Biographical Approach Paper Format

If you’re working with Excellence in Literature and would like to use the approach paper format to write about authors or other significant people, I’ve created a format model for you. Approach papers help students think through the things they study in a deeper way, so this can be useful with people they read about in any of their studies. Enjoy!
When they lived:
Where they lived:

Life Summary
Write an interesting one-two-paragraph summary of the person’s life.

Key Players
Choose 3-4 key people involved in the person’s life and list 4-5 vividly descriptive words
for each person. Words may not be used to describe more than one person

Discussion Questions
Think carefully about the person and his or her life and write three analytical discussion questions that would help to reveal more about his or her character and achievements.

Significant Event or Achievement
Choose an event or achievement that seems to be the most significant point or climax in the
person’s life and write a one paragraph description.

Significant Point Explanation
Why do you believe this was a significant point in the person’s life? How is this person and his or her achievement remembered today?
Write a fully-developed paragraph in response to these two questions. Support your argument with quotes from the text or other sources, if appropriate.

2 Responses

  1. Jackie says:

    What a great resource! Thanks for posting this. While I don’t use Excellence in Literature (We use an online resource that includes writing–Time4Learning), the outline you provided while come in very handy for my DD.

    Mom to a very active teenager who doubles as a bright right-brained learner.

  2. Diane says:

    Can you please post the biographical Approach Paper format above in a format the we can copy?
    My son is beginning English II this week and I believe the above format will ensure he puts more though into his author research.

    Thank You,

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