Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.
When you read an autobiography, you're reading the story of someone's life written in their own words: from the day they were born up until, well, whenever the autobiography is written. Unlike a memoir, which focuses on specific times or topics in a person's life, an autobiography is interested in the development of the writer over the course of his or her life (from birth to death). And unlike a biography, an autobiography comes straight from the author's mouth… or pen.
Benjamin Franklin's The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is a classic example of the genre—heck, it's right there in the title.