How to Write an Observation Essay
Have you ever dreamed of drawing a beautiful picture? Maybe a landscape or a portrait of your favorite actor? Unfortunately, not all of us have an inborn talent for drawing or enough time to practice artistic skills. There is a nice alternative: an observation essay.
Observation essays are almost like pictures. But your major tool to create them won’t be brushes and paints, but words and phrases. Of course, a brilliant observation essay example also requires particular skills. Firstly, you should have either a good memory (when you write about your personal experience) or a good imagination. Secondly, your writing skills also have to be impressive. Finally, it is all about observation. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes and remember (or imagine) the smallest nuances. But you won’t be able to create a good picture without vivid details, right?
Our guide will help you to figure out what makes an observation essay a special type of writing assignment, and how to compose it in a proper way. We’ll also provide you with a well-written observation essay example so you’ll have a template for your own paper. Take a closer look at this genre. We are sure that you’ll fall in love with it as well as our writers.
Observation essay – what is that?
An observation essay is a truly unique type of paper. Officially, it is an academic type of paper. Yet, we’d classify it as a piece of creative writing. Such essays allow readers to feel the atmosphere of the described event or experience. A writer can achieve the effect of presence using accurate wording and vivid details. You can describe in your paper various topics: the first rock con, a weekend with your best friend, or a meeting of a particular support group. The observation essay can show any picture. Everything depends on the painter!
10 quick-fire tips to write an observation essay
Below, you’ll find a list of common and extraordinary observation essay tips. You can use all of them or only a few. Anyway, they’ll make your piece of writing better.
1. First-person narration
Surprisingly, this type of academic writing allows first-person narration. The main purpose is to give your readers a feeling that your memory is actually theirs. The words “I,” “my,” and “mine” become your best friends when you write an observation essay.
2. Realistic details
The devil is in the details, right? This applies to observation essays. Your task is to stimulate your readers’ imagination. And the best technique is detailing. Eye color, temperature of coffee, your heartbeat – everything matters.
3. All the senses
Although visual perception of information is the most important form for the majority of people, other senses also matter. Try to mention smells, touches, sounds, and tastes in your essay to make it more real for your audience.
4. Perfect wording
Sometimes, even one word can change the meaning of the phrase. Don’t neglect the opportunity to pull the heartstrings of your readers! If you feel that a particular word doesn’t fit well, replace it using synonyms. We are sure that you’ll eventually find the perfect variant.
5. Use of comparisons
Good comparisons are a great tool to create a certain impression. For example: “This cake tastes like a cloud.” You know that clouds are simply drops of water. But when it comes to cakes, this comparison creates a totally different impression, right?
6. Informal language
Forget about formalities, complex words, and terminology. Your purpose is to create a certain atmosphere, not to amaze your readers with your language performance or eloquence. Your manner of writing has to be simple and understandable. In such a way, your readers will easily follow your thoughts.
7. Elegant simplicity
An observation essay has to be simple but not too simple. In other words, it should be as simple as a little black dress, not as ripped jeans and a baggy sweater. We hope that this comparison is enough to understand the principle.
Seriously, relax! When you are nervous, your thinking becomes cloudy. You can’t imagine a clear picture and certainly can’t draw it for your readers. Take a deep breath – the right words will come to your mind automatically!
9. A recent experience
If you decide to describe your personal experience in the essay, we highly recommend you to choose an event that is not old and unfamiliar. Childhood memories might be beautiful, but they’re blurred as well.
10. One shot
We don’t recommend you to extend the pleasure of the writing process for several days. You should write your essay in one shot in order to keep your inspiration and specific mood. On the other hand, the process of editing may take a few days.
How to write an observation essay step by step
When you have all the tips, you need a writing plan. A good instruction can simplify even the most difficult process. Here is your writing plan:
- Choose a topic
If your life is bright and full of great moments that you can share, the choice is obvious. Describing your personal experience is much easier than anything imagined. However, if your fantasy works very well, you can describe whatever you want. Just make sure that it is interesting for your audience, not only for you.
When the right scene comes to your mind, don’t waste a minute! Write down all the phrases and words that your memory offers you. You don’t have to follow any system or principles, as you’ll structure your thoughts later.
- Close your eyes
That might seem weird, but this tip really works. When you close your eyes, you get totally concentrated on what is happening in your conscious. Plus, it is easier to imagine smells and sounds with your eyes closed.
- Stream of consciousness
Don’t try to control your thoughts. Just let them fly. In such a way, your memory will be able to provide you with really surprising details.
- Make an outline
When you have enough material, it’s the right moment to shape it. Remember about the elements of good narration: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Forget about the standard five-paragraph structure! It is too boring for this type of writing.
- Write the first draft
You’re ready for this serious step! Don’t be too demanding, and give yourself a chance and the right for a mistake. Your observation essay doesn’t have to be perfect on the first try. You’ll have time to make it perfect a bit later.
- Take a break
Yes, we mean it. You do need rest! You’ve done great work, so feel free to make yourself a cup of tea or eat a piece of cake. A nap is also fine in this case. Your brain needs a reset.
It is unlikely that your first draft will satisfy all your demands. Maybe you need to remove a paragraph or add another one. Replace words, expressions, and even whole phrases if necessary.
- Edit and proofread
If you feel like your draft can’t be any better, then it’s time for editing and proofreading. We highly recommend you to use online services to check your text, as the human eye is not always attentive enough.
- Get feedback
This step can also be considered as a part of the editing process. The most important thing is to watch how other people read your observation essay. If you see a display of emotion on their faces, then you’ve done everything right.
An exclusive observation essay example for you
We classify an observation essay as a type of creative writing. This means that there are no strict rules or restrictions, of course, if they are not specified by your instructor. Anyway, we hope that you’ll learn from the observation essay example below about how it should be written. We also hope that you won’t commit plagiarism.
Fall Into the Sky
My bare feet feel the cold metal surface of the pier. It’s so good to feel this coolness after a long walk. My skin is goosebumpy, but excitement overcomes all other feelings. I come to the edge of the pier. The only sounds to break the silence are a gentle whisper of waves and my own breath.
I look down and see nothing. Only black emptiness. There is no moon in the sky, and I can’t see its magnificent reflection. But I keep trying to focus, and after a few moments, I see tiny spots of light on the water surface – shiny stars.
I’ve almost forgotten about my main purpose while watching stars and listening to the silence. A light breeze refreshes my mind and cools my body. My pulse is racing, and my thinking is becoming a bit cloudy. I make a step.
Just for a moment, I don’t feel anything. My body has no weight, and my mind is empty.
Then, I feel my feet hitting the water slightly. The temperature remains the same, as the water is no cooler than air on an August night. My muscles relax, but my lungs remind me that I can’t breathe underwater.
I swim out and take a deep breath. I float on water face up. I see the stars in the sky, and I see their fading reflections. I swim among the stars.
We are sure that you’ve enjoyed reading our observation essay example. With our instructions, tips, and sample, you are now ready to start writing your own essay! Don’t neglect our recommendations – you’ll provide a real masterpiece with them. EssayShark is always ready to help you with your writing problems, so apply to us if your homework is taking over you!