A biography is the story of someone’s life and often highlights their work, achievements, and what contribution they have made to the world. A biography may cover a person’s whole life or only a short period, from a week to a few years. Popular subjects for biographers include historical figures, actors, artists, writers, and political figures.
The Certificate of Biographical Writing is an online professional development program that will teach you how to research, write, edit and publish a biographical piece for publication.
In this biography writing course, you will learn about different types of research and information gathering techniques and how to apply the art of fiction to the craft of biography.
You will also learn how to create a biographical timeline, analyse the life of your subject, decide on content, style and structure, and understand the publishing process, copyright and libel laws. In the final lesson, you will bring together everything you have learnt, undertake research and conduct a draft biographical piece of between 2000 and 4000 words.
On completion of this course, you will bring together everything that you have learned to undertake research and construct the first draft of a biography.
Unit - Biographical Writing
Unit 1 – Scope and nature of biographical writing
The difference between a biography and autobiography
Using ghostwriters in biographies
Choosing your subject
What do biographies cover?
Fiction vs non fiction
Uses for biographies
Biography vs. Memoir
Unit 2 – Researching a biography
Types of evidence
Primary and secondary evidence
Sources for biographies – where to find evidence
Locating primary evidence for living or recently-deceased subjects
Newspapers and publications
Locating primary evidence for all subjects
Diaries and other papers
Research papers and interviews
Conducting an interview
Biographies, libraries and archives
Diaries, calendars, annual reports
How to deal with conflicting sources and information
Citations and referencing
The law – defamation
Slander and libel
Unit 3 – Developing context
Types of biographies
Determining your theme
Keywords and concepts
Developing the theme
Themes and structure
General planning: will this subject work for me?
Unauthorised versus authorised biographies
General planning: what are my rights?
Rights: awareness of right-sharing
Protecting your copyright
Unit 4 – Short biographies
Examples of short biographies
Case study: the importance of the author bio
Principles of the short biography
Preparing to write from life experience
Unit 5 – Comprehensive biographies
What makes a comprehensive biography comprehensive?
Writing a great biography
Further tips for writing a biography
Some essential writing skills
Voice in writing
Unit 6 – Plan the writing of a biography
Developing an outline
The short outline
The detail-heavy outline
Keeping track of evidence
Outlining the biography
Defining a theme, writing to a central theme
Organising chapter content
The writing structure
The writing process
A writing routine
Unit 7 – Editing publishing and marketing a biography
Writing a sales package
The publishing process
Publishing processes for Ebooks
Self-publishing your work
Distributing and selling your work
Grants for writing
Obtaining a contract
Unit 8 – Project – Writing a biographical story
Select a type of biography
Identify your purpose
Identify your theme
Begin your research
Defining elements of the work
Plot your narrative arc
Develop your outline
Return to research
Estimated duration 50 hours
Course Delivery and Start
Start anytime, self-paced and 100% online
Assessment will be comprised of written exercises, including short-answer questions, reflective tasks, short reports and/or projects. There are no examinations or due dates for assessment. As a result, you can complete training in your own time and at your own pace with the assistance of unlimited tutor support.
I enjoyed the activities and gained some valuable practical experience.
G. Ewart, Kirwan, QLD | Certificate of Biographical Writing
I felt that the course was rewarding and fulfilled my needs and was a joy to complete.
Nicole | Gilead, NSW | Certificate of Biographical Writing
Studying with Australian Online Courses gave me the flexibility to complete field studies, tasks and assignments in my own time. I did not feel pressured at any time during my course to submit work until I was completely satisfied with my work. The course material was well presented and easy to follow. I would highly recommend Australian Online Courses to anyone who is looking to undertake online study with such a helpful and professional organisation. Thanks again.
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