How to write an observation essay

Do you know that images speak louder than words? This makes the observation method of data collection very effective.

It takes only 13 milliseconds to process an image in your mind. Make contact with your world through your eyes and gather information that you can reflect on and make judgment.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
How to write an observation essay
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

Students can be asked to write an observation essay to acquire information from primary sources. Most students may not know how to start their observation essay.

Writing a solid observation essay requires you to understand techniques of carrying out research and collecting information. You need to have writing experience.

Ensure you perform a systematic investigation of your topic. Understanding the definition of an observation essay will ensure you are on the right track.

What is an observation essay?

An observation essay is an academic paper that provides detailed information about a subject. Your subject may be an object, event, a specific experience, people, or a phenomenon.

When writing an observational essay, use the first-person narrative and give a detailed description of your subject. Express your opinion about what you have observed.

How to write an observation essay

Observational writing requires an account of your experience. Write about an experience of a situation or event.

This can be something that inspired you, like a movie or a novel. It can also be a product you have used or experienced in a new restaurant.

Make sure you write about your personal experience. When observing an event or an object, ensure you have a notebook and a pen.

Write every detail that you want to share with your readers. Describe the process from the beginning to the end. Make use of the five senses where applicable.

Describe the taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight. This way, you provide a detailed description of a scene or an object and create an image in the minds of your readers.

Your observation essay should have a theme. Create the right mood and scenery for your readers to understand your story.

Express feelings through your writing. This makes your paper realistic and exciting. Organize your work using an outline.

Observation essay outline

An outline is a road map that will help you move in the right direction and remember your major points.

Structure your observation paper in a logical manner from start to finish. An outline enables you to stay on track in your writing process.

An outline helps your work to stay organized. Readers can follow your line of thought from start to finish. Here are elements that you should include in your observation essay  outline

1.     Introduction paragraph

The introduction of your observation essay should aim to attract your readers’ attention. Describe scenery in a way that attracts the attention of your audience.

Ensure you hook your readers from the first line of your introduction paragraph. The next sentences that you write should provide background information about your topic.

Highlight what you will discuss in the body paragraph but be careful not to reveal all the information. The final one or two sentences of your introduction should be your observation essay thesis statement.

Your thesis statement is the foundation of your discussion. Make sure you write a strong essay that is succinct.

Your main idea, will guide you in the writing process. It will inform your readers what your paper is about. Take your time to research and develop a strong thesis to produce a solid observation paper.

2.     Body paragraphs

The body paragraph of your observational essay is where you provide all the details of your observations. The recommended number of paragraphs in this section ranges from three to five.

Each paragraph should discuss a point and defend it with credible evidence and relevant observational essay examples. When observing a scene essay, ensure you engage all the five senses.

Describe every detail of your subject. Include the sound you heard, smell, taste, and touch. This way, you create a vivid image in the minds of your readers, and they can follow your line of reasoning.

A vivid description of an object or event will intrigue your readers, and they will read your writing to the end. Make sure your points are organized logically and your workflows seamlessly. Each point you discuss should be connected to your thesis statement.

3.     Conclusion paragraph

The final paragraph of your observation paper should be impactful. Summarize your main points from the body section.

This way, your readers are reminded of your major points and how these points relate to them. Restate your thesis statement.

Do not copy your thesis from the introduction paragraph but paraphrase it. End your paper with a call to action. You can also end with a call to a different way of thinking depending on your topic.

4.     Bibliography

This is the last page of your paper, where you list all your references and cited works. Observational writing requires you to cite and reference the works of other authors you have used in your essay.

This includes relevant quotes or facts with “rights reserved.” Referencing these materials will help you avoid intellectual property problems.

When you finish writing your paper, ensure you get rights reserved for your work. This way, anyone who uses your work must mention your name. Check your bibliography and make sure it includes the author’s name, date, page, publisher, and the title of the author’s work.

Proofread your observation essay

Read through your work and ensure your paper is well polished before you submit it. Check to confirm you have followed your instructor’s instructions, including formatting style.

Your instructor may ask you to use a particular writing style, but if the writing style is not specified, choose the commonly used formats. The formats you may use include APA, Chicago, MLA, Harvard, or AMA.

Check the grammar, punctuation, and spelling of your work and make all the necessary corrections. Grammar software will make your proofreading process easier, and you will get better results. You may consider using such software.

Check your observation paper examples and evidence and make sure they are relevant. Ask your classmate or friend to help you proofread your paper. A fresh pair of eyes can quickly notice mistakes that are not obvious to you.

Observation essay topics

Writing an excellent observational essay requires you to choose interesting observational essay topics. The topics should be about the latest events in cinematography, music, literature, or any other relevant area.

Find relevant examples of observation papers and topics and list them down. Brainstorm the topic ideas and choose the best idea for your essay.

Observing a scene essays

Visiting an event and observing the activities or subject will enable you to get experience and collect data. This way, you will write a solid paper based on firsthand information and experience.

Write down every detail like the guests at the event, the organizing team and process, the venue, and the purpose of the event. Inform your readers how the topic and experience impacted your life. Here are observation essay topics you can brainstorm

  1. Thoughts on makeup and beauty
  2. The importance of tolerance
  3. The experience of playing a particular video game
  4. The importance of freedom
  5. The significance of money in daily life
  6. Leadership in sports
  7. My favorite movie
  8. The safest means of transport
  9. My favorite novel
  10. My experience in a new restaurant in town
  11. My favorite birthday gift
  12. The importance of honesty
  13. The significance of music therapy
  14. My experience as a writer
  15. Qualities of good leaders I have met

How to start an observation essay

how to write an observation essay

When writing your observation essay, start with an introduction paragraph. The first sentence should capture your readers’ attention. Here are some observation essay example introduction hooks that you can consider

  • An anecdote
  • A rhetoric question
  • Interesting facts
  • A quote

An observation writing example can provide you with insights that will help you write a compelling introduction. Look at the daily news, reviews on movies, shows, and plays for inspiration on how to start an observation essay.                                                           

Any information or quote you obtain from these sources should be cited appropriately. This is because the sources have “rights reserved” protection. Failing to cite your sources can lead to plagiarism issues.

How to write an observation essay for college students: Introduction

How you start your observational essay will determine how motivated your readers will be to read your entire paper. This makes your introduction a very critical part of your essay.

Choose a strategy that will present useful and exciting information. This way, you will motivate your readers to keep reading your paper from start to the end. Here are strategies you should consider

1.     Write short sentences

Your sentences should be precise and brief. Provide specific information about your paper. Your thesis statement should be concise and clear.

2.     Start with a question

Pose a relevant question to your readers. The question can be rhetorical, or you can answer it. Ensure your question is relevant to your topic.

3.     State a fact

State a fact about your subject. The fact can be an observation essay on a person, immediate environment, animals, or plants.

A fact that is unknown to your readers will make them curious, and they will want to find out more. They will continue reading your observation paper.

4.     Describe your subject

A description will make your audience curious, and they will want to continue reading. Provide a detailed description of your story using the five human senses to arouse your reader’s curiosity.

Describe a setting or an object vividly and create a mental picture in the minds of your readers. This way, they will continue to follow your story to the end.

5.      Relive your past experience

Write your past experience in a way that brings it to the present moment. Narrate the events in a manner that makes them feel real and present.

This will make your writing more exciting to your readers. Your readers will continue reading to find out how your story ends.

6.     Delay the details

Do not present all your information at the beginning of your paper. Reveal this information as you continue narrating your story.

On the flip side, do not delay revealing your subject for too long. When the delay is not too long your readers will not be frustrated trying to find out what you are talking about or what you mean.

Tips on how to write an observation paper

An excellent observation paper requires you to give an account of what you have experienced. You need to perform in-depth research on your topic and provide your readers with valuable information.

Your information should be backed up with relevant examples. These are some of the requirements you need to include in your paper. Here are tips that will make your essay stand out and help you score higher marks

1.     Make your observation essay concise

When writing an observation essay, ensure your personal impression is brief and precise. Sick to the primary goal of your observational essay, that is to enrich your reader’s experience using your impressions. It is possible to accomplish your goal if you avoid fluff and instead, provide a concise essay.

2.     Take notes

An observational essay is a descriptive type of writing that requires you to provide firsthand information from your experience. Make sure you keenly observe events and any action that you might want to share with your readers.

Write down important information in a notebook so that you do not forget them. When you want to experience an event or subject, carry a notebook and a pen and write about it in your essay.

3.     Avoid wordiness

Make your essay brief and exciting by limiting the use of transitions. Select essential words that you need to use carefully.

Do not overload your writing with fluff to reach a word count. Provide your readers with a strong thesis statement that is succinct.

4.     Include examples in your observation paper

Learn how to write an observation example and include them in your essay. Check various observation essay samples online to get inspired to write your examples.

Ensure the examples you apply are relevant and can help readers understand your topic. This will enable your readers to relate to your story and see a wider picture of your topic.

5.     Make use of the human senses in your description

An observation essay is a descriptive type of writing. This makes it very similar to a descriptive narrative.

The best way to communicate effectively to your readers is to paint a vivid mental image. You can accomplish this by making use of the five human senses.

Observing a scene essays may require you to engage all your five senses. You need to describe what you see, smell, taste, hear and feel through touch.

Giving a detailed description using five human senses captures the imagination of your readers. They can follow your thought process throughout your writing.

6.      Be objective and use first-person narration

When writing your observation paper, ensure you are using first-person narration. Your writing should be as objective as possible so that you gain your readers’ trust.

7.     Incorporate quotes in your writing

Include relevant quotes in your work. Research and select quotes from primary sources and use them to add depth and value to your work. Make sure you cite all the quotes that you have used.

Quotes or information with rights reserved should be appropriately cited in the bibliography section of your paper. This way, you avoid any penalties for plagiarized work.

8.     Include lessons learned

Sharing the lessons you have learned from your experience highlights the significance of your topic. The lessons learned show how the topic has impacted your personal or professional life.

Explain what you do differently or how you think differently because of your experience. Show how it relates to your readers. Check sample observation paper and see how experts write their lessons learned.

How to write an observation report

An observation report can be a daunting task, especially if you do it for the first time. It requires a specific amount of time to prepare, collect information and write your report.

Choosing an interesting topic for your observation report is the first step to writing a good observation paper. The report you produce involves observing people, events, places, or things. Here is what you should consider during the observation process

1.     Understand the task

Familiarize yourself with the task you need to carry out. Make the observations that you need for your report.

Make use of the five human senses for data collection. Include relevant background information about your topic and all the processes involved.

2.     Consider the observation timeframe

Depending on your subject, some of the projects can take several months, while others can take a few days. Create a schedule to enable you do your research within the required time frame. This will help utilize your resources optimally.

How to record observations

There are various techniques for collecting data that will make your observation paper meaningful. Here are some methods that you can consider

1.     Take notes

When you go to the field, write down some notes, including any changes you notice during the screening process. Make sure you write down detailed observations and include impressions.

2.     Record videos and audio

Videos and audios are effective ways to collect data and store important information. Video and audio recordings will ensure you do not miss any small but significant detail of your experience.


The recordings provide solid evidence for your thesis. It is essential to ensure you get consent from your participants before recording them. To make sure you use this method effectively, research online and find a sample observation  paper that has successfully used these methods.

3.     Pictures

Pictures can improve your report and make it easier to read and understand. It is a good way of making your work presentable and effective. Pictures offer proof and support to your analysis and engage your readers.

Writing your observation paper

After collecting all the information, you need from your observation, compile, analyze and organize your notes. Write all the background information, including activities before, during, and after an event. Present factual information with limited to no assumptions.

Format your report

Present your information in an appropriate format. The information you collect and analyze from your experience or fieldwork can be overwhelming.

Make sure you organize it logically and present it in an easy-to-understand format for your readers. Ensure your work has an introduction paragraph, body, and conclusion. Your observation writing should be clear and straightforward.

Conclude your report

End your paper with your recommendation about your analysis and findings. Explain the significance of your observation report to your readers and how it relates to them. Highlight your main points and restate your thesis statement.

Tips on how to write an observation

Make your writing process easy and fast using these simple but essential tips. These tips will help you produce a high-quality report and help you get a better grade

1.     Have an observation kit

Depending on the project you are working on, collect all the essential tools for your observation work. This includes a pen, paper, camera, a voice recorder, and a phone.

2.     Collect evidence

You will need evidence to back up your claim. This is important, especially when you are observing an activity that changes rapidly, like body movements. Present your evidence in an exciting way.

3.     Get personally involved

Ensure you are present to observe and collect information and analyze it. Avoid copying and instead, present original work. This way, you avoid plagiarism issues, and you will not miss important information from primary observation sources.

Key takeaway

An observation essay is a comprehensive paper that requires time and skill to craft. Depending on the topic and project of your observation paper, make sure you allocate enough time to experience and collect information.

Structure your work in an organized manner and use all the five human senses to engage your readers. Make your work enjoyable by using pictures, videos, or voice recorders where applicable.

This way, your paper will be educational and fun to read. To learn more on how to write an observation essay, contact us. You can also create an order and experts will write your essay.

Essay Writing at Literature Review Centre

4.9 rating based on 105 ratings

Rated 4.9/5
105 reviews

Review This Service


Place your order
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more
Literature Review Centre