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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 his 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 his family's roots.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where did he 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 his hometown.

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

Inventions and Innovations
What was invented during his 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 his lifetime.

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

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

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

Medical Epidemics
Did he 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 his lifestyle.

Medical History
Was he 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 his medical history.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sinking of the Titanic
Was he 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 his interest in this event.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cold War
What did the Cold War represent to him? Did he 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 his thoughts about this period.

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

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

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 he support and why? Pick this Topic to show how this ruling changed his life.

The Vietnam War
How was he 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 his ideas and values.

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

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

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

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

Sentencing of Charles Manson
What did he 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 his emotions.

The Watergate Scandal
What did he 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 his thoughts about Nixon and Watergate.

The Energy Crisis
How was he 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 his experiences.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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