Definition Function and Types of Biography

Definition Function and Types of Biography

Definition Function and Types of Biography

      We often read or listen the biography of famous people in the world. They can be from our country or other countries. However, sometimes we are still confused about the Definition Function and Types of Biography itself. For this, we want to share about the Definition Function and Types of Biography. (Also study : Generic Structure and Function of Advertisement)

So let’s go to the Definition Function and Types of Biography:

Definition or Meaning of Biography

      A biography is the story of a person’s life, written by another. Also known as life-writing and history of the life. This gives an account or detailed description about the life of a person. It entails basic facts such as childhood, education, career, relationships, family and death.

      Biography is a literary genre that portrays the experiences of all these events occurred in the life of a person mostly in a chronological order. Unlike a resume or profile, biography provides life story of a subject, highlighting different aspects of his/her life.

The person or the writer, who writes biographies, is called as a biographer. Adjective of biography is biographical. The writer of a biography is called a biographer. The person written about is the biographee or subject.

Function of Biography

      Based on the meaning or definition of biography above so the function of writing biographies is to provide details regarding the life of a person or a thing in an entertaining but informative manner. By the end of a biography, the readers feel like they are well acquainted with the subject. Biographies are often non-fictional, but many biographers also use novel-like format, because a story line would be become more entertaining with the inclusion of strong exposition, rising conflict and then climax. Besides, the most inspirational life stories could motivate and put confidence into the readers.

Types of Biography

      After knowing the meaning and the function of biography, now we are going to discuss about the types of biography.

There are three types of biography:


      It tells the story of a person’s life, who writes it himself or herself. However, sometimes he/she may take guidance from a ghostwriter or collaborator.


      It narrates the life story of a person written by another person or writer. It is further divided into five categories:

  • Popular biography
  • Historical biography
  • Literary biography
  • Reference biography
  • Fictional biography


This is a more focused term than an autobiography or a biography. In a memoir, a writer himself/herself narrates the details of a particular event or situation occurred in his/her lifetime.

Examples of Biography

Example 1

Charles Robert Darwin

      Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England, on February 12, 1809. He came from a wealthy family and never had to work. He studied medicine and theology. In 1831 he graduated from University of Cambridge with a degree of theology. He began a career as a scientist quite by chance.

      On December 27,1831, 22 years old Charles Darwin joined the crew of the HMS Beagle as a naturalist.

      The five years’ expedition collected hydrographic, geologic, and meteorological data from South America and many other regions around the world. Darwin’s own observation on this voyage led to his theory of natural selection.

      Charles Darwin was greatly influenced by the geologist Adam Sedgwick and naturalist John Henslow in his development of the theory of natural selection, which was to become the foundation concept supporting the theory of evolution.

      Darwin’s theory holds that environmental effects lead to varying degrees of reproductive success in individuals and groups of organisms. Natural selection tends to promote adaptation in organisms when necessary for survival.

      This revolutionary theory was published in 1859 in Darwin’s now famous On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.

Example 2



     Born into a family of doctors in Kampung Ketapang, Kwitang Barat, Jakarta, Abdulrachman Saleh also became a doctor. After finishing MULO, he studied at STOVIA. While still a student, he was appointed assistant at the laboratory of physiology. Graduating from STOVIA, Abdulrachman Saleh continued his work at the lab while having his own medical practice.

      Abdulrachman Saleh’s role in medicine was significant. He became a lecturer in Jakarta, Surabaya, Malang, and Klaten. For his meritorious service in medicine, specifically in physiology, in 1958, the University of Indonesia bestowed him the title of Bapak Ilmu Faal (Father of Physiology). Abdulrachman Saleh was a man of many interests.

      He was involved in youth organizations like Boy Scouts and Indonesia Muda. He was also a member of Aeroclub, and co-founded theVerenigde Oosterse Radio Omroep (VORO), an organization of broadcasters.

      It was he who established the Voice of Free Indonesia, the radio station which spread the proclamation of Indonesia’s independence to the world.  

That’s all our posting about the Definition Function and Types of Biography. We hope our post about Definition Function and Types of Biography above can be useful for us to get information about biography in Definition, Function and Types. (Also study : The Function of Hortatory Exposition Text)

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