50 Descriptive Essay Topics

Updated: Jan 23, 2017

Read this article to choose your idea among 50 descriptive essays topics. Writing a descriptive essay is quite similar to painting a picture – though not with colors and shapes, but with words and sentences.

In this assignment, the student-writer recreates a scene, an image, or a picture of something. It requires them to describe something in a visual manner so that the reader (in most cases, one’s professor) can easily visualize it as they read.

It is an exercise in the student-writer’s skill of using specific language, their ability to perceive, name and describe every major element of an image; the student-writer also names the many objects that comprise an image, which is a very crucial part of the writing process for a Descriptive Essay.

A reader should be able to read a Descriptive Essay and imagine the described image in its entirety. The reader should ultimately be able to see the described image as if they were looking at a painting or a photograph for the first time. Click here to read a sample essay written by our professionals. 

(Note: The following is a list of 50 topics that, categorized by subjects, can be used to help guide the student writing the Descriptive Essay. In most cases, the Descriptive Essay assignment is given in English composition and Creative Writing courses; however, there are always exceptions.)

DESCRIBING PLACES

  • A house at the base of a mountain, or near a body of water
  • The inside of a picturesque restaurant, building or room
  • The outside of a sprawling cathedral
  • A park in the middle of the day
  • One’s actual house or apartment complex
  • A cemetery at midnight
  • A waiting room at a doctor’s office or hospital
  • One’s dream house
  • A garden or a flowerbed of colorful flowers or plants or trees
  • A street that is illuminated at night by the streetlights
  • A beautiful (or horrid) landscape
  • A place where a natural disaster has occurred
  • A favorite restaurant, hangout spot or personal retreat
  • A scene of an accident or crime
  • A place visited as a child, teen or young adult
  • An art exhibit or museum
  • A school or college campus
  • The neighborhood in which the student-writer grew up
  • An inspiring view 

DESCRIBING PEOPLE

  • Children playing during a hot summer’s day
  • A priest during a sermon or leading a prayer or invocation
  • A president, political figure or leader
  • A historic figure
  • A celebrity
  • A family member
  • A best friend
  • A mystical creature
  • A character from a book or film or TV show
  • A boss
  • A professor 

DESCRIBING OBJECTS

  • A musical instrument – a trumpet, a guitar or a piano, for example – and its surroundings
  • A vehicle, a car, a train, city bus
  • An article of furniture
  • A treasured belonging
  • A plate of vibrantly colored or uniquely arranged food
  • A work of art, whether a painting or abstract sculpture, etc.
  • A piece of jewelry or a collection of jewelry
  • A vase of flowers
  • The inside of a garage or attic
  • A photograph
  • A bicycle, motorcycle, skateboard, surfboard, etc.
  • A costume or an article of clothing
  • The cover of a book, an album, a movie or DVD

MISCELLANEOUS

  • An animal, whether a domestic pet, a wild animal, or one in captivity (like a zoo or aquarium)
  • A sunrise or a sunset
  • The view of an ocean or beach
  • A childhood memory, trip, experience, a special moment
  • A wedding, funeral, party or celebration
  • A memorable birthday
  • A sporting event

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