What Is a Descriptive Essay? Answers, Writing Tips, and 100 Examples of Topics

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What Is a Descriptive Essay? Answers, Writing Tips, and 100 Examples of Topics
Table of Contents
  1. What Is a Descriptive Essay? Answers, Writing Tips, and 100 Examples of Topics
  2. 100 Good Descriptive Essay Topics
  3. Descriptive Essay Topics about People & Society
  4. Descriptive Essay Topics about Pop-Culture
  5. Descriptive Essay Topics on Places & Locations
  6. Descriptive Essay Topics about Memory & Mind
  7. Descriptive Essay Topics about Objects / Things
  8. How to Write a Descriptive Essay
  9. Descriptive Essay Tips
  10. Need Help?

Descriptive essay is one of the most popular types of academic writing for college, high school, and middle school students. The goal of writing a descriptive essay is to break down a certain thing, event, person, or phenomenon and provide its detailed description. A descriptive essay is a short paper which is all about describing or summarizing a topic. You don't need to collect responses from other people like you do when writing an argumentative essay. 

You are reading this text because you need to know what exactly you can break down for a description. That is why this text contains a decent list of good descriptive essay topics. Feel free to choose them as well as to check through some descriptive essay writing advice at the end of the text! 

100 Good Descriptive Essay Topics 

We have selected 100 most outstanding descriptive essay topics most of the school and college tutors expect to see from each student. Mind that these are only the examples of the descriptive essay ideas; students can think of their own topics for descriptive essay keeping an eye on the following list. 

Despite there are many topics you might want to describe in detail, it is better to focus on a single person/place/event/object not to lose the point. Consider these 100 topics for a descriptive essay:

Descriptive Essay Topics about People & Society 

  1. Make a detailed description of your mother (other relatives).
  2. Why does Martin Luther King deserve respect?
  3. Choose a famous villain and reveal his personality.
  4. Describe specific traits you enjoy in one of your peers.
  5. List features of your boyfriend/girlfriend (fiancé/bride) which make this person so important in your life.
  6. Share a description of your most liked teacher.
  7. Why do you believe John Kennedy was a great political figure in examples of his contribution to US society?
  8. Explain why your favorite actress is better than the others.
  9. Why would a certain person behave in the way he/she does?

Descriptive Essay Topics about Pop-Culture

  1. Would you prefer Wonder Woman or Xena, Warrior Princess?
  2. Describe a character from your favorite TV show (e.g. Buffy Summers, Piper Halliwell, Clark Kent, etc.)
  3. Provide a vivid description of your role model. It could be your favorite actor, singer, movie director, fashion model, political figure, best friend, parents, etc
  4. Which horror film character has scared you to death?
  5. Think of the features of the perfect place to have the loudest rock gig ever!
  6. Share description of your least favorite movie.
  7. How would you act if you meet your favorite celebrity on the street one day?

Browse different chatacter analysis examples, they will come in handy.

Easy Descriptive Essay Topics 

  1. Which psychological factors had the greatest impact on your behavior?
  2. Describe a person whom you hate.
  3. What traits belong to the term "best friend"?
  4. How would you define your potential enemies?
  5. Describe why you believe in a friendship between man and woman based on your own experience.
  6. Write who your favorite business manager is.
  7. Write how a perfect fashion model should look like today.
  8. Write why you think Abraham Lincoln deserves a special place in the history of the US.
  9. List specific features which make your mom stand out from the rest of the mothers.
  10. Why is your dad the kindest dad in the world?

Descriptive Essay Topics on Places & Locations

  1. Provide details on the house you're living in. Would you like to change something about it, move away to another location, or stay without fixing anything, and why?
  2. Where would you like to rest next winter and why?
  3. Share an example of a perfect summer location with your readers.
  4. Provide details on your favorite winter location.
  5. Some students want to describe the rooms they are living in on campus. Share ideas how the college/university community could unite to make this place better.
  6. Describe the top favorite place in your native country.
  7. How do you picture an ideal place to have a wedding ceremony?
  8. Write about the place where people can see the brightest stars in the sky.
  9. List the names of the countries you would like to visit.
  10. My hometown is in my heart and soul.
  11. Why has Melbourne the heart of Australia despite it not even being its capital city?
  12. Describe the loudest place you used to visit.
  13. Write about the place you think is the best in the whole world.
  14. Essay: Tell more about the place you're studying in.
  15. Describe the places you attended with your parents.
  16. Describe the most beautiful garden you have ever seen.
  17. Name the place you would choose for the summer festival.
  18. Write about 7 Wonders of the World.
  19. Write what you believe is the eighth Wonder of the World.
  20. Write how you feel when attending your childhood places.
  21. Write down why you prefer your native country over any other places in the world.
  22. Write how you can get to a certain destination.
  23. Describe a location for a perfect student party.
  24. Write about your favorite place which exists only in the fiction.

Descriptive Essay Topics about Memory & Mind 

  1. What was the most special thing on your last trip to the sea?
  2. Do you remember the first birthday of your best friend?
  3. Create a map which would allow people to travel your mind to see a bit of your experience.
  4. Describe the introductory day in any of the existing educational institution - school, college, or university - using the entire spectrum of emotions.
  5. What would you call the ugliest experience in your life?
  6. Find proper words to describe the memories associated with the beloved person who used to die.
  7. List the things you like doing with your grandparents.
  8. Describe the event in your academic life which makes you proud enough to share it with the admissions officers later.
  9. Provide a description of the first time falling in love.
  10. Provide a description of the day in your life when something you like (e.g. hobby, art, music band, comic book, other objects) has almost changed your vision completely.
  11. Describe what you believe young children tend to memorize best of all.
  12. Essay: Help your readers understand how it feels like in the mountains.
  13. Do you like riding the bicycle?
  14. Describe the last time you were abroad.
  15. Share your feelings with the readers who wish to learn more about taking part in the exchange
  16. How did you feel during your English language exam?
  17. Which event from your life made you feel scared?
  18. Describe something that made you laugh to death.
  19. Offer details on your visit to London.
  20. Describe a silent place in the woods you love since your early ages.
  21. Write how you remember the first snow in your life.
  22. Write why it is important to keep a diary.
  23. Essay: Write down several things you remember from your tenth birthday.
  24. Write how it feels to attend the funeral based on your memory.

Descriptive Essay Topics about Objects / Things 

  1. Describe an object which you believe has once saved your life or prevented other adverse consequences for you or one of your close people.
  2. The Silk Road.
  3. Find appropriate words to describe something you wanted so bad you were ready to steal it due to the fact you did not have enough money to buy it.
  4. The most expensive painting ever sold.
  5. Pick one of the recent technological innovations. Make a description explaining why this particular thing plays an important role in the development of modern society.
  6. Essay: There is one more thing every writer should keep in mind to have a full vision of how to write a descriptive essay about yourself.
  7. Providing a description of distance and time from the physical aspect.
  8. Wonderful things every human should know from the Ancient World (choose Egypt, Greece, or Rome)
  9. How would you describe the icons in your home?
  10. The Empire State Building (or any other magnificent construction)
  11. Taj Mahal: historical value.
  12. Solar System and planets in it.
  13. The role of the Bible in our life.
  14. Essay: A comfortable bed as a definition of good sleep.
  15. Can a dress make a man?
  16. Why do we love soft toys that much?
  17. Things to take with you on a sea trip.
  18. What can money change in the life of every person?
  19. The true value of vegetables in the markets.
  20. Essay: Write why your old Tamagotchi still matters to you.
  21. Write how your favorite video game has impacted you.
  22. Write down specific attributes which make your favorite doll special.
  23. Describe your living rooms in detail.
  24. Describe the neighboring house in detail.

Need more ideas? Look through narrative essay topics we prepared for our users. 

How to Write a Descriptive Essay

The structure of descriptive essays depends on topics. There is no need to follow strict chronology if you write about a person/object, but you should mind the order of events in the essay describing a place. You may not waste time on in-depth research or search for many sources – focus on writing about your feelings.

Pay attention to the following issues when writing a descriptive essay: 

  • Work on the senses. Any good descriptive essay must cover each of the five senses, taste, sight, touch, smell and sound, to make the reader(s) feel the full spectrum of emotions associated with the chosen topic. 

  • Write an outline. Create an outline to be your action plan during the entire writing process. No matter whether you're a high school student or the one studying in college, the teachers everywhere expect to see a 5-paragraph descriptive essay. 

  • Be creative. Descriptive essays belong to the category of creative pieces. Use them to expand your imagination by lengthening the text. 

  • Proofread and edit. Your descriptive essay can become less engaging and get a lower mark if it contains any mistakes. Also proofreading can motivate you to add some details in case you require telling something more about your main object.

Descriptive writing is not a piece of cake, but some expert recommendations help students to cope with writing this academic text:

"Most of my students wondered how to write a descriptive essay about a person, place, or object. The best descriptive essay topics are that the writer has a deep connection with. No matter whether you have a list of wonderful topics or the one your teacher expects to see: brainstorming is the key! I recommend this technique to every student. Once you master brainstorming, it would be easier for you to work in a team within any environment."
Lisa Head, Literature Professor at University College London (UCL)

Descriptive Essay Tips

  1. Pre-writing stage. Do you have a clear image of the object you’re going to describe? Look at all sources you have on hand to define whether they provide all important information on descriptive essay topics. Focus on your own senses, taste, smell, and other feelings while recalling your example, and then create an action plan for further writing.
  2. How to start a descriptive essay? Start writing with a powerful, eye-catching hook to grab the reader's attention: simile, metaphor, literary quote, famous people quotations, poetry lines, interesting facts, jokes, etc.
  3. Create a draft of your descriptive essay. You may put all words that come to your mind; you'll have a chance to make your ideas shorter later. It's not enough to tell - show the image of the object with the help of words only. The way you create a mental image for the reader defines your ability to make up a good descriptive essay. 
  4. Adding details to your essay with the help of enriched English vocabulary and online dictionaries. Mind your language when writing a descriptive essay – it must be lyrical to deliver all your feelings in full. Involve many different adjectives.
  5. Take time to revise and edit the paper with the help of various grammar checking tools. 
  6. Edit your descriptive essay. Try to avoid any grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes to show how great your knowledge of the language is.

We suggest you take as an example any illustrative writing, it may come in handy.
After completing your final descriptive essay draft, you should evaluate your work critically. Use this checklist to understand if your descriptive essay is good enough:

  • Are there enough details to make it possible for your readers to obtain a full and vivid perception?
  • Have you missed any small but significant descriptive details?
  • Are there words that convey the emotion, feeling (touch, smell, etc.) or perspective?
  • Does your essay possess any unnecessary details in your description which can be thrown away or replaced by the more meaningful information?
  • Does each section of your essay focus on one aspect of your description?
  • Are all paragraphs arranged in the most efficient way; are they properly connected with the help of corresponding transition words?

Look at an observation essay example, it may come in handy.

Need Help? 

Want a professional academic writing help to cope with writing a descriptive essay? Students tend to have too many homework assignments along with the need to study important material for their exams. 

We would like to offer a better opportunity than hiring expensive freelance writers who lack corresponding experience – buy custom essays from the team of certified online academic tutors, and obtain top-quality descriptive essays on the topic of your choice!

Want to view several good descriptive essay examples from experts? We have attached the best samples to observe!