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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 28 August 2021 and 10 December 2021. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): AlmanzaO.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 15:46, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Academic Discipline?[edit]

Is Biography really the name of an academic, scholarly discipline? Academics do, of course, write biographies, but is the writing of biographies properly considered a discipline itself? For example, philosophers write biographies of philosophers; historians write biographies of political figures; ordinary writers and scholars of pop culture write biographies of pop figures; art historians write biographies of artists; etc.

If biography really is properly considered a discipline unto itself, then, it follows, you could explain on biography exactly why it deserves to be so considered. Does it have its own journals (like?)? Its own scholarly standards (such as?)? Its experts (who?)? --LMS

A biography, or simply bio, is a detailed description of a person's life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person's experience of these life events. ... Works in diverse media, from literature to film, form the genre known as biography.

I don't know if it is a "discipline" or a "subdiscipline" of history or a "literary genre", but the work being invested into writing biographies is different from other work that the same people do. What does it take to be qualified as a "discipline"? Is there a wikipedia entry that explains what a discipline is?

Links to biography should be found from History and Literature.

Some of the entries linked to from the Biography page are plurals, other are singulars. It is natural to write that Einstein was a physicist (singular) and make it a link to the page of physicists (plural). Should we make it a convention of Wikipedia always to use the plural for such entries? In that case, maybe the bio page should be "biographies" (plural) as opposed to the "discipline" (or art) of Biography.

An interesting book might be:

Park Honan, Authors' Lives: On Literary Biography and the Arts of Language, ISBN:0-312-04261-2

I am not sure that considering the Jewish Holy Scriptures as a collection of particularly old biographies is a particularly scientific point of view. The dating for the Holy Scriptures has been continuously sliding downward; I think giving, say, Genesis a date of authorship of 1000bc is very optimistic at this point in time. By this time, we have many other biographies, e.g. Metjen of Egypt, etc. Despite what people like to think, it has been very difficult to prove that Jewish Holy Scriptures are old.

--Rck 19:27, 24 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When you say "scientific" presumably you just mean "accurate" or "historic" --BozMo 15:47, 10 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dates for Dark & Middle Ages[edit]

I'm not exactly sure which date to give, but to place the start of the Middle Ages at 350 AD is very inaccurate. Generally, the Dark Ages are regarded as sometime around 410-1000, and the Middle Ages as sometime around 1000-1400. I realize these numbers are poor, but they are much better than what is in the article. I don't know enough about these periods, but I do know the numbers in the article are wrong.

350 is clearly wrong; Theodosius reigned in the 380s and he is clearly not a Medieval emperor. I would go with something later. It is usually conventient to give something that the contemporaries felt was a turning point. For example, the sack of Rome in 410 by the Visigoth chief Alaric and his men was considered an absolute disaster for anyone inside the Roman Empire, an occurrence of the unthinkable. Go with 410.
--Rck 19:27, 24 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Some moron COMPLETELY vandalized this entry, someone needs to revert it back.Kalas Grengar 09:49, 13 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There appeared to be vandalism in the opening paragraph. I reverted the edit to the immediately previous version.Jakking (talk) 03:17, 21 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


User talk:Deville has been using a robot to disambiguate "French" to "French people" instead of the standard "France". Has there been a change of policy? All other countries bio references disambig to the country article, not to the (in many cases rather crappy) "people" articles. This is especially concerning re the French people article because it is so controversial.--Mais oui! 05:32, 28 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Section on Modern biography[edit]

I added this badly needed section and provided material with references. It has an Anglo-American bias and needs to be supplemented by a discussion of what was/is going on vis-a-vis biography in the rest of the world. soverman 01:17 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Australian Bio Award[edit]

Australia has an Annual National Biography Award (AU $20,00). You may consider adding this information to the site. URL to access requisite details is — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:27, 28 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Complex insight[edit]

I added a fact tag to the assertion that biographies develop complex insight because at the very least it is clear that many biographies develop no insight at all. I have read biographies which provided some insight, but not of a kind that seemed at all complex. Most information in biographies is trivial. A spectacular example of that is Peter Parker's biography of J. R. Ackerley, which actually prevents insight into the man. Most information in biographies is simply irrelevant. In Phillip Marchand's biography of McLuhan we learn that he believed he was directly inspired by the Blessed Virgin Mary – I don't see how that helps me understand either the man or his ideas (nor does Mr. Marchand claim that it should). And then there are biographies of popular musicians, which are generally a load of old codswallop.

In short, what I'm arguing is that either some evidence that biography as a genre promotes complex insight should be provided or that the assertion should be toned down a bit – by saying, for example, that it may be an attempt, however questionable, to develop complex insight into a person. Or something. Obviously historical biographies may develop complex insight into an era or event, but that doesn't seem to be what is implied in the assertion in the article, which goes on to talk about understanding of personality (as if there were such a thing).

I'm open to being persuaded I'm wrong, by the way. For one thing, I would then know why this genre is considered so important. John FitzGerald 13:17, 8 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I propose that "develops complex insight and highlights different textures of personality including intimate details of experiences" be replaced by "develops a complex analysis of personality, highlighting different aspects of it and including intimate details of experiences." If someone could explain what a texture of personality is we could leave that in. John FitzGerald 16:50, 11 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No one's objected so I'm going to change it. John FitzGerald 16:43, 19 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed External Links[edit]

I believe there are excellent external links to be considered such as and Why were they eliminated? Thanks. Antonio

After viewing the links at the bottom, they appear to be commercial sites promoting either the sales of biography books or prefixed with prominent advertising WP:EL. Calltech 11:48, 15 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The first link was to a page listing the most honored biographies in recent history. There is no policy preventing links to commercial sites as long at the content is relevant. Don't you think a ranked list of honored biographies is relevant? KennyLucius 15:47, 15 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Kenny, content relevance alone is not the WP standard. Wikipedia makes it clear that links to be avoided include:
"Links intended to promote a site, especially if that site's primary purpose is to advertise or sell products or services, or if the site requires payment to view the relevant content. This is colloquially known as external link spamming."
"A page that you own or maintain, even if the guidelines above imply that it should be linked. This is because of neutrality and point-of-view concerns; neutrality is an important and difficult objective at Wikipedia. If your page is relevant and informative, mention it on the talk page and let unbiased Wikipedia editors decide whether to add the link." WP:EL
The link you restored is to a site that you own and that sells biography books and material and is thus against WP's standards. If you feel this site is an exception, submit an WP:RFC to get other editor consensus before reverting this link. Again, this is WP's recommendation and its standard.Calltech 16:34, 15 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would like to revisit the issue of a link to Award Annals. The honor roll of biography books is on a site that is technically mine, so I ask that interested editors review the page for inclusion in the "See also" section of this article. Some pages in Award Annals provides links to booksellers, but not this particular list of honored biographies. I feel that labeling the site "commercial" because of these links is an overstatement, and it's omission is unfortunate. Since I am the site owner, I will not add the link myself. KennyLucius 21:56, 2 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fact or Fiction[edit]

The wiki page on Biographies says "While a biography may focus on a subject of fiction or non-fiction, the term is usually in reference to non-fiction." Wikipedia is the only source we have found that says a biography can be fiction. Can it be? Is this wrong? Please reply. Thanks from all of us!

-Odyssey 5/6 Grade Classroom

Cusoon959 20:21, 14 February 2007 (UTC) To Odyssey 5/6 Grade Classroom: One more thing: You claim that Wikipedia says that biography can be a fiction. However, Wikipedia only says that the subject may be fictional, not the facts on the subject. There is a difference. The Zorro biography I mention below talks about a fictional character, but it relates the actual history of that character's development, such as the year he was first written about, when movies were made about him, the plots of published books about him. These are all verifiable facts. In this case, the biography is factual, just not the subject.Reply[reply]

Conversely, it has been argued there IS actually fictional biography. For example, an author may incorporate autobiographical elements into his or her fictional pieces. Scholar Pilar Hidalgo talks about this in her essay "Are You Writing Fact or Fiction?", which is located in the book All Sides of the Subject: Women and Biography but Teresa Iles. She uses the example of Virginia Woolf's book, To the Lighthouse, which I also believe is highly autobiographical; it embodied an internal struggle of Woolf's (seeking to become an independently powerful woman professional in an age that was only beginning to allow that.) I'd love to hear your thoughts on these issues. I am a college student, and I just finished writing my thesis on biographies. Sweetsagehen 07:05, 2 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To Odyssey 5/6 Grade Classroom: Biography literally translates to "life writing." Therefore, chronicling the life of a fictional character is still biographical. You may have heard of Zorro, a popular fictional masked hero created in 1919. A & E Biography Channel has created a video biography on him []. A & E is a notable company, so I think that lends credibility to the idea. Good luck! Sweetsagehen 06:50, 2 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What about brief bios?[edit]

Hello, I came here to learn about what a "Bio" is, as in when my employer needs me to write up a quick bio to put on their web site. I was redirected to biography, where I read about what a biograpy is, as in a film or book. I highly suggest adding a reference to the modern use of quick bios, like the single paragraph kind. I'd be interested to know if anyone else agrees, or did I miss something, or is this not how wikipedia works? 04:34, 7 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree, something like that could be useful - not as a "how to guide", but as a description of what exactly it is, how it is used, etc. Feel free to be bold and add it - alternatively, you could propose a draft here on the talk page. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 18:02, 12 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Women's biography sentence makes no sense[edit]

Re the paragraph on biography of women - the single sentence there makes little or no sense to me - seems as if maybe the point got stripped of its context somewhere along the line. How it reads now almost sounds like men are somehow suffering because women got more accurate biographical treatment - though I don't think that can be what the writer meant to say. Anyone else think this? Or know what point was meant to be being made here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:13, 26 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Deletion of infoboxes in biographies[edit]

There is a request for comment ongoing at Talk:Richard D'Oyly Carte to determine if a workgroup can demand that all infoboxes be removed from articles they control. For instance can Project New Jersey remove all infoboxes from biographies of people born in New Jersey, or can Project Catholicism demand that all infoboxes be removed from biographies of people that are Catholic. In this case Project Gilber and Sullivan are removing all infoboxes from articles that are under their project scope. Please join the debate and keep an open mind. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 02:12, 4 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Misuse of sources[edit]

This article has been edited by a user who is known to have misused sources to unduly promote certain views (see WP:Jagged 85 cleanup). Examination of the sources used by this editor often reveals that the sources have been selectively interpreted or blatantly misrepresented, going beyond any reasonable interpretation of the authors' intent.

Please help by viewing the entry for this article shown at the page, and check the edits to ensure that any claims are valid, and that any references do in fact verify what is claimed.

I searched the page history, and found 6 edits by Jagged 85 (for example, see this edits). Tobby72 (talk) 21:15, 20 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


It would appear that this article has been replaced with one of a personal nature. Please check it out. Pendright (talk) 02:26, 16 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fixed; see my response at Wikipedia talk:New contributors' help page/questions#Help! Robert Skyhawk (T C) 04:39, 16 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I broke the main section up by historical eras. And cleaned up some writing. I hope no one minds, I think I made the article better and easier to navigate. I also added Boswell's epic biography of Johnson. I think it deserves mention. Huw Powell (talk) 03:08, 17 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What about a unauthorized biography?[edit]

In Germany there is often conflict between the heirs and an author if the author wrote an unauthorized biography. How is the law in the United States for such a case? - --Maxim Pouska (talk) 18:20, 23 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 20 August 2017[edit]

Fkhan3473 (talk) 11:49, 20 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. — nihlus kryik  (talk) 11:55, 20 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 14 May 2018[edit] (talk) 22:43, 14 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. You have not made any request. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 23:09, 14 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 7 February 2019[edit]

[please add under the paragraph einding with 'adapted from microhistory.' just above the subtitle 'Biographical research':] 'The Dutch biographer and director of the Biography Institute Hans Renders' main argument is that "biography as a research area belongs to history." Therefore, it should be studied using a historical methodology. [16] In order to achieve serious academic attention, Renders argues, scholars of biography studies should "present a more consistent and broadly based research methodology and theoretical framework."[17] [for the references 16 en 17 see Hans Renders wikipedia] Hans Renders (talk) 23:23, 7 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. Alucard 16❯❯❯ chat? 16:36, 5 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Indian biographies[edit]

please add these Indian biographies to the history of biographies

regards. (talk) 14:58, 20 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 28 January 2020[edit]

hello, really dont know what to write A ghostwriter is hired to write literary or journalistic works, speeches, or other texts that are officially credited to another person as the author. Celebrities, executives, participants in timely news stories, and political leaders often hire ghostwriters to draft or edit autobiographies, memoirs, magazine articles, or other written material. In music, ghostwriters are often used to write songs, lyrics, and instrumental pieces. Screenplay authors can also use ghostwriters to either edit or rewrite their scripts to improve them.

Usually, there is a confidentiality clause in the contract between the ghostwriter and the credited author that obligates the former to remain anonymous. Sometimes the ghostwriter is acknowledged by the author or publisher for his or her writing services, euphemistically called a "researcher" or "research assistant", but often the ghostwriter is not credited.

Ghostwriting (or simply "ghosting") also occurs in other creative fields. Composers have long hired ghostwriters to help them to write musical pieces and songs; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is an example of a well-known composer who was paid to ghostwrite music for wealthy patrons. Ghosting also occurs in popular music. A pop music ghostwriter writes lyrics and a melody in the style of the credited musician. In hip hop music, the increasing use of ghostwriters by high-profile hip-hop stars has led to controversy.[1] In the visual arts, it is not uncommon in either fine art or commercial art such as comics for a number of assistants to do work on a piece that is credited to a single artist; Andy Warhol engaged in this practice, supervising an assembly line silk screen process for his artwork.[2] However, when credit is established for the writer, the acknowledgement of their contribution is public domain and the writer in question would not be considered a ghostwriter. (talk) 08:41, 28 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Not done. It's not clear what changes you want to make. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 15:43, 28 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requesting wider attention[edit]

I felt article Islamic_literature is in bit of neglect so I added my note on talk page there, requesting to take note of Talk:Islamic_literature#Article_review. If possible requesting copy edit support. Suggestions for suitable reference sources at Talk:Islamic_literature is also welcome.

Posting message here too for neutrality sake

Thanks and greetings

Bookku (talk) 08:13, 21 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 16 September 2020[edit]

Autobiographies are also used in greek stories talking about how heroes did great deeds and how the ‘gods’ punished others (talk) 22:57, 16 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Not done That would not be an autobiography then, unless written by the heroes themselves.. -- Alexf(talk) 23:25, 16 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

طلب تحرير شبه محمي في 22 مارس 2021[edit]

Abolmar (talk) 02:24, 22 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Abolmar:  Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. Please post your request in English. I can't tell if this is simply an empty request or if the non-english text means something. RudolfRed (talk) 02:50, 22 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 25 July 2021[edit]

Really Kazi Golam Mowla Mubin (talk) 09:59, 25 July 2021 (UTC)ya. I am mubin. I am a singer.Reply[reply]

 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. ‑‑Volteer1 (talk) 10:52, 25 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Business Biography[edit]

surely there must be a template for business biographies. businesses need it to manage their foundation more effectively (talk) 18:00, 13 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Malcolm Evans biography removal of slanderous wording inserted by persons unknown, and a general update[edit]

Malcolm Paul Evans (born 20 December 1945) is a [[New > Zealand]] political cartoonist who lives in Auckland. > Up until September 2014, Evans' cartoons appeared daily in three major > New Zealand newspapers, The Manawatu Standard, [[The Timaru > Herald]] and The Christchurch Press. Evans still produces > his Edna character, the ubiquitous farmer's wife, which has been > running fortnightly since 1976 in New Zealand's largest farming > newspaper Rural News. Evans cartoons have included many critical > of Israel, its government and politicians, as distinct from criticism of Jews as a > people, which would be abhorrent anti-Semitism and a serious crime under the laws of New Zealand. Evans also produces cartoons fortnightly for New Zealand Dairy News > and personal cartoon caricature commissions, and also sculpts and paints. > Having first worked for The New Zealand Herald in the 1970s, > when he succeeded Sir Gordon Minhinnick, Evans was again its > cartoonist for six years from 1997 until 2003 when those opposed to > his cartoons critical of Israel's treatment of Palestinians, put pressure on the paper and, following Evans' > subsequent refusal to stop drawing cartoons attacking Israel's > Apartheid system he was subsequently fired. > During his time at the New Zealand Herald Evans was twice judged > New Zealand Cartoonist of the Year, a title he held at the time of his > firing, along with that of President of the NZCIA - the New Zealand > Cartoonists and Illustrators Association.

  • What I think should be changed: Any description of Malcolm Evans being "antiSemitic"
  • Why it should be changed: Because the inserted words are untrue and constitute slander
  • References supporting the possible change (format using the "cite" button): (talk) 21:39, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


 Not done: You appear to be in the wrong place to request these changes. Please post your edit request on the talk page of the subject article, specifically at Talk:Malcolm Evans (cartoonist). Melmann 12:16, 21 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]