Personal Observation Essay (How To Write, Outline, Introduction, Format)

In your observation paper, you can write about anything you see in everyday life. The subject of the observation itself does not have to be extraordinary. Your task is just to take a closer look and write about all that you have thought or felt while looking at it; that's why the written observation assignment might seem difficult when taken for the first time. However, with little training anyone can learn how to write an observation essay in no time using our essay writing service!

This type of academic essay simply describes the writer’s own experience or perceptions. It is a very personal statement from the writer, in fact it is one way for writers to learn how they feel about things.

In an observation essay the person will be describing things he or she has observed carefully, so that someone else can learn from it. An observer will use details to make their point known using adjectives and metaphors to describe what he/she has seen. The writer uses similes and metaphors at times in the process of observing something. An observation essay is not just about using descriptions to describe the setting or any objects in it; rather, it describes people as well.

One big difference between an observation paper and other types of essays, such as argumentative essay or informative essay, is its focus on the internal perspective of the writer because it records observations and feelings of the writer rather than information which could be gained by research.

Another important feature is that observation essays can be written in first person (I), second person (You) and third person (He/She). These three forms are also known as ‘personal’, ‘descriptive’ and ‘narrative’.

For example, a good observation essay might be written about a writer's feelings after a dog has been run over and killed in the street and why he or she feels sad: "I observed something horrible today...When I saw that poor little dog lying in the middle of the road being sniffed at by horses, I felt really upset."

Personal. In this case, they are writing about their point of view. 

Descriptive: The term descriptive is used in essays which describe places and objects.

An example would be how someone describes their bedroom: "My room is small but comfortable." It is also used to describe people's appearances: David Beckham was wearing a pair of jeans and black T-shirt when I saw him last month.

Narrative: Narrative refers to events and actions. The writer tells the story, relates the facts, but does not evaluate. They describe what happened in chronological order without commenting on its importance: "My family went for a picnic yesterday. We all wanted to go to the beach but it was raining. So we decided to go out of town." In this essay you will learn different types of observation essay such as descriptive and narrative essays by reading an example about dining room furniture and chairs.

How to write an observation essay step by step

These are the key steps involved in writing an observation essay.

  1. Choose the subject: Choose an aspect of observation to write about, such as sights, sounds, tastes, feelings or smells. You may also choose to observe people or ask yourself a question and make your observations based on the answer
  2. Describe this aspect of observation in five sentences. Your first sentence should be very strong and attention-grabbing because it is often read out by examiners in order to introduce the essay (for example: ‘I always see old ladies wearing shabby coats when I am passing through street’). Then continue with four more sentences that describe the same aspect of observation in different ways but don’t repeat any word you have already used. This can be difficult so take time to choose the right words.
  3. Create a final sentence: Your final sentence can provide a summary or evaluation about that aspect of observation (for example: ‘I think we should help those old ladies with making clothes in winter if we have any extra money to spare’). This sentence is not always present; you may choose your own ending at this stage according to your own purpose and topic
  4. Logical check: Ensure that all five sentences are related to each other and form a logical structure by adding transitions such as because, for example, therefore etc. Use them wisely but not too much
  5. Expand the essay: Add headings when necessary and expand the sentences to full paragraphs while ensuring that your essay has a logical flow in terms of ideas and organization
  6. Add any extra information: Add any extra information in a conclusion (for example: ‘I am very happy to see old people wearing colorful clothes rather than shabby ones’).
  7. Proofread and edit your essay: The last step is to review the observation essay that you have just written, revise the essay to ensure the quality is top notch.

Now you have just written a custom observation essay by following those simple steps. If you need help to write an observation essay, ask a question here.

Structure of an observation essay - Outline, Format

Observation essays follow different structures based on their purpose, topic, length and writer but they usually contain 5 paragraphs: one for introduction followed by three for details about that aspect of observation, and finally one for a conclusion paragraph.

The structure of an observation essay includes introduction, the main body of the essay, and then a conclusion.

Introduction: The introduction includes one paragraph that is used to introduce the topic of the essay.

Body paragraphs: After this introductory paragraph, there is usually three paragraphs for describing different aspects of observation.

Conclusion: The conclusion may be included as a separate paragraph at the end of the essay. This can depend on what you're trying to convey with your essay.

Observation Essay Samples

Example Observation Essay About A Place

This is an example of an observation essay about a place.

I have three rooms in my house which I spend most time including kitchen, living room and bedroom because they are next to each other. Kitchen is at the corner of the house. It has a large window with beautiful view. I always spend my leisure time there to have breakfast or dinner because it is cozy and warm due to the sunlight.

Living room is in the middle of the ground floor which is at the corner of kitchen and bedroom. I love this room very much because I can see street from there, thanks for big window again! This place is good for watching TV with family too; we only need to watch it from the sofa while sitting together in front of TV (personal).

There is some furniture in our living room such as sofas, tables and chairs. Of course, there are various kinds of them and they look different from each other in shape, colour and style but they have the same function. (Descriptive).

A table is a kind of furniture with four legs and a flat top, which can be used for work or have meals. Tables are usually placed in the kitchen because they can store many kinds of cooking utensils such as tray, knives, pots and pans etc.(personal) .The colour of my table is light brown which makes me feel cozy when I eat my dinner alone at night (descriptive).

Chairs are all seats are made to sit on but some still serve other functions like in barber shops where customers are ‘seated’ while waiting their turn. Chairs have varied shapes and sizes depending on the purpose they were made for, but all serve the same purpose as some desks (narrative).

The furniture in my house is very fashionable and modern. I really like it because I spend most of my time in this room and feel relaxed while sitting on these comfortable chairs. (Narrative).

How to write an observation essay about a person

The first step when writing a good description is to pay attention.

Think of your senses: sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste. Each sense adds something special to your observations. The more information you record the better an observer you are! Keep in mind that new information can be added later but cannot go back once removed. It's easier to begin writing with a pencil so the writer can erase what they've written if necessary. Use simple sentences and keep your direct comments positive-everyone likes compliments!

People are one way we make observations on things. They are like mirrors for observation and reflection. People are very complex and can be hard to figure out, but we do know that we all have ways of expressing ourselves through our actions. So let's think about one way we can describe people: they reveal themselves in what they do or don't do.

If you want to write an observation essay on something like a person, it is important to learn as much as possible about the person (or place) beforehand. Another thing you might consider doing is taking notes about small details. You'll need these notations for later so you can put them into your essay. If you are writing an observation essay on someone, try to find out more than just who they are, try finding out how they got where they are. Also, try to find out what they are like and why.

You can also write about the different kinds of interesting or funny things you've seen people do. You can tell your own thoughts on these things, and come up with new ones as well.

Another thing to consider when writing a good observation essay is to be careful with what you say. Oftentimes people forget how their words can affect others.

You might end up saying something hurtful, or just plain stupid that doesn't really mean much in the long run.

When it comes to writing a good essay of your observations on people, you must be very careful with choosing your words wisely and selecting evidence that could potentially harm someone else's reputation.

  • When you are writing an observation essay about a person try and give all the facts and keep it interesting.
  • The last thing you want is for your reader to put down your paper because they got bored reading it.
  • Be specific with what you say.
  • If possible provide background information about why or how something happened (the situation).
  • Make sure what you say is true too!

How to start observation paper

Observation papers are hard to write because they lack the topic of interest. The main point of an observation paper is to collect, analyze, and synthesize information about a research issue or study. With these different types of information in mind, here's how to start:

  • Choose a topic and make it your starting point for research. For example, you can choose to observe how well your professor runs class meetings. Choose the professor and the type of meeting being used for observation. This is an easy choice because it's already in use in class.
  • Look for previous research papers on the topic. An observational study will add to this coverage on a previously studied issue or event, and it will apply the findings of previous studies to your observation. For example, look for articles or research papers on how effective a particular type of meeting is compared to another.
  • Find out what types of information you're looking for as you observe and organize them as they come up during your observations. Use these as notes or quotes, and then you'll come back and use these pieces of information to help you write your observation paper.
  • At the end, synthesize the research and make a recommendation for what's best. For example, you can recommend that history professors use white boards instead of PowerPoint slides because it makes it easier to follow along with class content.

There it is. This is how you start writing an observation paper for college or graduate school.

What is an observation essay?

An observation essay (also known as an observation paper) can be defined as a type of essay writing that requires the writer to observe and record details about a specific person, thing, event, or place. The point of a written observation paper is to present the observations in such a way that readers get a good sense of what's being described. Readers can get clues into what's being described through detailed explanations and vivid word choice.

What are some example topics?

Some topics for an observation essay include the following: how to prepare a cup of tea, what happens at a birthday party, or how to make friends.

For an observation essay about preparing tea, one might observe other people preparing tea and describe the process in detail. One might watch multiple videos on YouTube about tea preparation in order to observe the process. One might also do some research about tea types, flavors, and other ingredients that can be added for flavor.

For an observation essay about birthday parties, one might watch a few videos on YouTube about different kinds of birthday parties and then write a detailed explanation of what happens at each party.

For an observation essay about making friends, one might look up advice on the internet about how to make new friends. One might also interview some peers and ask them what they do when trying to make new friends.

What are some effective strategies to write a report on an observation?

The following are some effective strategies for writing an observation essay or a report on an observation:

  • Write down specific details that you observed.
  • Use vivid language to describe what you observed.
  • Reference the specific source when needed. For example, if your observation essay is about a website you used to gather information for your writing, reference it in parentheses after each sentence of the paragraph that talks about that resource.

What are some common pitfalls when completing a written observation assignment?

The following are some examples of common pitfalls students might encounter when writing an observation essay:

  • Simply describing things with no additional details or explanations.
  • Using vague words like "thing" and leaving out important information that readers need in order to visualize what's being described.
  • Only citing sources without clearly explaining how they were used in the paper. The point of an observation essay is not just to cite sources, but to describe what was observed so readers can get a good sense of what's being described.

These tips to use when writing college observation paper. If you need further help, you can review the written observation examples above.

Writing Help: Observation Topics

Here are a few types of observation essays you may be asked to write about or some observation writing topics that you might need help with. Feel free to fill in the order form to ask for online writing help.

  • gym observation essay
  • naturalistic observation essay
  • nonverbal observation essay
  • participant observation essay
  • personal observation essay
  • stranger observation essay
  • child development observation essay
  • social observation essay
  • yoga class observation essay
  • an observation and an explanation essay
  • class observation essay
  • classroom observation report essay pdf format
  • courtroom observation essay

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How to write a naturalistic observation paper - Research essay examples

A naturalistic observation paper can be a valuable research tool for any social scientist. However, it requires that the researcher observes and records behavior in its natural setting without intervening or manipulating the conditions under which people behave. The potential benefits of this approach include allowing the researcher to study complex phenomena within a more realistic context, recording observational data from a rigorous perspective, and increasing the external validity of the study (i.e., its applicability to a larger population).

Naturalistic observation is most frequently used in the social sciences and it is commonly employed as part of an ethnographic or case study. Naturalistic observation is defined as: "a research method that involves observing and recording behavior where it normally occurs, for as long as it normally occurs, without attempting to manipulate or control conditions" . Because this approach does not involve manipulating or intervening with participants' behavior it allows for natural responses to be recorded more accurately by the researcher since these are more likely to occur when they are not being interfered with. However, there ...