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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 her 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 her family's roots.

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

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

Death of the Person You Are Writing About
How did her life end? Was a ceremony held in her honor? What kind of legacy did she leave? Selecting this Topic helps you describe the events relating to this loss.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gender Issues
How did society expect her to act because of her gender? Select this Topic to outline her 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 her over the years? Use this Topic to describe the joyous times.

Where did she 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 her hometown.

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

Inventions and Innovations
What was invented during her 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 her lifetime.

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

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

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

Medical Epidemics
Did she 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 her lifestyle.

Medical History
Was she 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 her medical history.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did she 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 she look like someone in the family or someone famous? Pick this Topic to paint a picture of her. Biography Assistant offers unique Writing Ideas at different points to show how she changed over the years.

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

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

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

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

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

Did she like to go exploring, whether near or far? What interesting experiences and adventures did she 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 her lifestyle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discovery of Oil in Texas
When oil was discovered in Texas, did she rush off to strike it rich? Pick this Topic for Writing Ideas that help you recount her 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 her as a consumer and how she reacted to this legislation.

The Sinking of the Titanic
Was she 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 her interest in this event.

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

World War I
How was she or her 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 was she on? Choose this Topic to sketch out her ideas.

Prohibition Era
What was she doing during the Prohibition Era? Was she a strict prohibitionist or a free-thinking flapper? To narrate her experiences from and thoughts about this unique period in time, select this Topic.

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

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

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

The Cold War
What did the Cold War represent to her? Did she 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 her thoughts about this period.

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

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

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 she support and why? Pick this Topic to show how this ruling changed her life.

The Vietnam War
How was she 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 her ideas and values.

Shepard: 1st American in Space
Alan Shepard made his historic flight in May of 1961. Was she fascinated by space exploration? Pick this Topic to help you record her 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 her? What did she think the outcome would be? Select this Topic for Writing Ideas pertaining to her thoughts and experiences during this tense period.

Assassination of John F. Kennedy
What was her reaction upon learning about JFK's assassination? Did she have an opinion about who did it? Use this Topic to relate her 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 she feel about it? Choose this Topic to show her thoughts and trace how this legislation affected her.

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

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

Sentencing of Charles Manson
What did she 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 her emotions.

The Watergate Scandal
What did she 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 her thoughts about Nixon and Watergate.

The Energy Crisis
How was she 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 her experiences.

President Nixon and China
What did she think of Nixon's efforts to restore relations between China and the U.S.? Did she 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 she feel about the meeting? For Writing Ideas to highlight her interest in these historic peace talks, pick this Topic.

Iran Hostage Crisis
What did she think of the Iran hostage crisis and how it was handled? Did terrorism make her afraid to travel? Use this Topic to record her 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 she think the U.S. should do about this? Choose this Topic to outline how U.S. experiences with Libya may have influenced her.

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

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

U.S. Invasion of Panama
What were her 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 her opinions.

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

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