How to write an observation essay

Written by louise balle
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An observation essay is term paper that is written after you observe something, such as an experiment, a debate or people in action. This paper can be as short as one or two pages for a simple report for an elementary school class or as long as a dissertation in the case of an essay written by a college student. There are a few simple steps to writing a tight, informative observation essay.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Notes from your observations

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  1. 1

    Decide on the topic for the paper and name it appropriately. Narrow it down as much as possible. For example, if you observed a mother and child for a day to see how often the child needed to be disciplined, make that specific purpose the focus and title of your paper rather than simply a general "Observation of a Mother and Child" title.

  2. 2

    Organise your essay in the standard format. That includes the cover page, introduction, body, conclusion and bibliography (if applicable).

  3. 3

    Start off with a simple cover page that lists the title of your paper, your name, the class or project this is for and your instructor's name.

  4. 4

    Be clear and concise in your introductory paragraph (one to two paragraphs). Give a summary of what you are about to discuss and define the thesis (your point).

  5. 5

    Be reflective and detailed in the body of your essay. Give the reader a visual image of what you saw yourself. Describe the scene or occurrence from beginning to end, sort of like a short story. That is the most important key to writing an effective observation essay.

  6. 6

    Defend your point in the body of the essay. Give clear examples and evidence to support your thesis. Add charts, graphs and additional supporting visuals if it will help your case.

  7. 7

    Conclude your essay with a summary of your points and observations. Reiterate your thesis and why you believe it is true. This section can be short and to the point---about a paragraph in length.

  8. 8

    Add any books, studies, and references from people who you spoke to in your bibliography at the end of the paper (see Resources for an example of a bibliography).

Tips and warnings

  • Format your paper with one inch margins, double spaced, and indent the first line of each paragraph. Be sure to add page numbers at the end of each page (except the cover).

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