Essay #2 – Observation Vs. Assumption

This essay will 4-5 pages in length, and should be typed and double spaced in proper MLA formatting. You may need a Works Cited page at the end of your paper, which does not count toward the page requirement.

Choose one of the following topics:

1.   Over the next couple of days, look around you as you go about your day. Carry a notebook with you and jot down some notes every chance you get.   Notice what people do, what they say, what they seem to notice and what they don't notice. Maybe you can sit in a park, or a car, or watch from your house window. Perhaps you are taking other classes or are working out of the house. Whatever you are doing, be observant and find a way to record your observations. Look for patterns in people's actions, words, or appearance. What kind of assumptions can you draw from your observations? Why do you assume these things, and do you think you are correct? What could be leading you astray? What other information would you need before you could verify your assumptions? How important is that information? What is significant about your observations or your assumptions?  Think about all of this and construct a fluid, in-depth analysis of your findings. This should read like an essay; it should not include bullets, charts, or long strings of data.   Present your data in a reader friendly format and search for the "so what?" to your paper.   Don't leave a reader asking, "so what?" at the end of your paper.   Your writing should state why the material being read is important to a broader audience.

2.   Do the same as above, but observe the non-people parts of your life. Go sit alone in the woods a few times and take notes of what you see each time. Go sit on a sidewalk bench a few times to watch the birds, bugs, or weather, and see what significant ideas come from your notes. Ask yourself the same questions discussed in option 1, and follow the same guidelines when writing your paper.

You have a more freedom in this essay than in your first. Your goal with either of the topics should be to draw conclusions

This paper does not require outside sources, but if you have information from an outside source you'd like to include, please refer to  A Writer's Reference. Remember to use signal phrases (See Hacker MLA 3b 364)    in your text and to include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper.