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Descriptive Essay Topics: Top 220 Ideas to Choose From

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Are you going to write a descriptive essay and are looking for appropriate ideas? Look no further! Here are 220+ top-notch descriptive essay topics recommended by essay writers. For sure, you will find one that interests you and sparks your creativity. We have topics about various places: from rural farmlands to bustling cities. We have topics about people: from friends and family to strangers. We have descriptive writing topics about both concrete objects and abstract ideas. Whatever your writing project is, we have the perfect descriptive essay ideas to help you create a masterpiece. So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring our long list of descriptive topic ideas and find your inspiration!

What Are Descriptive Essay Topics?

Descriptive essay topics focus on describing an object, person, place, experience, emotion, or situation. They can also be used to give a recount of something that happened or that someone has seen or heard. When writing this type of essay, you should aim to provide a vivid and detailed description of the subject so that the reader can fully understand, imagine, or visualize it.

When it comes to writing a descriptive essay, there are many descriptive essay topics to select from. Depending on topics for descriptive writing you choose, you may be required to rely on your memory, your observation skills, or your historical knowledge to complete the essay. You can also focus on an object or event that has significantly impacted your life. Other topics for a descriptive essay can include describing a favorite hobby or activity, a memorable trip, or a special moment.

Things we can describe in a descriptive essay

Characteristics of Good Descriptive Essay Topics

Good topics for a descriptive essay are interesting to write about. The primary objective of descriptive essays is to relate the unique qualities of objects, persons, or events vividly and comprehensively to readers. Good descriptive essay topics can evoke strong emotions and feelings in people. Here are some characteristics of good descriptive essay prompts:

  • Creative Consider creativity and originality when selecting your essay topic.
  • Clear The topic should be clear and concise.
  • Interesting Select a topic that you will not only enjoy writing about, but that will also be compelling to your readers.
  • Researchable The topic should be easy to research.

How to Choose a Descriptive Essay Topic?

Choosing a good descriptive essay topic can be difficult. The writing style used for descriptive essays is very expressive. Thus, it may be rather challenging to complete your paper if you do not select topics for descriptive essays that suit your preference, knowledge, or experience. Here are a few steps to help you select an interesting title that will make your essay stand out. Follow the tips in provided order.

  1. Think of a title that interests you. Consider a subject that you are passionate about. You should never select a topic blindly.
  2. Brainstorm ideas. When thinking about your topic, don’t hesitate to write down words or phrases that come to mind.
  3. Research potential topics. You can look for the right content online or visit a library and skim specialized books.
  4. Narrow down your topic for descriptive essays. As a result, choose the best idea that you feel will make an interesting and engaging essay.

Top List of Descriptive Essay Topics

This section provides you with some of the top descriptive writing topics. Writers enjoy working on depictive papers because they give them unrestricted freedom of selecting their means of expression. Besides, these top topics can come from totally different categories. Below is a descriptive essay topics list to help you with your brainstorming:

  1. The Pearl Harbor attack.
  2. My scariest dream.
  3. The political journey of Barack Obama.
  4. Remembering my graduation ceremony.
  5. My first childhood memory.
  6. The most difficult decision you have ever made.
  7. Life with a pet monkey.
  8. Your childhood hero.
  9. A perfect journey.
  10. The best book I have read recently.
  11. My all-time favorite movie.
  12. Great migration of wildebeests across the Mara River.
  13. My Coachella music festival experience.
  14. Effect of cyberbullying on today’s society.
  15. The Mona Lisa: components of the legendary piece of art.

Best Descriptive Essay Topics

The art of describing an event, a place, or a character through vivid writing allows you to take readers to another world. Choosing the right topic is the key to success and it makes a lot of difference in preparing an essay or a speech. Discover the best topics for a descriptive essay listed below to help unleash your creative writing skills.

  1. The most beautiful place you have ever visited.
  2. The appalling state of Guantanamo Bay.
  3. Ancient pyramids and settlements in the Bolivian Amazon.
  4. An embarrassing moment in your life.
  5. Walking the Great Wall of China: the ultimate experience.
  6. My strange “addiction” to jogging.
  7. Canadian night festivals.
  8. Voyages of Christopher Columbus.
  9. The best gift ever received from my parents.
  10. Weekend living at the cabin.
  11. The ultimate daring thing you will always remember.
  12. How I discovered my personal hobby.
  13. My most challenging moment in school.
  14. Women’s suffrage movement.
  15. My biggest superstition and its impact on my lifestyle.

The best topic for a descriptive essay can often come from your experience. Thus, it should be easy to write about, since you already have necessary information and do not need to do any serious research. Using the above list, if you fail to find a topic that connects with previous incidents in your life, just choose a similar subject matter but such that is somehow related your to your own experience or is easy to explore.

Interesting Descriptive Essay Topics

There are descriptive ideas that are relatively more interesting compared to others. Essays about such ideas can help readers better understand an interesting experience or event, imagine and see a vivid picture, or observe and analyze a person from a more intriguing perspective. Here are 15 interesting ideas for a descriptive essay to consider:

  1. The feeling of being in love.
  2. A holiday on a secluded island.
  3. Traits of people you really admire.
  4. A woman’s life in the Middle East.
  5. Your biggest life-changing moment.
  6. My first sleepover.
  7. Best FIFA World Cup final ever.
  8. Recounting the joyous moment of your day.
  9. My biggest fear or terror.
  10. Earth’s appearance from out of space.
  11. My imaginary best friend from childhood.
  12. The TV series you enjoyed the most.
  13. Apollo 11: the 1969 NASA moon landing.
  14. Surviving the cold Arctic conditions.
  15. My backpack adventure in Australian rainforest.

Good Topics for Descriptive Essays

If you are wondering what are some good topics for a descriptive essay, you’ll probably find a suitable answer in this segment. The section outlines topic examples you can use for your essay. A good descriptive essay topic should capture your reader’s attention. You can write about multiple ideas, including a person you admire, a special place or object, a favorite childhood memory, or a beautiful landscape. Good descriptive essay titles should be creative, engaging, and thought-provoking. Below are some examples:

  1. My first time on a cruise ship.
  2. This year’s Thanksgiving dinner with my family.
  3. Your first experience with a foreign culture.
  4. Your most treasured childhood toy.
  5. How New York looks from Empire State’s 86th floor observatory.
  6. My sweet 16 birthday party.
  7. Picturing a clear night sky in the countryside.
  8. The first time seeing the northern lights in Iceland.
  9. My best friend’s wedding reception.
  10. One day in the army.
  11. A walk through the Central Park.
  12. Challenges of living with food allergy.
  13. The prom night experience.
  14. Main features of Twitter.
  15. Most beautiful beaches around the world.

Easy Descriptive Essay Topics

Easy ideas for descriptive essays require you to use just your five senses, your imagination, or memory to create a vivid image of the subject in the reader's mind. It also should take you a relatively shorter period to work on such uncomplicated descriptive ideas. You can choose descriptive paper topics from some of the examples provided below:

  1. Special days spent with your grandparents.
  2. Best places to explore in my hometown.
  3. A perfect summer day.
  4. The house of my dream.
  5. The most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen.
  6. Your ideal picnic spots.
  7. Your favorite moment in “Avengers: Endgame”.
  8. Describing my family members.
  9. Walking tour through Times Square in New York City.
  10. How does freshly-baked bread smell?
  11. My sense of humor.
  12. Perfect gifts for your partner.
  13. My first public speech: a recount of how I felt inside.
  14. World’s greatest conspiracy theory.
  15. My favorite school teacher.

Funny Descriptive Essay Topics

Allowing the imagination to run wild can lead to interesting ideas, particularly when looking for funny descriptive essay topics. Here we have compiled fifteen funny descriptive essay topic ideas for you to write about. The topics will help you produce a unique and humorous essay. From describing some weird costume to documenting habits of a quirky pet, these topics for descriptive writing are sure to inspire your creativity and provide you with a fun writing experience.

  1. An outlandish Halloween outfit to fit my body.
  2. People’s attempts to break odd world records.
  3. Charlie Chaplin: the funniest silent play character.
  4. How I fell for an April Fool’s Day prank.
  5. Most hilarious Super Bowl commercials ever.
  6. Funny moments during Donald Trump’s presidency.
  7. Funny experience in an eating competition.
  8. Diving into the mysterious world of wild street cats.
  9. The “No Sweets for Adults” law in Chesapeake City, Virginia.
  10. Funny life of Peter Griffin in the “Family Guy” TV show.
  11. Amusing ghost stories as presented in Hollywood movies.
  12. Funniest punishment ever experienced for losing a bet.
  13. An encounter with a celebrity lookalike.
  14. My queer self-made alternatives to online entertainments.
  15. Explaining the behavior of an eccentric pet.

If you are searching for other paper ideas such as division and classification essay topics or informative essay topics, you will find them on our platform.

Descriptive Essay Ideas for Students

Students often struggle with finding the right ideas for their descriptive essays. While some topics may seem easier than others, there are plenty of creative and unique directions that can be explored. This section compiles descriptive writing ideas for various learning levels. From descriptive research topics in education to discussing the effects of climate change on nature, these ideas enable students to grow their knowledge and develop their researching skills.

Descriptive Writing Topics for Middle School

Descriptive writing topics for middle school can range from describing a favorite vacation spot to giving a detailed characterization of a person or place. Working on descriptive essays can help students to hone their writing skills, enabling them to better observe and detail their surroundings. Below are fifteen descriptive paper ideas for middle school students to explore:

  1. My dream smartphone.
  2. My favorite activities in the gymnasium.
  3. Fishing and camping with my father.
  4. Most important and cherished tradition in my family.
  5. Recounting the visit to Jurassic Park.
  6. Your most enjoyable activities outside school.
  7. An unforgettable moment of wisdom with my teacher.
  8. My best outfit.
  9. My first time in a live sports event.
  10. Game night experiences with my family.
  11. A rollercoaster ride with friends.
  12. Most beautiful success story in my life.
  13. A summer vacation memory.
  14. Why my best friend is my security blanket.
  15. My lucky charm.

Descriptive Essay Topics for High School

Ideas for descriptive writing at high school level are relatively more demanding in terms of the effort needed to develop them comprehensively. You may be required to provide more descriptive details compared to the lower learning levels or even conduct additional research. In certain instances, suitable topics may only be derived from the high school curriculum. Here are some of the examples of descriptive essay topics for high school students:

  1. Importance of summer school.
  2. How I trained my dog.
  3. How the solar system works.
  4. Kobe Bryant: the mamba mentality.
  5. A unique family heirloom.
  6. Effect of domestic violence on students’ performance.
  7. Qualities of a good roommate.
  8. Abraham Lincoln: the greatest American president.
  9. My journey as an artist: the development of skills.
  10. America’s Independence Day: the Fourth of July celebration party.
  11. Thomas Edison’s light bulb invention.
  12. Greatest moment of personal growth.
  13. The Pleiades star cluster.
  14. Dream career: my aspiration to be an engineer.
  15. Assassination of J.F. Kennedy.

Descriptive Essay Topics for College Students

Descriptive essay topics for university students are even more in-depth compared to the two previous academic levels. Learners tend to focus on topics within their area of specialization. College students are expected to think big and be more creative. Students in high learning institution can be additionally asked to provide educated opinion on the subject matter. Learn some of the descriptive essay topics for college students to get your creative juices flowing:

  1. My online virtual learning experience in college.
  2. Yuri Gagarin’s journey to space.
  3. The role of your mentor in shaping your life.
  4. How did you get your first tattoo?
  5. Causes of college dropout: my personal experience.
  6. The Holocaust: its history and consequences.
  7. Greta Thunberg’s inspirational story.
  8. Experiencing the pilgrimage to Mecca.
  9. Preparing for a date: things to do.
  10. Inside an anthill: a view from a tiny camera inside the colony.
  11. How do you prepare for exams.
  12. Muhammad Ali: his life and achievements.
  13. Components of Martin Luther’s greatest speech.
  14. Most beautiful locations in Europe.
  15. Fastest travel route from Alaska to Ushuaia.

Topics for Descriptive Writing by Categories

A descriptive writing topic can come from many different categories. To help you select an essay idea based on your preference, we have compiled multiple topics and arranged them into various groups. We have focused on six primary categories in this section: objects, family and people, events, traveling, experience, and hobbies. You are free to either pick descriptive writing ideas from the lists provided, or use them as foundation for developing your own ones.

Descriptive Essay Topics About an Object

Do you want to write impressive descriptive topics about an object? In this section, you can explore the list of proper descriptive essay ideas revolved around specific entities. When analyzing objects, your sharp observation skills and basic knowledge about these items are important. Here are examples of topic ideas for descriptive essays:

  1. My most valued object.
  2. Toys I own as an adult.
  3. The rarest metal on Earth.
  4. World’s most powerful supercomputer.
  5. Components of my living room.
  6. Things you will find in my wallet.
  7. World’s oldest tree: its physical appearance and history.
  8. Items in my bank safety deposit box.
  9. A detailed description of the most comfortable bed in USA.
  10. Burj Khalifa: world’s tallest building.
  11. Historical significance of Eiffel Tower.
  12. Features of iPhone 13.
  13. Inside a Tesla Cybertruck.
  14. The largest flower in the world.
  15. Japanese katana: appearance, types, materials.

Family and People Descriptive Essay Topics

You can base your depictive essay on matters pertaining to family and people. Relationships with friends and relatives constitute an integral part of every person’s life, so you will definitely have enough matter and stories to address. In this section, we have outlined sample descriptive essays topics that draw their talking points from the subject of family bonds and friendship. You can deliver a narrative involving memories of time spend together, or expressively discuss some outstanding features of your loved ones. Below are some of the descriptive paragraph topics for papers to get you started:

  1. My favorite family member.
  2. The best part of my Christmas holiday with my family.
  3. Effect of divorce on childhood development.
  4. Pillars of a strong family.
  5. Financial benefit of a marriage institution.
  6. Challenges of being a last-born in a family.
  7. Things I miss the most about my childhood friend.
  8. The relationship between my step-family and me.
  9. The day I met my best friend.
  10. Our secret family recipe.
  11. The best Valentine’s Day experience with my partner.
  12. Growing up in a multi-cultural family.
  13. Biblical definition of marriage.
  14. Components of our family portrait.
  15. Impact of extended family on my personal growth.

Look through our definition essay topics to find more ideas on family. 

Descriptive Essay Topics About Events

Over the course of our lives, we witness multiple events ranging from personal parties to ceremonies of national magnitude. Generally, rather than giving personal opinions or using rhetoric approach, you should prioritize providing objective information and key facts when working on topics for descriptive essay writing about events. Below is a list of essay topics for descriptive papers to help you in brainstorming.

  1. Saint Patrick’s Day celebration in America.
  2. Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
  3. Chronological events leading to start of World War I.
  4. End of Cold War.
  5. September 11 terrorist attacks.
  6. My first job interview: how I performed.
  7. The birth of my first born and how it affected me.
  8. Relevance of the Ramadan celebration in the Islam religion.
  9. Effect of “Tomorrowland Music Festival” on today’s morality.
  10. 2026 FIFA World Cup: the next tournament in Canada, Mexico, and USA.
  11. The incident between Will Smith and Chris Rock at the 2022 Grammy Award.
  12. How I proposed to my partner.
  13. The best sports event I ever attended.
  14. The Winner of the 2022 Formula 1 Series.
  15. How I survived an extreme weather condition: a close call.

Once you have selected your preferred essay topics for descriptive papers, you should strive to expound particulars related to the occurrence in a chronological manner. This ensures that the reader is able to seamlessly follow the directions of your thoughts.

Traveling Descriptive Essay Topics

Writing a descriptive paragraph idea about traveling can be a great way to capture the moments and memories of your journey. These topics for descriptive writing can help you create a vivid and interesting essay about your travels.

  1. Tourist destinations that left me with a lasting impression.
  2. Exploring unfamiliar culture of Amazon tribes.
  3. The most stunning natural landscape you’ve seen.
  4. Best cheap meal you have ever had while traveling.
  5. Most memorable people you met on your trip.
  6. The most thrilling journey to the Maldives.
  7. Unique souvenirs you brought back from Africa.
  8. Exploring local customs and traditions of Native American communities.
  9. The Swiss Alps train: The Glacier Express.
  10. Magical views of Niagara waterfalls in Canada.
  11. A journey to the Himalayas: the city of immortal beings.
  12. Challenges you faced while traveling through a non-English speaking country.
  13. Exploring the local cuisine of Istanbul.
  14. The most interesting thing you learned on your recent trip
  15. How I met my travel companion.

Descriptive Essay Topics About an Experience

Writing topics for a descriptive essay about an experience can be a great way to explore and share recollections of your life. Although not everyone is ready or comfortable to share their past, there are people who enjoy talking about the affairs that touched them to their friends, families, and even strangers. Find 15 topics for descriptive papers about an experience to get you started listed below:

  1. An experience that changed your outlook on life.
  2. A summer night that was particularly memorable.
  3. Witnessing Argentina’s 2022 World Cup victory.
  4. An experience that made you feel scared and develop a phobia for height.
  5. Places that fill you with joy and nostalgia.
  6. A moment of relief.
  7. My experience learning abroad.
  8. The biggest public humiliation that I will never forget.
  9. A dream that stayed with you.
  10. A time when you felt overwhelmed.
  11. A special experience with a family member.
  12. Self-realization in my time of adversity.
  13. The story of my first heartbreak.
  14. How I coped with being hospitalized for weeks.
  15. Recounting my visit to a home for the elderly.

Ideas for a Descriptive Essay About Hobbies

Writing descriptive essay topics about hobbies can be a great way to express yourself and explore your passions. Whether it's a hobby you've been doing for years or something new that you've recently taken up, there are countless topics to pick from when it comes to creating a descriptive essay. Below are ideas for descriptive essays to get you started:

  1. My inspiration for taking up a new hobby.
  2. Athletics as hobbies: their conversion to professions.
  3. How my parents helped me pick my hobby.
  4. Impact of hobbies on my relationship with family and friends.
  5. Effect of sedentary hobby on your health.
  6. Recounting the event that made me fall out of love with my traveling hobby.
  7. How physical hobbies improved my physiological health.
  8. My favorite childhood hobby.
  9. Financial implication of having a hobby.
  10. My best friend’s unusual hobby.
  11. Extreme and dangerous hobbies taken up by my friends.
  12. How sharing hobbies with my neighbor developed our friendship.
  13. Pressures resulting from doing ballet dancing as a hobby.
  14. My hobby’s contribution to my career development.
  15. Biggest lessons learned from my childhood hobbies.

If you need more essay ideas, don’t forget that we have an extensive blog that offers different titles, including narrative essay topics and ideas for expository essays.

Bottom Line on Descriptive Essay Topics

Descriptive writing essay topics can range from narrating a personal experience to describing a place, person, or thing. It is important to include enough details in your essay so the reader can form a vivid picture. When choosing topics to write a descriptive essay on, you should consider the age and other specifics of the target audience and know your primary intentions in delivering information. It is also vital to be creative and use unique language to make the essay stand out. With the right topic and approach, a descriptive essay can be an engaging and enjoyable writing experience. Do not forget to adhere to grammar rules and employ appropriate lexis when working on topics for descriptive essays!

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Article posted on:Feb 20, 2023
Article updated on:Jul 1, 2024


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