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Biography Assistant  presented by  A&E's Biography

Below is a list of Topics covering ideas that you might want to include in your biography. They are in alphabetical order, except for the historical Topics, which you will find in chronological order at the end of the list. When you select a Topic, Biography Assistant will present you with one or more questions to help narrow down which set of Writing Ideas is best for you.

You may want to print this page and use it as a checklist for keeping track of the Topics that you've already gone through. Remember, however, that you don't need to write about all of these Topics, just those that interest you.

Getting Started.

Who were your ancestors and what were they like? Knowing the answer to these types of questions can be important in how we define ourselves. Choose this Topic to detail your family's roots.

Birth/Adoption of Children
What was it like when your children came home for the first time, whether they were adopted or your natural children? Some say that this is the most important event of their life. Pick this Topic to record your thoughts and feelings.

Death and Losing Loved Ones
How did you cope with the death of loved ones? Use this Topic to focus on your experiences with and feelings about death. A variety of Writing Ideas show how your views changed over the course of your life.

Demonstrations and Protests
From racial and labor issues to war, everyone has their cause. Did you ever join in a protest or demonstration? Pick this Topic to highlight your involvement in such issues.

Discrimination & Issues of Race
Black or white, male or female, young or old? Did anyone ever discriminate against you? What was the situation? Choose this Topic to describe your experiences relating to discrimination.

Did you go through a divorce? When was it and why did it happen? Use this Topic to recount the effects that the divorce had on you and your family.

Learning to drive has become a rite of passage--when did you start driving? Did you ever have any accidents or tickets? Choose this Topic to recount your driving adventures.

What type of education did you receive? From nursery school to post-graduate education, select this Topic to help you trace your progression through the world of education.

Entertainment and Pop Culture
Actors, writers, and artists, not to mention fads and fashions. Which ones were your favorites over the years? Biography Assistant supplies different Writing Ideas throughout your life story to show how your tastes changed.

Family Relations
How did you interact with your parents? What about your siblings? Who were you close to? Pick this Topic to record both the happy and the bittersweet memories of family life.

Family Traditions
What traditions did your family have? Select this Topic to preserve your family memories. Biography Assistant offers special questions at different points in your life to highlight how your family traditions changed over time.

Foreign Events
What foreign countries and events held your interest over the years? Select this Topic to describe what was important to you.

Who were your best friends over the years? What did you do together? Choosing this Topic gives you different Writing Ideas at different points in your life story to help record the special times spent with friends.

Gender Issues
How did society expect you to act because of your gender? Select this Topic to outline your thoughts about and experiences with men's and women's roles in society. This topic also includes popular issues of the day, such as voting rights and abortion.

Holidays can mean different things: time off from work, gathering with friends and family, eating special treats, or just plain relaxing. What did holidays mean to you over the years? Use this Topic to describe the joyous times.

Where did you grow up and what kind of a place was it? Rural? A small town? What was it like to live there? Pick this Topic to preserve special memories of your hometown.

With the Writing Ideas of this Topic, trace your experiences in the American melting pot. Where were you born and when did you arrive in your new homeland? What were your first impressions?

Inventions and Innovations
What was invented during your lifetime? From the electric light to computers, inventors are constantly changing the way we live. Pick this Topic to recall the wonder and excitement of the objects invented during your lifetime.

Legal Matters
Were you ever involved in divorce proceedings or a criminal lawsuit? What was the outcome? Did you ever serve time? Choose this Topic to help you record these events, whether they took place when you were a child or an adult.

Looking Over A Lifetime
What did you accomplish during your life? How did the world change over your lifetime? What did you learn that you would pass on to others? Select this topic to record your important thoughts.

Did you ever marry, or at least come close to it? What kind of wedding did you have? Who attended? Choose this Topic to record all the events, from the very special engagement to life and times together.

Medical Epidemics
Did you live through a time when an epidemic swept the nation? Was there an outbreak of influenza, the HIV virus, or another illness? Select this Topic to relate how this affected your lifestyle.

Medical History
Were you a victim of measles, mumps, broken bones, or hearing loss? The human body is amazing, yet so much can go wrong! Pick this Topic to summarize your medical history.

Military: Family Life & Service
How did you become involved in the military? How do military and civilian family life compare? What were the important events in your military career? Use this Topic to describe your military experiences.

Moving is associated with many different emotions--happiness, sadness, maybe even a sense of adventure. Biography Assistant asks different questions throughout your life, so that no matter when you may have moved, the questions are appropriate.

Natural Disasters
Did you live through one of Mother Nature's outbursts, whether it was a hurricane, earthquake, fire or locusts? Did you learn about a disaster from afar? Pick this Topic to write about your experiences with natural disasters.

What jobs did you hold during your lifetime? Selecting this Topic helps you organize your experiences in the workplace, from childhood jobs through retirement.

Personal Finances
How did your family's financial situation affect you? Did it give or deprive you of special opportunities? Select this Topic to record how your financial situation changed over your life and what this meant.

Personal Politics
What interest did you have in politics over the years? Choose this Topic for different Writing Ideas at different points in your life to highlight how your political views and activities changed over time.

Personality and Values
Where did you get your ideas and values? Did you have a personality like that of someone else in the family? Pick this Topic to record the details that made you an individual.

Did you ever have a special pet? Whether young or old, pets can be an important part of a person's life, providing laughter and companionship. Select this Topic to relate the special tales.

Physical Characteristics
Tall or short? Light or dark? Did you look like someone in the family or someone famous? Pick this Topic to paint a picture of yourself. Biography Assistant offers unique Writing Ideas at different points to show how you changed over the years.

Raising a Family
Did you have children of your own? If so, how did you raise them? If not, why didn't you ever have kids? Choosing this Topic lets you describe your family life.

How did your free-time activities contribute to your personality? Were you a sports fan or a music enthusiast? Select this Topic for different ideas in different lifetime periods to explore the recreational activities that made you unique.

Relationships and Dating
Did you have a childhood sweetheart? When was your first kiss? From first dates to school dances, pick this Topic to describe your early experiences with relationships and love.

What role did religion play in your life? Did you attend services regularly or take part in a ministry? Did you go to a religious school? Selecting this Topic allows you to sketch out your religious beliefs.

Subsequent Marriages
Did you ever start over with another marriage? How did your family react? How was this marriage different from your first? Choose this Topic to chronicle your new life together.

Did you like to go exploring, whether near or far? What interesting experiences and adventures did you have while away? With this Topic, Biography Assistant offers Writing Ideas about traveling appropriate for different lifetime periods.

U.S. Expansion and Exploration
The U.S. seems to be a country that's always on the move. From adding new territories and states to exploring new regions, the U.S. was often an exciting place to live. Use this Topic to describe what it was like to live in this adventurous nation.

U.S. Industrialization
In the late 19th century, the U.S. economic structure changed. Farmers and small businesses gave up their reign and big business was born. Pick this Topic to show how this change affected your lifestyle.

U.S. Influence Overseas
In the late 1800's, the U.S. grew rapidly in terms of territory and political influence. How did you feel about America's connection to the Spanish-American War or other foreign matters? Choose this Topic to summarize your ideas.

The Gold Rush of 1849
Gold fever swept the nation in the mid 1800's. Were you caught up in the excitement? How did you get to California, and what did you find there? Choose this Topic to record your tales of and thoughts about life in the West.

Settling the Great Plains
Did you set out across the country to start a new home in the Great Plains? Did you live there before full-fledged settling began? Picking this Topic lets you describe your life on America's frontier and thoughts about the plight of Native Americans.

Slavery and the Civil War
How were you involved with slavery and the Civil War? What were your opinions about slavery? Select this Topic to record your important experiences from this period.

Lincoln's Assassination
What was your reaction to Lincoln's assassination? How did you find out about his death? Use this Topic for Writing Ideas to help you narrate your special recollections of this historic event.

Frontier Wars: 1850-1898
Were you a witness of the battles between Native and non-Native American cultures as they met on the Great Plains? Whether you were close to the action or a witness from afar, chronicle your experiences with this Topic.

Spanish-American War
What memories did you have of Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders? Choose this Topic to help you record your thoughts and experiences during the Spanish-American War, whether you were in the U.S. or overseas.

Discovery of Oil in Texas
When oil was discovered in Texas, did you rush off to strike it rich? Pick this Topic for Writing Ideas that help you recount your adventures related to this exciting discovery.

Pure Food and Drug Act
In 1906, the government passed the Pure Food and Drug Act to improve the quality of these consumer products. Choose this Topic to indicate how the changes affected you as a consumer and how you reacted to this legislation.

The Sinking of the Titanic
Were you affected by the sinking of the Titanic? It was the ship that couldn't be sunk, yet on its maiden voyage it went down in a matter of minutes. Use this Topic to recount your interest in this event.

The 16th Amendment--Income Tax
How did you feel about the passage of the 16th Amendment, authorizing the collection of income taxes? Picking this Topic gives you Writing Ideas to organize your thoughts about paying this tax.

World War I
How were you or your family involved in World War I? From time spent overseas to time at home, many people's lives were significantly affected by this period of turmoil. Record the memories by selecting this Topic.

Scopes: Evolution v. Creation
The 1925 Scopes Trial was a landmark case, pitting "evolutionists" against "creationists." What side of this issue were you on? Choose this Topic to sketch out your ideas.

Prohibition Era
What were you doing during the Prohibition Era? Were you a strict prohibitionist or a free-thinking flapper? To narrate your experiences from and thoughts about this unique period in time, select this Topic.

The Great Depression
How were you affected by the 1929 Stock Market Crash and ensuing Depression? How did this experience influence your values? Use this Topic to describe your experiences during this period.

The New Deal
Did you think that Roosevelt's New Deal was the answer to the Depression? Were you affected by the "alphabet soup" of programs that he created? Choose this Topic to describe your reaction to the New Deal and life during this era.

World War II
How did World War II affect you? Whether you were on the front lines or holding down the home front, there's a story to tell. Select this Topic for help with preserving your World War II experiences.

The Cold War
What did the Cold War represent to you? Did you fear that war would break out between the East and the West? Did it seem too distant to worry about? Pick this Topic to relate your thoughts about this period.

The Korean War
What were you doing during the Korean War? How did it influence your thoughts about U.S. intervention overseas and Communism? Select this Topic for Writing Ideas to narrate your experiences.

The Red Scare ran amok in the U.S. during the 1950's. Were you caught up in it? What was your opinion about McCarthy? Use Writing Ideas from this Topic to describe how McCarthyism affected you.

Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education was a landmark case in its time, declaring that separate education was unequal, and therefore unconstitutional. Which side of the issue did you support and why? Pick this Topic to show how this ruling changed your life.

The Vietnam War
How were you involved with Vietnam? As a soldier, a draft card burner, a relative, or friend of a soldier? Choose this Topic to record how events related to Vietnam may have challenged your ideas and values.

Shepard: 1st American in Space
Alan Shepard made his historic flight in May of 1961. Were you fascinated by space exploration? Pick this Topic to help you record your reaction to this mission and interest in America's space adventures.

Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis put the U.S. on the brink of war with the Soviet Union. Did this prospect frighten you? What did you think the outcome would be? Select this Topic for Writing Ideas pertaining to your thoughts and experiences during this tense period.

Assassination of John F. Kennedy
What was your reaction upon learning about JFK's assassination? Did you have an opinion about who did it? Use this Topic to relate your response to this incident.

Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 tried to provide more opportunities to people of all ethnicities and social classes. How did you feel about it? Choose this Topic to show your thoughts and trace how this legislation affected you.

Apollo Moon Landing
On July 20, 1969, the men of the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon. How did you feel about the fact that the U.S. was the first country to accomplish this? Pick this Topic to help you record your reaction to and interest in this exciting event.

Martin Luther King Jr.
Who was Martin Luther King Jr. to you? How did you feel about his ideas and methods? Pick this Topic to highlight how Martin Luther King Jr. influenced you.

Sentencing of Charles Manson
What did you think about Charles Manson? To many, the randomness of his killings was frightening. Selecting this Topic allows you to sketch out how this man affected your emotions.

The Watergate Scandal
What did you believe about Nixon's involvement in Watergate? This story originally received little attention, but in the end Nixon was forced to resign. Use this Topic to summarize your thoughts about Nixon and Watergate.

The Energy Crisis
How were you affected by the OPEC Oil Embargo against the U.S.? From gas lines to unemployment, people felt the oil crunch in many different ways. Picking this Topic lets you describe your experiences.

President Nixon and China
What did you think of Nixon's efforts to restore relations between China and the U.S.? Did you feel that the U.S. should deal with a Communist country? Select this Topic for Writing Ideas relating to what people thought about Nixon's actions.

Camp David Accords
In 1978, President Jimmy Carter invited Egyptian and Israeli leaders to Camp David for peace talks. How did you feel about the meeting? For Writing Ideas to highlight your interest in these historic peace talks, pick this Topic.

Iran Hostage Crisis
What did you think of the Iran hostage crisis and how it was handled? Did terrorism make you afraid to travel? Use this Topic to record your experiences and thoughts relating to this frightening event.

U.S. Raid on Libya
The U.S. alleged that Libya sponsored terrorist attacks on American citizens. What did you think the U.S. should do about this? Choose this Topic to outline how U.S. experiences with Libya may have influenced you.

Iran-Contra Scandal
The Iran-Contra scandal was an important political event of the 1980's. What were your opinions on the subject? Who did you think was responsible? To relate your views, select this Topic.

Space Shuttle and Beyond
Were you fascinated by the space shuttle voyages? What was your reaction to the Challenger explosion? What did you see in the future of space exploration? Pick this Topic for Writing Ideas on your thoughts about the space program in the 1980's.

U.S. Invasion of Panama
What were your views on President Bush's decision to topple the regime of General Manuel Noriega? While winning support in the U.S., it provoked criticism around the world. Use this Topic to trace your opinions.

Persian Gulf War
What were you doing during the Persian Gulf War? Did you think that the U.S. would make a difference in Kuwait? Use this Topic to describe your experiences and emotions during this time.

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