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Autobiography vs. Bibliography: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 6, 2023
Autobiography is a self-written life story; Bibliography is a list of sources or references.

Key Differences

Autobiography and Bibliography are both related to the domain of literature but serve different purposes. An Autobiography is a self-narrated account of a person's life, offering personal insights, experiences, and reflections. On the other hand, a Bibliography provides a list of sources or references consulted during research or writing.
Diving deeper into Autobiography, it is often a narrative where individuals introspect about significant events, milestones, and people that shaped their life. Bibliography, contrastingly, is about crediting and acknowledging the range of materials, such as books, journals, or articles, that contributed knowledge to a work.
Not only are the purposes of an Autobiography and Bibliography different, but their structures are distinct too. Autobiographies follow a narrative format, presenting events chronologically or thematically, while Bibliographies adhere to citation standards, ensuring that readers can trace back the original source of information.
Readers approach Autobiographies to understand an individual's personal journey, emotions, and perspectives. In contrast, Bibliographies serve researchers, scholars, and readers who wish to verify information or delve deeper into a topic by accessing the primary or secondary sources listed.

Comparison Chart


Narrate personal life
List sources or references


Narrative format
Citation format

Typical Readers

General audience
Researchers, scholars


Personal experiences, reflections
Books, articles, journals

Example of Usage

"Her Autobiography details her journey to stardom."
"Refer to the Bibliography for detailed source material."

Autobiography and Bibliography Definitions


A self-narrated life story.
Her Autobiography provides a candid look into her struggles.


A collection of citations related to a topic.
The article's Bibliography was extensive, showcasing thorough research.


A book or account about oneself.
The entrepreneur released an Autobiography detailing his path to success.


An index of works used or referenced.
For further reading, consult the Bibliography.


A first-person recounting of one's life.
The poet's Autobiography is filled with lyrical reminiscences.


A catalog of literature on a specific subject.
The professor provided a Bibliography on post-modernist literature.


An introspective account of personal growth and challenges.
In her Autobiography, the activist discusses the events that shaped her beliefs.


A reference to books consulted during writing.
The Bibliography at the end of the book was ten pages long.


A narrative detailing personal experiences.
The singer's Autobiography became a best-seller overnight.


A list of the works of a specific author or publisher.


The biography of a person written by that person.


A list of writings relating to a given subject
A bibliography of Latin American history.


(countable) A self-written biography; the story of one's own life.


A list of writings used or considered by an author in preparing a particular work.


(uncountable) Biographies of this kind regarded as a literary genre.


The description and identification of the editions, dates of issue, authorship, and typography of books or other written material.


A biography written by the subject of it; memoirs of one's life written by one's self.


A compilation of such information.


A biography of yourself


A section of a written work containing citations, not quotations, to all the books referred to in the work.


A list of books or documents relevant to a particular subject or author.


The study of the history of books in terms of their classification, printing and publication.


A history or description of books and manuscripts, with notices of the different editions, the times when they were printed, etc.


A list of books or other printed works having some common theme, such as topic, period, author, or publisher.


A list of the published (and sometimes unpublished) sources of information referred to in a scholarly discourse or other text, or used as reference materials for its preparation.


The branch of library science dealing with the history and classification of books and other published materials.


A list of writings with time and place of publication (such as the writings of a single author or the works referred to in preparing a document etc.)


A list of sources used in research.
Scholars appreciated the detailed Bibliography in his thesis.


Can an Autobiography be fictional?

Autobiographies are based on real-life experiences, but they can contain creative liberties.

How is a Bibliography different from a Works Cited page?

A Bibliography lists all sources consulted, while Works Cited lists only sources directly cited.

What is the main goal of a Bibliography?

A Bibliography lists and credits sources used during research or writing.

Can online sources be included in a Bibliography?

Yes, online articles, websites, and other digital resources can be in a Bibliography.

How is an Autobiography different from a memoir?

Autobiography typically covers a person's entire life, while a memoir focuses on specific experiences or periods.

Can a person write multiple Autobiographies?

Yes, individuals can write multiple Autobiographies focusing on different life phases or themes.

What is an annotated Bibliography?

It's a list of sources with descriptions or evaluations of each entry.

Who usually reads an Autobiography?

General audiences, fans, or anyone interested in the individual's life.

Is every Autobiography written by the person it's about?

Typically, yes. An Autobiography is self-written, but it can also be co-authored.

Is every academic paper expected to have a Bibliography?

Most academic papers require a Bibliography or a similar list of references.

How personal can an Autobiography get?

Autobiographies can be deeply personal, depending on what the author chooses to share.

What details are essential in a Bibliography entry?

Typically, author(s), title, publication date, publisher, and page number(s).

Why is formatting important in a Bibliography?

Consistent formatting ensures readers can easily access and verify sources.

Can a fictional character have an Autobiography?

In literature, a fictional character's "Autobiography" would still be a work of fiction.

Is there a specific order in which Bibliography entries appear?

Typically, entries are alphabetical, but order can vary based on citation style.

Can a Bibliography be too long?

Ideally, a Bibliography should only include relevant and credible sources, but there's no strict limit on length.

Are Autobiographies always in chronological order?

Not necessarily. Autobiographies can be thematic or follow different narrative structures.

Are Bibliographies only for books?

No, Bibliographies can include articles, journals, online sources, and more.

Is every Autobiography truthful?

While based on real experiences, Autobiographies might contain subjective interpretations or unintentional inaccuracies.

Can Autobiographies be written posthumously?

If an individual started their Autobiography but passed away before completing it, it can be finished posthumously by another writer.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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