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Biography Research Questions

Questions to be used for activist biographies

Notes for your Biography Subject – Name ___________________________________________

Date Notes Taken _______________________________________________________________

Source _______________________________________________________________________



While reading and researching books, magazines and on the internet, take notes on the following topics for your report.   Plan to discuss each topic in a separate paragraph  in your final report.

 1.  Explain why your subject was notable or famous.

  2.  Tell important facts about his/her childhood as well his/her adult years. 

            a.  Where/when was s/he born? 

            b.  Where/when raised?

            c.  Where/when died?

  3.  Tell some memorable incidents that happened in the person's life and why it impressed you.

 4.  Mention one or two people who were helpful to this person and how they were helpful.

  5.  Tell about successes AND failures that this person experienced.

  6.  Explain the traits or characteristics that this  person possessed which allowed him/her to be a success.

   7.  Do you feel this person made the world a better place to live in because of what he/she did?  Why or why not? Give examples.

Second set of questions for research:

  1. In what ways was the life remarkable?
  2. In what ways was the life despicable?
  3. In what ways was the life admirable?
  4. What human qualities were most influential in shaping the way this person lived and influenced his or her times?
  5. Which quality or trait proved most troubling and difficult?
  6. Which quality or trait was most beneficial?
  7. Did this person make any major mistakes or bad decisions? If so, what were they and how would you have chosen and acted differently if you were in their shoes?
  8. What are the two or three most important lessons you or any other young person might learn from the way this person lived?
  9. Some people say you can judge the quality of a person's life by the enemies they make. Do you think this is true of your person's life? Explain why or why not.
  10. An older person or mentor is often very important in shaping the lives of gifted people by providing guidance and encouragement. To what extent was this true of your person? Explain.
  11. Many people act out of a "code" or a set of beliefs which dictate choices. It may be religion or politics or a personal philosophy. To what extent did your person act by a code or act independently of any set of beliefs? Were there times when the code was challenged and impossible to follow?
  12. What do you think it means to be a hero? Was your person a "hero?" Why? Why not? How is a hero different from a celebrity?

Be sure that you have identified the resource/reference for each item above!

When you have a choice, ACT! 
When you REACT, you are limiting your options to just one:  PANIC

Nothing happens until something moves. -- Albert Einstein

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