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Observation Essay: Examples and Writing Guidelines

Observation essay writing can be divided into 3 sections, which are equally important and cannot be omitted. They are field noting, recording observations and writing a paper. The required style for observation essay is plain and clear, it has some rules, which you should be aware of. You can find all the necessary guidelines in our article.

Field Noting Stage

  • Taking field notes is a process, which requires you to record all the data you observe. The important point is that your personal interpretation is not allowed at this stage.
  • You should indicate the location, date, exact time and weather conditions of the observation.
  • We recommend that you note the exact time when the observation started and ended.
  • Describe exactly what you see without analysis and avoid generalities. Try to be as specific as possible.
  • Quantitative notes will be valuable as they will allow to provide accurate data.
  • It is also essential to write down what you have not seen, apart from what you saw.

Recording Observation Stage

  • Try to be as specific as possible about such data as time and date, conditions, locations and physical arrangements.
  • For example, if your task is to observe some public locality and it is quite crowded, you should select a group of people or few participants in order to be able to describe them in details.
  • You are allowed to interpret and analyze the observation data on recording stage. Do it according to communication processes and patterns. At first you should describe the setting and then interpret actions and interactions of the participants.
  • Sometimes you may be an observer of quite intimate situations. In this caseР± you may write down dialogues which are characteristic for this situation.

Writing Stage

  • Every essay should be organized around a particular research question. It may be assigned by the professor or reflect your own interests. Make sure that it reflects the theme of your essay.
  • You should begin the paper with the introductory part. It should contain the general view of the setting, which you are observing, and contain your research issue.
  • The main body of your paper should contain several paragraphs: dedicate each of them to a particular aspect of the research issue. You may describe time, location, participants and events in separate paragraphs.
  • Ensure that one concept is ruling each paragraph. Informative subheadings for each paragraph will be helpful for organizing your paper.
  • Last but not the least, the final part of your essay is conclusion. You should return to your research issue and sum up whether your observations have resolved it in a proper way. Also, you should indicate why your research was significant and what it enables us to learn.

Writing Style

  • The style of writing of the observation essay is quite specific. Remember that usually you are the part of the situation, which you are observing, and your presence may influence and even change it. Therefore, you should take it into consideration.
  • It is common to use the first-person singular and active voice in observation essay.
  • Help yourself with the notes. Obviously, you cannot change the order of the things that were happening during your observation, but you can group all your notes and remarks hence providing a draft but quite clear structure for your essay and highlighting its essential elements. So, you can make three main groups of notes which would definitely correspond with the three main parts of a good academic paper:
  1. the first group may include the information on how your observation or, maybe, experiment started becoming the introductory part of your research; that is what the initial conditions were, whether what you were observing had been planned and prepared before or not, the standard remarks on the time and place, and so on;
  2. the second large group may contain the notes you were taking to record the course of your observation – this would be the body of your paper; in these notes you may briefly describe the particular changes which are either typical of the observed process/phenomenon or not, as well as record some specific features of the situation in general though it may appear to be rather stable; besides, if you need to interfere or interrupt the course of your observation/experiment or change its conditions somehow, you should record everything you do as well;
  3. the third group of your notes may help you fully complete your research providing the concise data about the results of your observation (or, probably, confirming their absence, because it can also be very important for better understanding this or that phenomenon or process); sum everything up and finish your paper with smart conclusions.
  • As you sit down to turn your dry notes into the flawless essay, do not hesitate to use and quote the reliable scientific literature and other valid sources. Firstly, some additional materials can help you understand the subject and, actually, the general purpose of your observation better. Therefore, you will also be able to explain some complicated issues to your reader(s) clearly and sensibly. Secondly, referring to the works of respectable scientists and researchers, you will make your paper look even more academic and impressive.
  • Stick to rather formal style but do not go too abstruse. If something is not very clear for you personally, but you realize that you need to mention it in your paper, ask your instructor to help you or search for the explanation in the Internet. Online forums and blogs can stand you in good stead in this case.

Can We Help You with Your Assignment?

Of course, we can! If you already have the notes, you can attach them to the order form when filling it in, and your personal writer will compose the essay following them. Even if you cannot provide any materials, your writer will do everything him-/herself and complete your paper on time. However, in such a case, we recommend that you give your assignee more time for the work. For more information, you can always contact our supporters.

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