10 Requirements to Write an Observation Paper

The Observation Paper is an account of an event that you the writer experienced. Here are ten simple points you must pay attention to write an excellent Observation.

  1. Observation
  2. As its name suggests, the point of an Observation Paper is to take in an experience or event and describe it to the reader. To do this well you have to first pay close attention to that event or the paper will become too vague.

  3. Record
  4. This is one of those cases where good notes are a must. It is easy to pay attention to an event and then forget half when you sit down to write, so jot down the important details and some sensory information in the moment or while it is fresh in your head.

  5. Introduction
  6. The opening paragraph of your paper needs to provide the reader with the setting of the event. This includes time and place but also any details that will become important later. Was it raining, windy or snowing? The reader needs to know that if someone’s umbrella blew away.

  7. Details
  8. Though perhaps insignificant most of the time, little sensory details are quite important in the Observation Paper. With only a handful of comments on how the situation sounds, smells or feels you can bring capture the reader’s attention and place them in the event with you.

  9. Active Voice
  10. Keep everything as active as you can. When depicting an action stay away from the passive voice, which will become boring quickly. Instead ascribe each action to someone. Use something like, “the speaker lost their umbrella” rather than “the umbrella was lost.

  11. Ordered Narrative
  12. Nothing will so quickly confuse the reader as an account that has no linear sense of time. Avoid using long divergences from the sequence of events and make sure that they follow a logical, timely progression.

  13. Pacing
  14. It is important that you mind the speed at which your account moves along. If it moves too slowly, the reader will lose track of the larger picture and become disinterested. If it moves too quickly, the reader will not be able to track events.

  15. Bias
  16. Try not to give any one statement of detail preference over the others, unless you have a good reason for doing so and explain that reason to your reader. That way even if the reader disagrees about the importance of that detail the rest of your account will not come under suspicion.

  17. Summary
  18. At the end of the paper give a brief summary of the event and your general thoughts on it. Leave the reader with the larger view in mind rather than an abrupt end.

  19. Proofreading
  20. Make sure you proofread your work. Read it out loud and have a friend look it over to make sure there are none of those embarrassing or distracting mistakes.

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