Are you up for some fun, fact-finding detective work? We hope so!
Before you jump into writing a biographical sketch, you need to do
some sniffing around just like a detective to get all
Frederick Douglass sketch we shared with you earlier? Well, to write
that story, we first had to do some research. Once we had a list
of facts about our subject, the famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass,
we picked the most interesting ones around which to build our biographical
Now it's your turn to do some fact-finding research. Just follow
these three steps.
1. Pick a
Choose someone you really want to write about. Check out Brainstorming
tips for more hints on how to choose a subject.
2. Ask Questions
Brainstorm a list of questions about this person. Here are a few
samples to help get you started:
- Where was
this person born? In what year?
- Where did
this person grow up?
- What does/did
this person do for a living?
- Why is this
person famous? What did/does this person do to become famous?
- How has this
person made an impact on others' lives?
the subject of your sketch, your questions may vary. Think about
what you really want to know about the person. As you research,
use the Research
Notebook to record your questions, answers, and the sources
you used, such as newspapers, books, and Web sites, in which you
3. Find Answers
Use a variety of sources to find answers to your questions. You
may use the Internet, books, an encyclopedia, newspaper and magazine
articles, interviews, documentaries, or other sources.
Now that you've
have a list of facts, you are ready to write your biographical sketch.
A biographical sketch is a way to tell about a person's life by
focusing on one incident that defines who she or he is.
research notes and choose one interesting fact or story you discovered
about your subject. Research that fact or story further, using sources
suggested in the Brainstorming tips. Then, write that story as a
way to introduce your audience to your subject's life. Even though
you are focusing on one aspect or event in the subject's life, try
to include basic facts such as when she or he was born, where she
or he is from, etc.