Top 100 Descriptive Essay Topics
Descriptive essays are such type of written assignments which deal with impressions, memories, imaginable situations, feelings, psychological associations, etc. Students enjoy writing descriptive essays because they allow for almost unrestricted freedom of choosing means of expression. Besides, descriptive essays do not require too much theorizing or reading comprehensively on the given topic.
The following list of top 100 descriptive essay topics are only examples of what you can write about. You can easily modify them or transform according to your own feelings and plan.
DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY TOPICS: FAVORITE THINGS AND ACTIVITIES
This section provides possible topics for a descriptive essay related to your favorite things you might enjoy doing or to your first impressions regarding specific events.
1. My favorite movie
Describe its plot and your favourite episode in the movie.
2. My favourite movie character
Describe your favourite movie character and explain why you like him/her.
3. The book I love the most
Write about your favorite book - a novel, a volume of essays, scientific monograph, etc. Do you have a hard copy of it at home?
4. The house of my dreams
Here you need to use your imagination for the most part. Try not only to describe the exterior and interior of the house, but also the feelings related to it.
5. My best friend
Who is your best friend and why? Do you remember the first time you met?
6. My first trip overseas
Where did you go and when? What had you expected before the trip started? What was the most important thing you still remember?
7. My first memory
This is a serious topic for a descriptive essay which can make you very excited (and even sad), so don’t pick it up if you do not feel comfortable writing about it.
8. My first love
This is another topic for a descriptive essay which can be exciting. Make sure to write an essay and not a short diary of your romantic feelings.
9. The concert which I will never forget
You have perhaps attended many concerts but which one will stay in your memory forever?
10. My first encounter with the internet
If you belong to the Millennium generation, this descriptive essay topic will not be suitable for you; in any other case, you can write about your first feelings and experiences while dealing with the internet.
11. My favourite music style
What exactly do you like about this style? What feelings, associations you have while listening to it?
12. My first tears of joy
Strangely, but sometimes happiness is expressed with tears. What happened and when?
13. My first flight
Many people say they were afraid before boarding the plane for the first time. Did you have the same feeling? What did you feel while looking at the earth from above?
14. My longest trip
Not everyone likes long journeys. Did you have the same feeling and where did you go to?
15. My dream career
What is your favourite profession and why?
DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY TOPICS: GEOGRAPHY AND TRAVELING (REAL AND IMAGINABLE)
These descriptive essay topic ideas are related to your observation skills. Here you can write not only about things you have experienced but also about objects and things which you have seen only on TV. For example, an essay on the first topic can tell your personal story but it can also be based on your imagination.
16. The most exciting cruise
Have you traveled across the sea? Tell your reader about your experience.
17. The most beautiful place on earth
Is it a city, a town, a mountain or a volcano? What did you feel like when you were there? Or if you have never been there, what captures your mind and makes you plan to go there?
18. Top 10 destinations in Europe
Which is your favourite top 10 list? Think not only in terms of cities, but also places or countries.
19. The most attractive places in Asia
Tell what you think about Asia and its beauties.
20. The wonders of Australia and New Zealand
Is Australia only Sydney? Is New Zealand only the land where The Lord of the Rings has been shot?
21. A space journey
Go to an imaginable journey through space - through solar systems and galaxies. Where would you go? This descriptive essay topic is a little bit philosophical.
22. The beauty of the starry sky
Describe your feelings associated with the observation of the stars.
23. What can an astronaut see?
Have you asked yourself what an astronaut can see from the International Space Station?
24. A Himalayan expedition
Imagine you are a part of such an expedition. Describe all the excitement and difficulties.
25. An adventure in the Andes
Nature, history and mysteries - they all inhabit these lands. Try your imagination, or describe your real experience.
26. Iceland - another world
One of the most mysterious countries in the world, Iceland is famous for its volcanoes, geysers and Northern Lights.
27. The Northern Lights and their beauty
Have you ever seen the Northern Lights? Maybe you have watched a TV documentary about it? Share your thoughts and feelings.
28. Canadian White nights
Have you ever been to Canada during the White nights? What is it like to observe them?
29. A seaman: one day on a ship
How a seaman feels while being on a ship? How does it feel to be far away from home?
30. In the heart of Africa
What is it like to go on a safari, or to see a lion standing not very far from you?
DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY TOPICS: HISTORY
These descriptive essay topics deal with important events and persons from the world history. You need to have some knowledge about these topics in order to write a good descriptive paper.
31. Julius Caesar: the legendary commander
What was so remarkable about this man?
32. Napoleon: the king of Europe
What did Napoleon want and what he eventually achieved?
33. The Mayflower - the Voyage of hope
It is one of the most important events in our history. Can we say that this was the Voyage of Hope?
34. The common Americans and the War of Independence
How was this important war perceived by the common Americans? What is war like?
35. The tragedy of Pearl Harbor
One of the most devastating battles in our history. Why was Pearl Harbor important for America and what were its consequences? Do you have a family story related to it?
36. The most important event in our history
What is it according to you? Describe it and say what influence it has had on America.
37. The greatest person in our history
Why has he/she and what has he/she done?
38. A visit to the historical museum
What can one see in such a museum? Here you can describe your own experience.
39. A lesson of history - a lesson of life
Is it true that school is always detached from real life? Can a history lesson be identified with a lesson of life and about life?
40. A pirate of the Caribbean
What was the life of such a pirate like? Would you do something similar?
DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY TOPICS: MEMORIES AND ASSOCIATIONS
This section comprises descriptive essay topics which are more reflective and introversive. The topics are abstract because thus you will be able to find your own approach better.
41. A warm winter evening
Imagine it - maybe a scene from your childhood, or an evening with your own children.
42. A fairytale from my childhood
The word “fairytale” may also mean a wonderful place, a beautiful moment; you should not comprehend it literally.
43. A hot summer day
Summer is the favourite season of many people. What do you associate with it?
44. One day in school
What is it like to be in your school for one day? What happens during classes and around the school?
45. A teacher
Who is the teacher that has inspired you the most?
46. A Christmas story
What do you associate with Christmas? Have you ever felt the spirit of Christmas and how?
47. My childhood
You don’t need to describe your childhood, just focus on several special moments or events.
48. An exciting picnic with my parents
Did you go out in the mountain with your parents? What was it like?
49. One day at the seaside
Is staying at the seaside your favourite moment in life? What do you do then?
50. My favourite pet
What is your favourite pet and what memories do you have related to it?
DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY TOPICS: TV, LITERATURE, ART
Here you will find some hints which can guide you through your descriptive essay. Use your imagination. These topics for descriptive essay are very abstract.
51. A popular series movie
What has impressed you in this movie?
52. A newscaster
What does he/she look like? How does he/she behave? Is he/she your favourite newscaster?
53. A children movie
Why have you chosen exactly this movie? What do you associate it with?
54. A poem
What is the poem and who is its author? What associations emerge with it?
55. A novel
Novels are different - hard and easy to understand. Which one do you want to describe and what thoughts and feelings it provokes in you? Hint: it doesn’t necessarily have to be your favourite novel.
56. A writer
Who is this writer that provokes you the most? He/she can be a fiction writer, a philosopher, a journalist, etc.
57. A bookstore
Describe a bookstore and your feelings while entering it.
58. A painting
It is easy to describe a painting but can you interpret it properly?
59. A museum
How is it like to visit a museum? Which one and why?
60. A dance
What do you feel while dancing this dance?
DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY TOPICS: DAILY LIFE
These topics for a descriptive essay require description of your daily routine - can you show the most interesting part of it? Try to reach general conclusions, not merely describing events and places.
61. In the supermarket
What do you search for in the supermarket? How do you feel? Do you feel like one of the countless consumers?
62. On my way to school
What do you think on the way to school? Or, if this is past, what do you associate with this way?
63. On the way to my workplace
What do you think or feel while going there? Are you afraid of anything?
64. How my usual day looks like
Perhaps the simplest topic for a descriptive essay out of all. What do you do? What do you like to do in your daily routine? What about your dreams?
65. When I visit my neighbors
Do you like visiting your neighbors? What is it like for you? Why do you think it is important?
66. When I go fishing
What do you like exactly in fishing? Can you describe what you do?
67. Cooking in my life
Everyone likes cooking. Do you cook and how important is it in your life?
68. My favourite sport activity
Sport is important. Do you go in for sports and why? What motivates you to go in for sports?
69. How I spend my time with my girl/boyfriend
Spending time with your only one can be also an interesting topic for a descriptive essay. May be you can share some ideas about it as well?
70. The day which I hate
There are such days in everyone’s life. Tell the reader about it unless this provokes unpleasant feelings in you. You can try to be ironic, for example.
DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY TOPICS: PHILOSOPHY, SCIENCE, AND RELIGION
These topics for descriptive essays are related to intellectual issues and require deeper understanding of what you write. You don’t need to have a definite point of view. Neutrality could also be the principle of writing a descriptive essay.
71. My religious confession
Tell about it (if you don’t mind).
72. How I perceive God
A serious question which can be approached to in many ways. The simplest question is: what feelings do you have about God?
73. Meetings with God
Tell the reader about your personal experiences as a believer.
74. My favorite philosopher
Why is he/she your favourite? What is his/her best contribution?
75. The philosophy of my life
Tell about the philosophy of your life, or personal worldview. This descriptive essay topic is very deep.
76. The meaning of life
What is it? Tell your personal standpoint.
77. The scientific theory which has influenced me the most
Which is this theory? Is it part of biology, physics, medicine?
78. Adventures with science
Tell about your experience and adventures (metaphorically said) with science.
79. A brilliant technology
Describe a technology which has impressed you a lot.
80. A great scientist
Write a descriptive essay about a scientist with important contributions for mankind.
DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY TOPICS: PROFESSIONS
These descriptive essay topic ideas concerning various interesting professions. You can write about a particular person or merely tell about the person’s job and duties.
81. What is it like to be a football player?
Describe the life and work of an American football player.
82. To be a NBA star
NBA players get a lot of money. Is their life easy though?
83. An Olympic champion
Tell the story of such a champion, a story full of suffering and dreams.
84. What is it like to be an aircraft pilot?
Really one of the most difficult professions, the job of a pilot is quite interesting. Write a descriptive essay about it.
85. One day of a doctor in the ER
What does a doctor do in the Emergency room?
86. To be a Hollywood star
Is it that easy to be a movie star?
87. The work of an engineer
Engineers are rarely famous but their projects are essential for our way of living.
88. What is it like to be a policeman?
Obviously it is hard to be a policeman, but what exactly a day of a policeman looks like?
89. Being a president of the United States
This is not exactly a profession but it is rather combined with politics and diplomacy.
90. One day in the army
What does a soldier do?
DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY TOPICS: MISCELLANEOUS
91. One day of a just married couple
Describe one romantic day of the spouses.
92. A story of a failed project
There are many projects which were never implemented. Can you tell such a story?
93. One day of a koala
Not only human beings have their stories but animals do as well. You can choose another animal if you like.
94. A walk in the zoo
What is it like to walk in the zoo? Is it different when you are an adult?
95. A jump with bungee
An interesting descriptive essay topic which will provoke a lot of interest.
96. A story from the internet
Have you tried to meet new people online? How did it happen and what were the consequences?
97. The strangest party
What was extraordinary about it?
98. A superstition
Do you have your own superstition? Or maybe someone around you? What is interesting about it?
99. Computers - part of my life
What about computers in your life?
100. The heaven for every woman
What is women’s favourite place? A shoes shop? A jewelry shop?
Remember to apply a particular approach to the particular type of a descriptive essay topic. Topics which require more reflections and philosophizing cannot be written in simple words.
Before starting your descriptive essay, make sure you understand your topic and the task assigned by your instructor. Also, ensure you know how to write a descriptive essay outline which might also be requested by your professor. Try to imagine the situation described - even if it has never happened to you (for example, if the topic concerns your dreams). Play your part in the story - either as an active actor or as a neutral, passive observer. Never forget that the reader should be attracted by your descriptive essay - think how to do it. A mere description is never enough.
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