section within the body. Most teachers will tell you that if the paper is not specifically about the writer and that if you are only briefly mentioning him or her that the proper place for the biography is in the introductory paragraph.

What to include?

Do not include information that is not pertinent to the paper topic. You can, however, mention the birth date, birth city, and date of death. Beyond that keep all author biography details relevant to the paper topic.

Not to Do

The biography section is not about you, even though I am sure you are a very interesting person. The biography refers to the person you are writing about in the paper. However, your paper should not be a report on the person. For example, if you were trying to prove that “The Gettysburg Address” was one of the most important speech that was ever given by an American president, you would focus on the speech, on the speech’s content, and on why it is the most important. You would, of course, talk about Lincoln, but keep that part to a minimum. The man is not the topic of the paper, the speech is the topic of the paper.

Dates

Be careful with dates. Use the most important ones in the paper, but do not start listing dates. If you do this, you may lose your reader’s attention.

Valid Sources

Locate your biographical sources at valid and credible sources. Make sure the source is academic and that it is from a reliable person. Always cite your sources in your paper following either the APA or MLA style. Your teacher will tell you which style he or she wants you to use.

As you write your research paper, follow these guidelines when it comes to the biographical portion of your research paper. Following these tips will make writing the paper an easier job for you.