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Getting A Top-Grade Observation Essay Example: Tips For College Students

An observation essay is intended to force the student to observe the world around them. At the most basic level, it is a way to describe what the student sees, hears or feels. In general, a teacher will give a specific prompt for the student to follow. If the teacher does not detail specific requirements, students could go to an aquarium, store or park to write this paper.

The Importance of Note Taking

Unlike most papers, the observation essay does not require a great deal of research. Students should bring a notepad and a pen to their location. Once there, they should take notes about everything that they see. Different people walking by, unusual plants or an argument could boost the quality of the paper. These notes will ultimately be organized into an outline for the paper. They should be grouped according to their similarity to form a coherent outline.

The Introduction and the Thesis

Once the note-taking process is complete, students must begin with the thesis and introduction. For this paper, the thesis will be based on the prompt that the teacher provided. One of the most common prompts is for the student to imagine their life in someone else's shoes. To do this, the student must pick a specific person. This individual will normally be introduced in the beginning of the paper with additional background observations.

Details Matter

The entire point of this paper is to observe and show a specific viewpoint. Due to this, students should use a wealth of details in their writing. Instead of writing “old man”, they should liven it up. A descriptor like “an ancient man, teetering on his cane, trudged precariously toward the checkout line” is a better way to illustrate exactly what is happening in the story.

Get Help

Many students have never written this style of paper in the past. For those students, getting help is the first step. An example paper will show the student how to write the paper, tips on providing detail and formatting guidelines. If the student is not given an example in class, they should ask their teacher for an example paper.

For additional examples, students can always look online. There are a number of websites that cater to homework and writing help. On one of these sites, a student can find a paper about their topic. They can use this paper as an example of what to write. It can also provide ideas about specific locations or people that are interesting to observe.