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How to write An Observation Journal Entry

Updated on October 1, 2015


Have you ever seen something worth talking about? It can be as simple as seeing nature take fold, a circus , or how your child looks at the world for the very first time as a toddler. It is amazing how everyone have different views of the same event, not knowing what the other person thinks or feels at that time. In order for the writer to write about what he or she seen throughout their travels in life, the writer has to journal about an event with a keen sense of memory. That writer also needs enough descriptive words to transport a reader, as though the reader is the one watching the event taking place. This is called an observation, or as I call it, looking through another person’s eyes, and seeing what they see. So what is an observation journal entry, and how do it help you as the writer get your point across to the reader.

What is an observation Journal entry?

Oberservation journal entries make great entries, and maybe it will be your own testament in your personal journal, or online blog. You can make it funny, or serious. It is closely related to a narrative, which can be a writing technique to help describe the event through the through the eyes of the writer to the reader.  An observation is something you see happening, and you are watching from afar.   You are writing down how your actions or reactions the event or situation. Look at this example for starters:

I was watching my favorite show, CSI Miami, when my 9 year old son, Donte, came into the room to ask this question, “Can Jimmy spend the night, tonight?” Now this is a school night, and usually I do not allow sleepovers during school time. After all, there is homework to be done, I have to get up the next morning to go to work, and sleepovers usually mean that little boys do not go to bed when they are supposed to. So as usual, I told Donte, “No", then I proceeded to remind the child on why we do not have sleepovers on a school night. 5 seconds later, I get an answer that sounded something like this, “You never let me have anyone over," then Donte preceeded tell me that Irene, Jimmy’s mom said yes to the idea,and then he demanded to agree to it. My parents have always told me that I would have to deal with their decision, and my friends' parents were not the ones raising me.

How to write an observation entry

As explained earlier, everyone has their own views and opinions of the same event. In order for the reader to get a sense of being there,

  • First, write about where you are. This could be a concert, a birthday party for an older relative, or a cultural event of another lifestyle.
  • Next, give a descriptive account of the sights, sounds, tastes (if food is involved), and smells. Give feeling to the description, such as, "I was amazed", "I was sad", or "I was confused".
  • The last part of the observation is a recommendation of sorts. saying things like, "If you are interested in this, it is highly recommended that______", "This is something that I myself would not do on a regular basis", or even "Not in this lifetime.".

The following example is observation account of someone going to Disney World for the first time:

I went to Disney World for the first time in my life. I have been to Disneyland many years ago, but this is Walt Disney World Resort, a place that has 4 major parks, 2 water parks, a whole transportation system, and enough resorts and rooms to allow Staten Island residents to stay for a night or two. As I drove in, I was amazed on how clean the place look. Everything was so spread out, but I knew that my resort, The Animation Resort was just ahead. As I looked while being stopped by a bus, letting passengers off, I noticed how orderly everyone was getting off the bus, before it drove off. I also notice how everyone was calm, cool, and not in a hurry. What I also noticed was there wasn't a character in sight, thrusting themselves onto the passengers of this bus. This is a good sign. The only time I want see Mickey and the rest is inside the parks. I do not want to see them upon my arrival while I try to get settled in for my vacation. Driving around gave me a sense of where everything is on this huge vacation campus, and this is something I will be doing from now on.

See how this person watched and noted things in his mind about watching a Disney resort transportation bus and its passengers. An entry has to be precise and accurate if you want the reader to observe what you just laid witness to.

scrapbooking an observation,

Now what does this have to do with journaling on a scrapbook page layout? Using a series of pictures and a short journal entry can be just as effective as that journal entry or blog post. For another example, I created a first year book for my second oldest nephew, who was 10 months at the time. He's 6 now. This particular day, me, my mom, my sister (his mom), and the child went to IKEA for the first time. While in the store, I wanted to capture the moment of my first experience in IKEA, but I turned into his moment. I took picture of his mom standing him on a ladder like the baby was looking for a book, sitting him on a cow looking stool, and holding a fluffy red and white soccer ball. Then on a separate page, I did a journal entry about his experience. I love doing 2-page layouts, especially when I have a lots of pictures of the same subject. I had lots of smaller pictures around the journal entry, which was printed out on my printer. I did it, so that when the baby grows to be a man, he can read about it, because “Aunty Patti” may not remember enough to tell him the whole story. This is a fun way to give “life" to the pictures, so the reader has a way of formulating new questions instead of “What was I thinking at that moment?”


I hope this gives you some ideas on another type of journaling, and these are some of ideas about writing an observation journal entry. Just always remember one simple rule, make it personal, and bring the reader see what you see. We all have observations of the world we live in. So, have fun observing, writing about things you see in your own little corner of the world.

Patricia is the owner and creator behind the companies and blogs, P.Lynne Designs, My Ambiance Life, and Tricia’s Baskets. She has been a member of Hubpages since September 2010.


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    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Great article. Especially about: how to write an observation entry. Well done.


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