Central to this is deciding what it is you want to observe and how you are going to record it. You may decide to observe any or all of the following:
• the environment - physical circumstances, general situations, external pressures, etc.;
• individual events - particular occasions, meetings, etc. - or a sequence of events;
• the actors - their names and other relevant information such as jobs, roles and relationships;
• the activities of the actors - in general and in relation to events;
• the actions of individual actors;
• the actors' goals;
• the actors' feelings, and how these are expressed.
Usually a researcher records his/her observations in note form. You may decide to use either a structured or unstructured format for your notes, depending on the subject of study. Write up your notes as quickly as possible afterwards, as your memory will soon fade! It is useful to practice the skills required for this sort of research before you actually go ahead and do it for the first time.