Transforming Field Notes Into A Descriptive Essay


Your goal in this assignment is to use some aspect of your field notes to tell a story based on some of the things that you observed at your field site. You may shape this in any way that makes sense to you but your story needs to be based on vivid descriptions. Do not include any analysis (this will be added in the next assignment.

Your essay may focus on descriptions of human interactions, the physical space, or based on something specific that you witnessed during your field site visit. Review my feedback on your field notes. You might consider descriptions of clothing, behaviors, consumption patterns, demographics (approx. ages, race/ethnicities, countries of origin, social classes, genders, sexualities etc.) numbers of people, the ways that space s are used, etc. etc. Try to paint a picture with words and provide the reader with a “you are there” experience. Use strong vocabulary and avoid generalities.

If you need to, return to your field site and take more notes. Your narrative must be focused and have a point. If your story seems incomplete, consider what may be missing, then add it. After drafting your descriptive essay, take a break. Later, return to your draft, review it critically and revise based on the following:
– Is your story coherent, with an introductory paragraph, a vivid and compelling middle and a

strong conclusion?
– Do paragraphs logically build on each other?
– Are your descriptions “thick” and is your vocabulary strong? – Is your narrative compelling and engaging?

When you have a finished draft of your descriptive essay, you might want to give it to someone to read (without a title or identifying information) and ask your reader to name the site. If your description is detailed and evocative, your reader should be able to guess the location (either generally or even better, specifically) that you are detailing.

Exchange your draft with 2 classmates in your small group. Complete a peer review based on the peer review guidelines. Your descriptive essay should be 2 pages in length, double- space, 12 point font, Times New Roman with one inch margins

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