May Recommendations: 4 Autobiography You Should Read

One of the most important factors in the college application process is the Personal Statement, a 650-word essay about a personal story. Reading autobiography could be a great introduction and examples of how a person tells his/her experience. These are our counselor’s top four recommendations!

1. The Autobiography of Malcolm X – Alex Haley

 

A powerful story of self-discovery through self-reliance. Malcolm X is a man who in many ways jolts our senses, and electrifies our thinking. Read this memoir for inspiration and creativity, as well as a lesson in why we should write the way we speak.

 
2. Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
 

A journey almost as grand as its title; this graphic memoir stretches from Iran to Austria, and from paperback pages to blockbuster screens. A story sure to provide you with ample opportunity for reflection and introspection, particularly in the words and ways we can share our stories.

 
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou 
 

This heart-wrenching coming-of-age memoir does not shy away from exploring complex subjects ranging from rape to racism. What the audience receives, in turn, is a powerful recipe for achieving dignity and self-possession in environments of hatred and suppression. An immense work, one sure to light the thoughts, values, and ambitions of the young reader.

 
4. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin – Benjamin Franklin
 
A timeless window into one of America’s Founding Fathers, and by extension into America’s can-do cultural fabric. Franklin documents his challenges, successes, and experiences, and shows us all how to embrace and practice a life of learning. If you want to know what colleges mean by their oft-repeated “intellectual engagement”, then this is the book for you.
 
Ryan Roels is a senior counselor and a lead Reading and Writing coach at EduSmith. He graduated from Williams College, a top-ranked liberal arts college, with highest honours in Political Science. 

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