What is the Difference between a memoir an Autobiography?

I have to do a project where i have to say what type of nonfiction classification it is. It is about the Author, by the Author, Shares child abuse experiences, life experiences, and is told in past tense. I need to know if it is an Autobiography, memoir or both. Thanks! :)


oops, i forgot to say it was a book.

Update 2:

It starts off with a chapter on abuse, then the rest is adulthood so.....?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Both autobiographies and memoirs are told in the first person and both are true accounts about the author's life. They each contain personal information and are meant to allow the reader insight into the author's mind. You will find in-depth analyses in both autobiographies and memoirs, though memoirs are often considered the more personal of the two.

    An autobiography is a sketch of the author's entire life, often from birth up until the time of the writing. When you write an autobiography, you start with your earliest memories and no one incident or time of life takes precedence over another.

    A memoir, on the other hand, focuses on one aspect of the author's life. Many people write memoirs to talk about their experiences in a war or their careers or their family life. Memoirs usually cover a relatively brief span of time, and their main purpose is to draw the reader's attention to a specific theme or circumstance.

  • 1 decade ago

    An autobiography is usually a longer work than a memoir, and covers most of the author's life (up to the time it was written, of course.) A memoir is often just about one period of the author's life or one set of experiences. The purpose of an autobiography is more often to set forth the whole time-line of a person's life, whereas a memoir is usually more reflective, examining the effect of certain specific events on the person who writes it.

  • 1 decade ago

    memoirs are more like stories from a certain point in a person's life.

    they happen in just a short period of time,

    but they can be very lengthy.

    an autobiography is more like a telling of the author's whole life

    and all the happenings in it.

    also, autobiographies are more informational,

    while memoirs are just like stories about a time/place/person, whatever.


    <('.'<) hugs?? (>'.')>

  • Kirsty
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    To me, and if you look up memoir on wiki then it will say it too, they are both the same or that memoir is a type of autobiography

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  • 1 decade ago

    Mem-oir 1 short life-history,esp by some one with first-hand knowledge;biographical notice,e g in a periodical. 2 essay on a learned subject specially studied by the writer. 4(pl) person's written account of his own life or experiences(1)

    Auto-bi-ogra-phy (1) story of a person's life written by himself.(2) [U] the art and practice of this sort of writing.

    Source(s): page 538 page 52 both Oxford Advanced Learner's of Curent English by A.S.Hornby with assistance of A.P.Cowie J.Windsor.Lewis 3rd Editition Published by The English Language Book Society and Oxford University Press 1974.
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