As simple as it is, the purpose of the descriptive essay is to explain or portray its subject. A descriptive essay can focus on any topic or issue. Be sure that any middle school, high school, or college student can manage this type of creative writing assignment!

This article will help you find the best descriptive essay topic. Read on to see a list of topics, prompts, tips, and a writing guide. And don’t hesitate to ask our custom writing experts to help you write a short story or a complicated essay.

✅  Types of Descriptive Essays

The first thing you need to know is that there are two types of descriptive essays:

  • Concrete – an essay about something specific that human senses can perceive. Describe the things you can see, touch, smell, feel, and hear.
  • Abstract – an essay about something you feel emotionally or perceive cognitively. Write about emotions, situations, experiences, relationships, and art.

Writing a description.

This article lists topics for concrete as well as abstract descriptive essays. Choose one you like the most, and get down to writing!

✍️  Descriptive Essay Writing Tips

Writing a descriptive essay is about making the readers want to taste the food or watch a movie you discussed. Here are a few things that will help you write an excellent descriptive essay on any topic.

  • Topic and a thesis. Review this article and choose a subject you like the most. Next, come up with the thesis statement. The statement should be attention-catching and reflect the main focus of the paper.
    Example:
    Topic: The day I met my cat.
    Thesis: This essay will uncover personal memories and emotions from the day when Oreo, my beloved cat, has entered my life.
  • An outline. This step is essential for essays of any length. Start the outline with an introduction and finish with a conclusion. Write out the main themes/thoughts, make them into paragraphs.
    Example:
    • Introduction (with a thesis)
    • The moment Oreo got into my arms
    • Choosing the name
    • Playing with Oreo for the first time
    • Conclusion
  • The five senses. Including sensory details will take your paper on another level! Write out the details and adjectives that engage each of the senses.
    Example:
    • Smell: sweet, fresh, pleasant, etc.
    • Touch: fluffy, soft, warm, scratching, etc.
    • Hearing: mewing, loud, quiet, etc.
    • Vision: sizes, colors, movements, etc.
    • Taste: sweet milk, refreshing water, etc.
    Tip: use transition words, such as afterwards, before that, in the meantime. It will make your essay logically flow.
  • Write, write, write. Time to fill out your outline! Choose clear and vivid language. In conclusion, leave the reader with an “I’ve been there with you” or “I know what you’re talking about” feeling.
  • Review and turn in. Proofread what you wrote and ask a peer to do the same. Make as many changes as needed. After polishing your paper, turn it in and expect a good grade.

⚙️  Process Description Topics for an Essay

A process essay explains how to do something. It can also describe how something occurs. Cooking instructions, a tutorial, or chronology of events can serve as a basis for a descriptive paper. Take a look at this list of interesting topics:

  1. Learning to drive a car.
  2. How to a cook a Thanksgiving dinner.
  3. Ways to match colors in clothing.
  4. Giving a cozy look to a room.

C.S. Lewis quote.

  1. How to build a wooden table.
  2. How can you open a coffee shop?
  3. Organizing a road trip.
  4. Easy way to save money for a car.
  5. The process of learning to ride a bike.
  6. How can you become a professional Instagram influencer?
  7. Describe the development of an embryo.
  8. What is water cycle in nature?
  9. Learning to play an instrument.
  10. How to choose a university degree.
  11. How does the wind form?
  12. The process of creating a video game.
  13. Describe the lifecycle of a flower.
  14. The stages of making a movie.
  15. How is electricity generated?
  16. The process of launching a spaceship.

💭  Descriptive Narrative Essay Topics

The main objective of a narrative essay is to tell a story. Descriptive words can help your audience to relive the event with you. Write out your memories, and use them as a foundation for the paper.

  1. The day you got a pet.
  2. Describe a life-threatening experience.
  3. The moment you realized you are in love.
  4. When was the happiest day of your life?
  5. A day when you changed your opinion about someone.
  6. Describe an experience of losing something valuable.
  7. Write about overcoming the saddest event in your life.
  8. Describe the beginning of a precious friendship.
  9. Your favorite vacation experience.
  10. A day when you got a bad grade.
  11. What is your most vivid childhood memory?
  12. Describe a case of misunderstanding.
  13. The toughest task you had to fulfill.
  14. Recall a day when you broke something.
  15. A situation when you had to act like an adult.
  16. What was the hardest conversation you’ve ever had?
  17. The experience of going through heartbreak.

When writing a description.

  1. Describe a situation where you had to make a difficult decision.
  2. Write about moving to another city.
  3. One time when you ate eating something very delicious.

🖥️  Technical Description Topics for an Essay

If you’re a tech lover, this section is just what you need. A technical descriptive essay can focus on any mechanism or invention. Help the reader to understand the function of a piece of technology. But first, check out the following list of ideas for a technical descriptive paper:

  1. Functions of a smart watch.
  2. What’s the purpose of an iPod?
  3. Describe the parts of an AK-47.
  4. How does touch screen work?
  5. Explain how a smartphone can count steps.
  6. What are the main features of virtual assistants?
  7. How do computers read CDs?
  8. Describe the structure of a camera lens.
  9. The functioning of wireless headphones.
  10. What’s the purpose of car cylinders?
  11. How does artificial intelligence evolve?
  12. What are the parts of an old-fashioned TV screen?
  13. How do solar panels work?
  14. Describe the functions of unmanned vehicles.
  15. How do ATMs detect values of bills?
  16. How does traffic pulse technology work?
  17. How does virtual reality function?
  18. Purpose of 5G mobile technology.
  19. Describe the parts of a speed sensor.
  20. Explain the functioning of a weather station.

🏫  Descriptive Essay Topics about School

School life is diverse and filled with all kinds of events. This section is all about your personal experience at school. Tell the reader about a memorable episode or a significant person from your life as a student.

  1. Describe your favorite subject to study.
  2. Who is your favorite teacher?
  3. The best holiday you’ve ever celebrated at school.
  4. Tell the reader about a recent road trip with your class.
  5. Describe an event during a school bus ride.
  6. What it’s like being in a school choir.
  7. The prom night of your dreams.
  8. How do you usually do your homework?
  9. Bonding with friends from school.

Sensory details.

  1. What is your best friend like?
  2. Recall the first visit to a principal’s office.
  3. The experience of playing on a football team.
  4. Say why you like taking part in the drama class.
  5. Giving a speech in front of your class.
  6. What is it like to win a school competition?
  7. The saddest day in school.
  8. Recall an embarrassing moment during a break.
  9. The most memorable art class.
  10. Describe your favorite science project.
  11. Reasons why you like your school.

🧶  Descriptive Essay Topics about Hobbies

Everybody has some sort of hobby. Choose one of the things you enjoy doing the most. You can imagine describing it to people who barely know anything about your hobby. Make sure to provide insightful information on your favorite activity. This list of ideas will help you come up with an exciting topic for an essay!

  1. How to explore cooking as a hobby.
  2. What do you like about knitting?
  3. Why do you enjoy fishing?
  4. What dancing means to you.
  5. Do you play sports as a hobby?
  6. Playing card games can be a hobby.
  7. What instrument do you play?
  8. Say why you love singing.
  9. What is great about recording videos?
  10. Why do you like journaling?
  11. Playing video games for relaxation.
  12. How did you start painting?
  13. What do you enjoy about crafting?
  14. Why is car repair fun?
  15. Do you consider shopping a hobby?
  16. Your favorite thing about gardening.
  17. Meditation as a way to relax.
  18. Your favorite thing about magic tricks.
  19. Do you watch movies as a hobby?
  20. What do you enjoy about reading?

🎨  Descriptive Writing Topics about Art

Writing a descriptive essay on art can be an exciting assignment. It will require your observations and knowledge. Research the necessary information about the chosen subject. It will be better if you spend some time observing and appreciating the artwork before writing about it. Use these elements as a foundation for your paper.

  1. What are the peculiarities of abstract paintings?
  2. Describe the process of creating a portrait.
  3. What are the main features of the still life genre?
  4. Why are shades essential in a drawing?
  5. Variations of texture in art.
  6. Use of focal points in photography.
  7. How can a person appreciate a painting?
  8. What do you like about Van Gogh’s art?
  9. Your impression of The Kiss by Klimt.
  10. Primary colors of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Leonardo da Vinci quote.

  1. Describe the process of creating a marble sculpture.
  2. Essential elements of sculpting.
  3. Your impression of Michelangelo’s David.
  4. What makes Dama Velata by Corradini beautiful?
  5. Describe the process of carving.
  6. What are the main features of poetry?
  7. The artwork of your favorite album.
  8. Write about your impression of Greek mythology.
  9. Describe the life of a famous artist.
  10. A piece of art that impacted you the most.

🎥  Descriptive Essay Topics about Movies

A descriptive essay about a movie might seem like an easy assignment. However, it’s not that simple when your task is to review a film. You can focus on the characters, the plot, or the film’s technical side. Use critical thinking and analytical skills.

  1. Describe the Corleone family from The Godfather.
  2. What makes Doctor Zhivago poetic?
  3. The use of slow motion in The Matrix.
  4. Write about your impression of Knives Out.
  5. Cinematography in Gravity.
  6. Visual effects used in City Lights.
  7. What do you like about music from Singin’ in the Rain?
  8. Character development in Forrest Gump.
  9. The ending of Inception.
  10. What was your reaction to the twist in A Beautiful Mind?
  11. Describe the main characters from Catch Me if You Can.
  12. Speak about the plot of Shawshank Redemption.
  13. What’s your favorite scene from Dark Knight Rises?
  14. The plot of Titanic.
  15. What makes The Truman Show funny?
  16. The pivotal scene from Braveheart.
  17. What was your impression of The Help?
  18. Family dynamics in the Pursuit of Happiness.
  19. Friendship in Green Book.
  20. What makes Groundhog Day heartbreaking?

📚  Descriptive Writing Topics about Books

As a student, you are getting familiar with various books and authors. Think about the book that you enjoyed reading the most. Write about characters, the storyline, your impressions, or the lesson learned from a book.

  1. What’s your favorite book, and why?
  2. A novel that played a significant role in your life.
  3. Write about a book character that impressed you the most.
  4. A fictional world where you would like to live.
  5. What’s your favorite scene from a book?
  6. Which fictional character could become your friend?
  7. The novel that resonates with you the most?
  8. Your impression of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
  9. Graphic elements used in The Book Thief.

Markus Zusak quote.

  1. Summarize the plot of Gone with the Wind.
  2. Describe the character of Huck Finn from Mark Twain’s books.
  3. Share your impression of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  4. What’s your favorite scene from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott?
  5. Describe the relationship between the main characters in Pride and Prejudice.
  6. The plot of The Da Vinci Code.
  7. Love in The Little Prince.
  8. The dystopia of The Hunger Games.
  9. Describe the main characters from Frankenstein.
  10. What is the central scene in Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden?
  11. Share your impression of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

🏝️  Descriptive Paper Topics about Places

In a descriptive essay places can be real or imaginary. Consider the location that impressed you the most or a place you want to visit. You can describe your favorite spot in the city or a fiction kingdom. This list will help you land on the best topic for the descriptive essay.

  1. Your favorite corner in your house.
  2. Describe your dream room.
  3. The house you want to live in: what does it look like?
  4. Your favorite coffee shop.
  5. Study spot of your choice.
  6. Describe a perfect restaurant.
  7. What is your grandparents’ house like?
  8. Write about you favorite place to hang out.
  9. Your favorite vacation destination.
  10. A place where you got lost.
  11. Which fiction location do you want to visit?
  12. A European city you’d like to see.
  13. What is the most beautiful place you’ve seen?
  14. Which state do you want to visit?
  15. Describe the most beautiful tropical island in the world.
  16. What historical site do you wish to see?
  17. The mall where you like to go shopping.
  18. Which century would you like to time-travel to?
  19. A place you’d never want to visit.
  20. Describe a perfect park.

🤔  Descriptive Essay Topics: Associations

Associations are mental connections between ideas, feelings, objects, or events. The human brain makes them automatically. Take your time to write a descriptive essay about associations. The following list will help you choose a good topic for a paper:

  1. What do you associate with family holidays?
  2. Feelings while listening to your favorite song.
  3. What does a favorite TV show remind you of?

Four types of association fact.

  1. What comes to your mind when you’re looking at an old caste?
  2. Associations you have when watching a favorite movie.
  3. How does rainy weather make you feel?
  4. What does your favorite painting remind you of?
  5. Your feelings after reading a poem.
  6. Memories associated with your childhood house.
  7. What comes to your mind when talking about family?
  8. What do you picture when thinking about traveling overseas?
  9. Thinking about a vacation.
  10. What do you mentally picture when looking at business clothes?
  11. What emotions do you connect with sports activity?
  12. What do you associate with saying goodbye?
  13. A mental image you have of yourself.
  14. What comes to your mind when talking about love?
  15. What does the taste of chocolate remind you of?
  16. What do you think about while eating your favorite food?
  17. Things you associate with your name.

👫  Descriptive Essay Topics about People

A descriptive essay about people can focus on several aspects of a person. You can describe somebody’s appearance, behavior, or personality. But there is one important thing to keep in mind: be polite!

  1. A famous person from my city.
  2. Describe your parents’ personalities.
  3. The appearance of your favorite movie star.
  4. Describe your best friend.
  5. An athlete you look up to.
  6. The person you miss the most.
  7. What are your grandparents like?
  8. The personality of your childhood toy.
  9. A historical figure you’d like to meet.
  10. What character traits do you value in people?
  11. A person you will remember forever.
  12. A person you have strong feelings for.
  13. Describe your siblings.
  14. Somebody you respect.
  15. The kind of person you want to become.
  16. Which celebrity would you like to meet?
  17. Describe your appearance.
  18. Your favorite teacher’s personality.
  19. Someone you ran into recently.
  20. Cultural differences you notice in people.

❤️  Descriptive Writing Topics: Favorite Things

Did you ever have a favorite toy? Or maybe you’ve bought something special recently? Describe an object that you have appreciated at some point in your life. This list will help choose the topic for your essay:

  1. Your favorite breakfast food.
  2. What hot beverage do you enjoy?
  3. The most beautiful sea landscape you’ve ever seen.
  4. The prettiest building in your city.
  5. A doll you treasure.

Steve Jobs quote.

  1. Your first bicycle.
  2. Which outfits are you always ready to wear?
  3. A car you wish to have.
  4. Your favorite sports equipment.
  5. An electronic device you use daily.
  6. Flowers you enjoy the most.
  7. A sculpture you wish to have at your house.
  8. Which pair of shoes you wish would never wear out?
  9. A notebook you want to keep your whole life.
  10. Your favorite genre of literature.
  11. A musical Instrument you cherish the most.
  12. A must-have household object.
  13. Which kitchen item does your family often use?
  14. The painting you admire the most.
  15. What’s your most prized possession?

📅  Descriptive Essay Topics about Events

Did you notice how often you describe events to people around you? It happens naturally! Review your memories for exciting or significant events. Practice your storytelling skills and use descriptive vocabulary in your paper:

  1. Cruise you wish to go to.
  2. The most memorable day at school.
  3. The best Christmas in your life.
  4. Fun memories you share with your friends.
  5. An unusual historical event.
  6. The most exciting birthday party.
  7. Describe an event when you got lost.
  8. A memorable camping trip.
  9. Fun hiking experience.
  10. A story of how you took part in a competition.
  11. Experience while attending a sports game.
  12. What childhood events impacted you the most?
  13. Describe your dream trip.
  14. An event that made you nervous.
  15. Describe your first date.
  16. A fun movie night experience.
  17. Write about your favorite sleepover.
  18. A memorable event you watched on TV.
  19. Your first time being on stage.
  20. The worst experience at the doctor’s office.

We hope this article was helpful. Good luck with your descriptive essay!

🔍  References