autobiography: n. the art or practice of writing the story of one's own life; the biography of a person written by him- or herself.
memoir: n. an account of the personal experiences of an author; a report of happenings based on the writer's personal observations or experience.
Much of what I have written about personal narratives is also true of autobiography. You usually write in the first-person mode ("I"), from remembered experience, in more or less chronological order. As in personal narrative writing, you remember as best you can, and invent what you need to make it more credible. However, in autobiography you may have an even greater need to be selective and inventive, depending on how far back you attempt to go to make sense of your life.
Was this article helpful?