Observation assignment

The Observation Essay

Write an essay of at least three full typed pages in which you observe a specific person, place, object, or event. Your goal is to show how specific, observed details create a dominant, insightful impression (feeling) about the person, place, object, or event.

Choose some limited subject—a person or small group of people, a specific place, a single object or animal, or a recurring event.

You will be graded on the following criteria:

  1. Creating an overall, complex (multi-dimensional) impression that is based on an insight into, interpretation of or idea about your topic.
  2. Use of a clear organizational strategy (chronological, spatial, or topical)
  3. Use of sensory details and dialogue (gathered through interviews)
  4. Use of description
  5. Use of correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, mechanics

Your final draft will be worth 50 points.

Tentative due dates:


Sept. 18 Observation tour

Sept. 20 “Soup” - Complex impression

Sept. 24 “Their First Patient” - Organizational strategy

Sept. 26 Sensory details

Sept. 30 “The Long Good-Bye”- Interviews

Oct. 2 Essay analysis

Oct. 4 Lab time

Oct. 8 Lab time

Oct. 10 Peer edit


Oct. 14 Begin next unit

Oct. 16 Paper due