Red Robbin


Essay #2: Observation

 Write a four page observation essay answering the prompt: Write a about your favorite eatery.
 Notes about observation essays:
• Observing is the first step to understanding.
• Observations begin with thorough research.
• Your firsthand impressions must be carefully recorded in as much detail as possible.
• These observations (field notes) provide your raw material.
• When you write as an observer, you place yourself in the background, and give readers the clearest, most detailed view you
can of your subject.
The essay must include:
 A clearly identified subject (be specific about what you are observing)
 Vivid concrete sensory details (build your observation with concrete details, use your five senses)
 What you like the most about this place?
 What made it so special?
 Place your observation in a larger context, the conclusion part of the essay, what did you realize from completing this assignment.
Your essay should:
 Include a clear thesis that follows the Topic/Comment Model.
 Be organized with an introduction, body, and conclusion to structure the essay.
 Incorporate specific concrete details in each paragraph and each paragraph must link back to your main thesis.
 Be comprised of at least 4 pages (about 1000 words).
 Demonstrate your ability to use grammar, punctuation, and formatting suitable for college.

 Include a header (i.e., your last name and page number in the upper right corner of
every page).
 Include a heading (i.e., your name, my name, the class, college and the date on the
upper left side of the first page of the essay)
 Use a standard font, Times New Roman, 12pt size.
 Double space your essay.
 Set line spacing at 0pt.
Criteria for Success:
• Should be at least ½ to ¾ of a page long
• Should include background details and schema on your topic, such as who you are and what the song is about.
• Have a clear thesis that includes a Topic and Comment and guides your reader through your essay. It should not be a list/map
thesis. A thesis statement focuses your ideas into one sentence. It should present the topic of your paper and also make a comment
about your position in relation to the topic. Your thesis statement should tell your reader what the paper is about and also help
guide your writing and keep your argument focused. For example: “Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s
Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and
go back to nature.”
Body Paragraphs:
• Should be at least ½ to ¾ of a page long each
• Follow PIE:
P = Point What is the point of the paragraph? What claim is being made? Generally, the point is the TOPIC SENTENCE of the
I = Illustration How is the point illustrated? With specific data, experiences, a quotation or other evidence? Illustrations
(examples) are used to support/develop the point.
E = Explanation How does the provided illustration connect to your point? The explanation is the writer’s analysis or elaboration
of the point and illustration given, which connects the entire paragraph back to the thesis of the essay.
• Have topic sentences that introduce your paragraphs and are opinions not facts
• Personal examples
• Thoroughly explain your examples with lengthy explanations (E of PIE) that connect back to your thesis and support your
• A conclusion that sums up your essay without being to repetitive or boring
• Should be ½ page long!
Peter Parker Parker 1
De Anza
Essay #
Points: Exceeds Meets Partially Meets Does Not Meet
thesis in correct
place, 3+ PIE
paragraphs, and
(4 points)
Effective hook
introduction draws
the reader into the
rest of the completely
organized essay
Features a somewhat
effective hook
introduction that
draws the reader into
the rest of a
completely organized
Ineffective hook
and/or essay
demonstrates one
need for
No hook evident and/or
essay demonstrates
more than one need for
Thesis Statement
(Topic & a
(2 Points)
Solid thesis with a
topic and a comment
statement using
active, dynamic
Solid thesis statement
with a topic and a
Thesis statement
has multiple
comments and
demonstrates need
for revision
Thesis statement does
not have a topic and a
(2 Points)
Specific, show not tell
details included in
each body paragraph
Specific details
included in each body
One body paragraph
missing specific
Two or more body
paragraphs missing
specific details
Format, Spelling,
& Grammar
(2 Points)
No distracting errors 1 distracting error 2 distracting errors 3 or more distracting
+1 Bonus point for Rewrite: You will earn one bonus point=one letter grade for rewriting your essay,
you will need to provide both the original corrected version as well as a cleaned/revised new hard copy.
This bonus is due by Thursday after the essays are handed back.
+1 Bonus point for Post-Essay Reflection: You will earn one bonus point=one letter grade for a
thoughtful, well written reflection to your essay. The bonus is due by Thursday after the essays are
handed back by email. Note: DO NOT attach a document or google link, submit the writing in the body of
an email. The post-essay reflection must be a 500 (minimum) word analysis. The analysis will include: a
thoughtful reflection outlining all of the errors found, what you noticed about the errors (are there any
reoccurring errors from previous essays), what you need to do differently the next time to avoid these
errors. It will also include: what strategies did you use (or did not use) for writing the essay, thoughts
about the outcome, and final thoughts after rereading your essay.

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