Observation Essay Ds

Observation essay (4 pages)

You will write about your service at KEEN Greater DC. This essay both describes and interprets your service experience. The essay uses observed details in support of a theme or thesis. You will analyze specific details of the place and event, details that may include space, objects, and participants.

• During your service, your will both participate and observe. Knowing you have to write about the experience will engage you in the experience as both a doer AND a spectator storing up details for future use.
• One the shuttle bus back to Marymount, you will take extensive notes about your experience.
• Later, in class or at home, you will write reflections on these notes. These reflections may focus on what about the experience you found surprising, or interesting, or troubling, or puzzling, or significant.
• The thesis for your first draft will grow out of these reflections.
• You will share this draft with your classmates before revising for their feedback and sharing draft with your instructor.
• You will revise a final draft in response to a conversation you have with your instructor about the draft.

Outcomes for EN 101 Observation essay:
• Develop flexible strategies, including peer review, for working through the stages of the writing process: generating, revising, editing, and proofreading
• Develop ideas and reasoning in support of a theme or thesis
• Demonstrate basic essay structure: controlling theme or thesis, effective organizational pattern, transitions, successful introduction & conclusion
• Support assertions/ideas with evidence that includes concrete detail while excluding irrelevant (off topic) evidence
• Write clear, grammatically correct English while making effective use of stylistic elements such as active verbs, emphasis, parallelism, etc.

Students will write an in-class reflection on their observation essay (part of their for participation grade). This reflection may ask about their process, the strengths and weaknesses of their essay, what they learned about writing and reading, what they hope to take form this assignment, etc

The class may design the grading criteria for this assignment. Here is a sample criteria designed by a previous class:
observation essay criteria

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