Biographical Writing 100 Hours Certificate Course
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Biographical Writing 100 Hours Certificate Course
Biographical Writing online BWR205: A biography is neither a diary nor a journal. It's more than a collection of ‘she did this’ and ‘he did that’. Although biographies are writing about life, it's more useful to think of them as a collection of writings about life events. i.e. What are the key events in your subject's life? How do these tie around a central theme or purpose?
For example. let's say a Biographer wanted to write about the life and works of the Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson. Here are some of the events he or she would need to cover:
• Birth – 1882, Shipley, England
• Moved to Australia aged 2
• Started travelling as a geologist after graduation
• First expedition – with Ernest Shackleton, at age 25
• First person to go to South Magnetic Pole. First person to reach the summit of Mount Erebus
• Death (or end of our written biography)
The Biography should be split into three sections:
This distance learning course, designed by people qualified to give people the very best tuition in biographical writing techniques, will help you write an enjoyable, informative and well researched biography of a famous person, someone you know, or even the story of your own life achievements and experiences.
Learning Goals: Biographical Writing BWR205:
- Determine when, why, where and how biographies are written
- Determine sources of information and then acquire appropriate information for a biography
- To decide on the type of biography and context in which it should be developed, based upon researched information
- Write different types of short biographies to meet different purposes
- Analyse a life to determine the structure, style and content of a comprehensive biography that could become a small book, large book, or screenplay
- Plan a type of biography
- Determine how a biographical manuscript may be dealt with after writing is completed by the author; to produce and market a finished product
- Apply knowledge and skills developed throughout this course, to research and produce a biographical short story
Lesson Structure: Biographical Writing BWR205:
There are 8 lessons in this course:
1 Scope and Nature of Biographical Writing
- The difference between a biography and autobiography
- Unauthorised biographies
- Using ghost writers in biographies
- Choosing your subject
- Biography vs. Memoir
2 Researching a Biography
- Types of Evidence
- Using Evidence
- Fair Use
- Where to find evidence
- Conducting an Interview
- How to deal with conflicting sources and information
- Citations and Referencing
3 Developing Context
- Determining Your Theme
- Developing the theme
- Themes and Structure
- Using Context
4 Short Biographies
- Principles of the Short Biography
- Distilling Information
- Preparing to write from life experience
5 Comprehensive Biographies
- What makes a comprehensive biography comprehensive?
- Writing a Great Biography
- Voice in Writing
6 Planning a Biography
- The Short Outline
- The Detail-Heavy Outline
- Outlining the biography
- Defining a theme, writing to a central theme
- Word Budget
- Organising Chapter Content
7 Editing 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
8 Project – Writing a Biographical Story
- In this final lesson, you will bring together everything that you have been learning to undertake research and construct a first draft of a biographical piece of between 2,000 and 4,000 words.
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Practicals: Biographical Writing BWR205:
- Discuss how topics are integrated into a biography and how they help or hinder the work.
- Create a biographical timeline.
- Locate a biography, in print or online, and assess the referencing used.
- Identify a theme or themes in a biographical work and think about how events in the work tie back to the theme.
- Research copyright and libel laws in your area.
- Research letters requesting information or interviews with experts or other sources.
- Locate two pieces of primary evidence, then two pieces of secondary evidence for the topic of your choice. Keep notes on how you found your evidence and what makes it primary and secondary respectively.
- Research short bios of “ordinary” people.
- Analyse the life of a person you’d like to write about. Look at this task from the perspective of deciding what content you would include and the best structure and style to use for this particular subject.
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