How to Write an Observation Essay - Easy Steps and Tips

How to Write an Observation Essay


How to Write an Observation Essay

Before the end of your course, you will have written multiple types of essays. One of the rarest essays you may come across is the observation essay. The good aspect of this essay is that you don’t have to pick an extraordinary topic; any topic will do, but you must be conversant enough about it. However, you need some special writing skills to pull off this kind of essay. For instance, your imagination, creativity, watchfulness, and logical consistency must be top-notch.

Is this the first time you have been told to write an essay of this kind and are scared about handling it? It is your lucky day. This guide will take you from a novice observational essay writer to someone close to an expert. It will provide you with steps on how to write an observation essay, tips to utilize, and an observation essay example that you can examine.

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Let’s get down to business: what are the steps of writing an amazing observation essay?

  1. Understand what an observation essay is
  2. Know how to format an observation essay
  3. Select an observation essay topic
  4. Observe and jog down key features of the topic
  5. Create an outline
  6. Write a draft
  7. Proofread and edit the draft

1. Understand What an Observation Essay Is

The first step to writing an observation essay is knowing what this type of essay is all about. So, what is an observation essay?

An observation essay is a professional paper that wants you to utilize your observation skills and craft an exceptional description of a person, groups of persons, events, objects, or natural phenomena. In the end, the text is wrapped in an appropriate conclusion.

This essay follows the universal rules of any essay – specifically, it has the intro, body, and conclusion. The key difference between it and many other essays is that you don’t need to research the topic. You see how you sift through several scholarly databases, websites, and books when writing other essays; in an observation essay, you will not do this. Pretty relieving, you would say.

Don’t get all your hopes up. There is a downside; you need to have certain skills to come up with an outstanding piece. The widespread ones are:

  • Attentive to detail.
  • Patient enough to observe the important aspects.
  • Good at taking notes.
  • High-level logical reasoning to provide an excellent flow of the topic.
  • An extensive vocabulary of mainly adjectives and figures of speech, which you’ll use to describe the topic.

If you are having issues with your English assignment and would like to know how to get rid of them, read our English homework help article, and all your answers will be answered.

2. Know How to Format an Observation Essay

You now know what an observation essay is. Do you know how to format it? This section will focus on this question.

Although an observation essay is somehow different from other essays, its formatting principles are similar to those in other essays. It has three broad sections: introduction, body, and conclusion. Below are the details to include in these sections.


As always, the introduction should have the following:

  • Hook
  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

The hook's purpose is to capture the reader’s attention. The background information acquaints the readers with the event or object and should be concise and informative. The thesis statement of an observation essay should not have strong statements; neither should it defend or oppose any arguments. A route you can choose when writing your thesis statement is saying the importance of your topic and the observation techniques you used.

Body paragraphs

The general rule in the body section is you should have between 1-5 well-connected paragraphs. Use transitions to improve the connection from one paragraph to another or from one idea to another.

Try to be as vivid as possible. You may insert much information about the topic to achieve this, though be mindful of the word count. Add the emotions you felt while observing the event or object. This will make your essay stand out, as most students only mention what transpired in the event and the object’s general physical features.


In conclusion, restate your thesis and touch on the important parts of the topic. Avoid using strong statements in the closing remarks. When closing the conclusion paragraph, you can mention the fun of conducting the observation.

3. Select an Observation Essay Topic

The third step when writing an observation essay is choosing a topic. First, go through the essay instructions to see the topics you can pick and other technicalities, such as the length of the essay, citation style, and others.

Selecting a topic you can observe is difficult, mainly for those who have never written this essay. This should not worry you, as this section has you covered.

Below is a list of observation essay topics you can use in writing your essay. You can use them as they are or modify them to your preference. The topics are:

  • The benefits of communication
  • What drives people to get more money
  • Reasons why students miss class
  • Effects of excessive use of social media
  • Differences between millennials and generation Z
  • Children’s behavior under several parenting styles
  • Climate change causes and impacts
  • Novel reading experience
  • Describe a wild animal
  • Courtroom reflection
  • Fitness center observation

Check out our guide on captivating college essay prompts for more ideas on general essay topics.

4. Observe and Jog Down Key Features Of the Topic

You need to observe the subject matter to craft an observation essay; the name of the essay says it. So, how should you observe? Simple. Use all your senses. Observation is not only about using your vision but also all senses, including smelling, hearing, and looking at your emotions.

Also, don’t just observe specific sections of the subject matter. Try to observe how the system works as a whole – how the individual parts and processes connect to accomplish the primary objective.

Make sure you take notes while observing. The best way to do this is to avoid looking away from the subject you are observing. Seems impossible, but it’s not. You can do this by recording yourself. Record with your phone and maybe, put on some earphones so you can use your hands to do other stuff. When you record yourself, you free your eyes and other senses, enhancing your observing capability. Don’t stress yourself into creating perfect notes; just make sure the voice notes are as complete as they can be.

5. Create an Outline

Like any other essay, creating an outline for an observation essay is essential. So, when should you form an observation essay outline? You should do it before drafting the observation essay and after observing and taking notes that summarize the subject matter. We have already mentioned how to write an observation summary. This section will delve deeper into creating an outline.

An outline is critical as it streamlines the essay writing process. You’ll quickly flow from one topic to another when drafting. You also will not forget any crucial points because you noted them in the outline.

Consider reading our how to write an amazing essay outline if your outlining skills are not up to par. Also, feel free to place an order with us if you want someone to write your essay from scratch. Our experts are available around the clock and deliver nothing but the best.

6. Write The Observation Essay

Now you are ready to write your essay. So, how do you start an observation essay? With an introduction, of course! The introduction section should be interesting enough that it grabs the readers by the throat. All you need to do is to deliver an amazing hook and setting of the story.

Afterward, work on your body section. You can divide it based on themes, parts of the event or object, a process, or any other way. Just ensure there is a good flow and detailed descriptions of the topic. Lastly, add a conclusion. The elements to include in a conclusion were mentioned in Step 2.

Do thorough proofreading and editing before you submit your essay. You can pass it through tools like Grammarly or Turnitin to improve it and offer a professional outlook.

Essential Tips for Writing an Observation Essay

Below are critical tips you need to be mindful of when writing an observation essay.

Choose an Object or Event That Interests You

Spending hours or days observing something that does not amuse you will be difficult. So, pick something you like if you want to enjoy the observation.

Declare Your Role

It is crucial to state your role as an observer. Were you a mute spectator or participator?  A mute spectator keeps an eye on the event or object without participating in the process. The commonest form of participation includes talking with people.

A participator, on the other hand, is when you participate in the process or explain something that happened in your life.

Use All Senses

Using all senses assists in creating a vivid image of what you observed. Go ahead to explain tastes, smells, what you heard, etc. You can also communicate with the individuals you are observing, as this will give you a deeper comprehension of their inner world.

You Can Use a First-Person Narrative

You may find yourself being forced to write in the first person. This is quite common and okay in this essay type. However, your instructor may sometimes prohibit you from using the first person. So, you need to read out the essay prompt carefully.

Use Present Tense

Don’t use the past or future tense when writing an observation essay. Although you did the observation in the past, do not write in the past tense. Using the present tense creates the illusion that the events you are discussing are happening at the moment, making readers more interested and engaged.

Remember that we offer academic help services in all domains of essay writing. Read our article on college essay writing services to find out more.

Take Advantage of Literary Devices

Utilize literary devices like analogies, symbols, similes, metaphors, and a rich vocabulary. Use these devices to make sure your essay is filled with passion and emotion. But don’t overdo the emotional part.


Put the subject matter in context. For instance, ensure you discuss the time, place, people involved, and other vital aspects of the context that will make it easier for the reader to interpret the ongoing processes.

Observation Essay Example

Here, you get to see an observation essay example whose title is why students miss online classes. It is a short essay, with one body paragraph.

Even though the adoption of online learning has surged in recent years, the number of students missing online classes is humongous. Understanding the root causes for students skipping classes is vital as it will aid in the creation of effective solutions.

I am a tutor; I offer online academic help to college students. My specialty is physics and mathematics. I have been providing these services for over three years. I am doing a retrospective analysis of the excuses students have been sending to me when they miss a class. So far, I have gone through 50 excuses in my email and after grouping them into themes, I was able to identify the common causes of missing class. The main ones from my observation are technical issues, distractions, and lack of motivation.

The rate of students missing online classes is through the ceiling. Thus, forcing me to analyze the causes. Stakeholders in the education sector need to sit down and try to figure out the best strategies to reduce this education pandemic.

In A Nutshell

This article educates you on how to write an amazing observation essay. If you want to become an expert at writing this essay type, then this guide is what you need. Learn 5 easy steps for crafting the essay and essential tactics that you should utilize when writing. Place an order with us if you need someone to write the essay for you.

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How to Write an Observation Essay - Homeworkmarket

author Melaine

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Melanie is a seasoned writer with more than 8 years of experience. She is passionate about academia and works off the clock to ensure she write the topnotch content for her readers.

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