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Interpreting Literature: ENG 2001

Research help for the course, ENG 2001: Interpreting Literature

Why Use Biographies?

silhouette of four persons standing during sunsetBiographies provide insights into individuals' lives and achievements. Biographies come in all shapes and sizes: some offer just factual information (full name, birth and death dates, place of birth, career history, etc.) while others provide more in-depth accounts as well as references for further reading.

When and Why You Should Use Biographies:

  • You need a quick account of an individual's life or accomplishments (e.g. brief sketches in encyclopedias)
  • You need an in-depth account of an individual's life or accomplishments (e.g. book-length biographies)
  • You need to offer a view of history through the lens of one individual's life or contributions
  • You need to track down where an individual's personal documents or objects are located 
  • You need to better understand how perceptions of an individual have changed over time

Remember: Biographies are often subjective. Keep in mind who wrote and published the biography, and decide whether or not that author/publisher had any possible biases. You may need to consult multiple biographies on the same individual.

Find Author Biographies & Interviews

silhouette of two individualsBiographies and autobiographies provide insights into individuals' lives and achievements. Biographies come in all shapes and sizes: some offer just factual information (full name, birth and death dates, place of birth, career history, etc.) while others provide more in-depth essays as well as references for further reading.

The sources below contain brief biographies or biographical overviews on individuals. Many also point to other resources about an individual, including related news stories, book-length biographies, and/or author interviews. Need additional help? Check out this help guide: How to Learn More About an Author