Write a short biography of the person from childhood to his or her death

general article writing


A psychobiography is the answer to the question, “Why is this person like he/she is?” Psychobiography uses explanation and interpretation of the events, relationships, attitudes, beliefs, and experiences of a person’s life to explain the person they are today (or the person they were before they died). In other words, psychobiography looks at the person’s whole life in an effort to understand their personality.

Psychobiography is not only biography—biographical information is included, but as part of the whole. In biography the aim is to tell the story of a life; in psychobiography the aim is to make sense of or understand a life.

Another important point—psychobiography is NOT about diagnosing a person. While you may report a diagnosis they were given by a qualified physician, you are not to make diagnosis of mental problems the point of your paper.

APA format:

 Please note that ALL text references and your reference page should be in APA style (papers not in APA style will have a point reduction). Students tend to lose unnecessary points due to not following APA style. Don't let this be you--APA style is only about formatting (it is easy once you get the hang of it!).

 For those of you not familiar with APA style, you should either consult an APA style manual in the library, or the following sites can give you useful guidance:


A note on plagiarism: It is very easy to be tempted to plagiarize on this paper—DON’T DO IT! Writing for this class must be yours and only yours—completely original and written for the first time by you. Any words (including direct quotes and paraphrasing) that are not fully and completely the result of your own individual thought process must be cited using APA format. If plagiarism is found in your paper, you will receive zero points for your paper, and possibly a failing grade in the class and/or an Academic Honesty report. Your paper will be checked using Turnitin.


In addition to submitting your assignment to the assignment page, you must also submit it to the Turnitin assignment labeled “Draft Paper-Turnitin.”  Papers not submitted to both places will not be graded. Do NOT send me your paper by email.


You may include one--and only one--direct quote of no more than two sentences in your paper. ANY paper that has more direct quotes than this (whether they are properly cited or not) will have deductions. ANY paper that features more than 10% of its body as direct quotes (whether properly cited or not) may receive a zero for the assignment.


You will write a 6-8 page paper using the following guidelines:

  • You may choose one of the following six people about whom to write your psychobiography. You may not choose a person, not on this list.
  •  Michael Jackson
  •  John F. Kennedy
  •  Fidel Castro
  •  Eva Peron
  •  Princess Diana
  •  Albert Schweitzer
Please note that I am aware that various web sites and books may contain psychobiographies of some or all of the above-mentioned individuals. Do NOT plagiarize from any source.

Section 1

Write a short biography of the person from childhood to his or her death. This should include the high and low points of the person’s experiences. This section should clearly set the stage for the theory that you choose in Section 2. This section should be no more than two pages.

Section 2

Choose one of the personality theorists from your textbook and using specific concepts and ideas from his/her theory, trace the personality development of the person you have chosen.

 Being specific about the concept or concepts you are using is important….For example, if you are using Freud as your theorist, you might trace the resolution of the Oedipus Complex for the person you have chosen.

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