Design a site like this with
Get started

English 9, Lesson 175 – “So What?” In an Autobiography

This week I finished reading my last autobiography for the 9th Grade English course.  After watching all of Dr. North’s video lessons and reading the assigned autobiographies, I learnt one very important thing about writing autobiographies.  In this essay, I am going to talk about what that thing is.

When writing an autobiography the author must always have one question in mind.  “So what?”  Whenever they decide to talk about a certain event they must always be thinking “so what?”  What’s the point of this story?  Will it be interesting to the reader?  Authors that keep these questions in mind produce the best and most enjoyable autobiographies.

For example, when I had to read Henry David Thoreau’s autobiography about his time living on Walden’s Pond, it was tedious.   Thoreau would spend paragraphs upon paragraphs talking about insignificant topics that do not interest the reader.

But while reading Jim Lehrer’s autobiography in the beginning of the year, it was fun to read his book.  The stories he told was entertaining and had meaning to later parts of the book.  The stories he would tell from his childhood were so entertaining that I doubt the reader would mind if the story did not relate to a later topic.  For example, in the first chapter of his book he told the story of how he accidently wet himself as a young boy while playing on a pinball machine.  Once the incident happened, he panicked and ran to hide in the bathroom, where his father found him.

As you can see, writing an autobiography is not as simple as writing anything and everything from your life onto a page.  The writer always has to keep the reader in mind.  By always thinking “so what?” the writer will not only keep the reader’s attention, but will also make their stories unforgettable.


Author: sophiaelahirpc

10th Grade student in the Ron Paul Curriculum. Full-time teen writer living in Singapore.

4 thoughts on “English 9, Lesson 175 – “So What?” In an Autobiography”

  1. Hi there, again! I am in the last week of the English I course (hooray!), where Gary North is introducing us to Scrivener. I was wondering if you decided to use Scrivener, especially while writing your YA novel? Mr. North keeps stressing the value of Scrivener, but I just don’t know if I should purchase it. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Cora! Congrats on almost being done with 9th Grade English!

      In all honesty, I have not been using Scrivener nor have I purchased it (yet). From what my Dad tells me, and what users of Scrivener say online, the program is worth it once you get over the learning curve.
      Personally, I think that purchasing it may be worth it for two reasons. It’s very inexpensive and a one time payment, and you never know when it might come in handy in the future.
      I will be honest, if you want to use Scrivener, you will have to carve out time to learn how to work it because it is not something that you can just open and learn how to use.

      I say, get it. If you plan to stay with RPC, it will come in handy, and it doesn’t hurt to have something like Scrivener in your back pocket.

      Sorry for such a long reply 😅 Hope this helps 😊

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: