Creative Observation Essay
For your fourth and final graded essay, you’ll select a person, place, thing or event, and write a creative piece by describing what you see. You may
describe sounds and smells, but you in no way change the happenings of your person, place, thing or event. If written effectively, your essay will entertain
while allowing the reader into the world that only you can see. Your essay should include mention of all of the following:
. Topic Selection. Considering the observational essay requires actual observation of subject matter, choose a topic that you can actually see, including
people, places and things. This may include a relative, a musical event or a flower. The possibilities are literally endless. If you can see it, and have
enough to creatively describe, you may choose it as your topic.
. Present or Past Tense. Observational essays are written in the present or past tenses, meaning you’ll be providing description of what you see in and at
the moment or I the moments that have already gone by. In other words, observational essays are not written from an object’s potential qualities (future
. Details. The strength of your essay depends upon the level of detail you provide. Details allow the reader to “see” what you are “seeing.” For example, if
an artist did not provide details in a painting, you wouldn’t know what he/she was trying to portray. You should apply the same idea to your observational
essay. But be careful not to over-describe. If you describe every detail imaginable in hope of painting a clear picture in the reader’s mind, you run the
risk of describing things that hold little or no relevance. Don’t clutter your essay.
. Senses. Sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell––these are primary weapons when creating an observational assay. What color is the bird? What does it sound
like when it chirps? When it landed on your shoulder, what did it feel like? Did the bird have a scent? While all of these questions should be answered when
describing a blue jay, for example, be careful not to overuse your senses by answering to an unnecessary obligation. (It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to
describe what your feathered friend tastes like.) in other words, while you should mention some of the senses in your assay, it may not be necessary to
mention all of them.
. Comparisons. There is a naturel tendency for people to use comparison in order to better understand something. One thing is related to another in order to
understand characteristics. What does your person, place, thing or event remind you of, and more importantly, how can you describe your person, place, thing
or event so your reader is reminded of what they know?
. Exact Language. You should choose the most precise words when constructing sentences. For example, describing something as “small” can lead to a wide range
of images, but calling something “microscopic” is much more precise.
. Personal Silence. There is no dialog or conversation between you and someone else in this essay. There would only be quotations of things you would hope to
say, or quotation from dialog that you overhear.
. Impressions. What impresses you most about your topic? After observing, what will you remember forever? Describe the most impressive parts of your person,
place, thing or event.
. Moods. What is the mood of your person, place, thing or event? Happy? Sad? Excited? Is the mood steady, or is your person, place thing or event “bipolar?”
. Expectations and Surprises. What about your topic lived up to your expectations? What surprised you so much that you can’t wait to describe?
President Obama first inauguration in January 20, 2009
Creative Observation Essay
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