Descriptive Essay Topic

How To Write A Descriptive Essay - Complete Guide & Examples

Descriptive essays are an important part of your curriculum, and in this blog, we explain to you all you need to know about descriptive essays. Keep reading the blog to get a step-by-step writing guide along with a few excellent descriptive essay examples.

What is a Descriptive Essay?

As per a descriptive essay’s definition, this is a type of literary work that describes a person, object, event, or process. Through descriptive essays, the writer tries to paint a vivid and immersive reading experience. So, the main goal of descriptive essays is to metaphorically show what you are trying to say instead of just telling.

Descriptive writing appeals five of our primary senses –

  • Taste
  • Sight
  • Touch
  • Smell
  • Hear

Check out this sentence for better clarity –

“Mark’s coffee cup broke into several small shards of glass, alarming everyone inside the room."

In this sentence, the little details appeal to our senses and paint a clear picture of the event before our eyes. Also, your descriptive essays should always have a specific purpose. It can be something or someone who has impacted you in some way.

The Difference between a Description and a Descriptive Essay

Before starting a descriptive essay topics, you should know the difference between a descriptive essay and a description. Descriptions can be simple paragraphs with no specific structure. On the other hand, descriptive papers always have a defined structure and usually have five or more paragraphs.

Unlike descriptions, descriptive essays are coherent in nature. There is a good introduction, a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. On the other hand, descriptions are only used to describe an object without any academic layers.

What Issues Can You Describe in Your Paper?

A Person

You can write descriptive papers about any person that intrigues you. It can be the eccentric look of the person or their magnetic personality. Descriptive writing can also be about their actions, moods, complex behaviors, etc.

A Place

Your descriptive writing can be about a place you have recently stayed, worked or visited. While describing the place, you need to make it sound original and interesting. The reader should be able to visualize the place from your descriptions.

An Event

In this kind of paper, you need to describe the story of an event you experienced. You can take descriptive writing ideas from your last vacation, a wedding or birthday party you attended, concerts, graduation day, or any other milestone events in your life.

An Occupation

In this type of essay, students can choose a job they are interested in. Students can describe the pros and cons of a specific job and conclude why they like or dislike it.

An Animal

You can also take descriptive writing ideas from your pet or any animal you like. You can describe the appearance, biological features, or behavior of a chosen animal in detail.

A Behavior

You can write descriptive essays on the behavior of persons. You may explain how you found the behavior in certain people extremely strange or creepy. Highlight the incidents and traits that explain your views and show how different people act differently under different conditions.

How to Write a Stunning Descriptive Essay?

You can resort to two approaches if you are wondering how to start a descriptive essay. They are –

Personal Essay

In this type of descriptive writing, the writer needs to use their feelings and responses. Personal essays can trigger empathy among the readers. At the same time, they can also be disorganized and vague. So, students must focus only on the aspects that best express their experience. Don’t shy away from using evocative vocabulary to paint the most vivid picture through the assignment.

To make a good personal essay, you will also need the right topics for descriptive essays, like –

  1. Explaining your favorite web series or movie and how it impacted you
  2. Describing the experience of your first swim in the emerald green sea
  3. Reflecting on things that shaped your marriage over the years on your anniversary 

Formal Description

Formal descriptive writing resembles argumentative essays. In this approach, the primary goal is to describe something or someone in detail or to communicate some pre-defined key points. Usually, it follows a clear outline rather than proceeding randomly. Rather than focusing on personal experiences, the writers use specific information categories to provide the most detailed image of what they are describing. This mode can be much more engaging since it makes the readers curious about the subject rather than the response. However, avoid overusing formal language to make it sound boring.

Some ideal formal descriptive essay topics are –

  1. A news story describing an event in a summarized way
  2. Descriptive essays on politics, climate change, or historical events.

An Updated List of Descriptive Essay Topics and Ideas

Contrary to the popular myth, finding topics for descriptive essays isn’t difficult. You can pick any subject and describe them. It can be your favorite person to your favorite car. Here is a chart to help you understand what you can describe –

However, if you feel you are hitting a wall, here are some topic ideas to get you started.

Describing a Person

You can choose a person to write descriptive essays. Usually, this opens up a lot of avenues to write about. However, be wise while choosing the person to write about. Select someone you know and have connected deeply. If that person makes a lot of impact on your life, you will automatically get a lot of things to write about. Friends, family members, and teachers are some of the best people to write on.

You can also choose your favorite celebrity as a subject for your descriptive essays. You can write about the breakups of Taylor Swift and the scandals of the Kardashians. Writing about your favorite superhero or a fictional character can also be an excellent alternative to writing personal descriptive essays.

Here are two personal essay writing examples

  • Different ways how Spiderman changed my life
  • Why is Leonardo da Vinci my favorite person?

Describing an Emotion

Remind yourself of the most genuine emotion you have experienced, and describe it through a detailed essay. It can be both positive and negative emotions. You can remember the first time you fell in love, your first heartbreak, and a major fight with your best friend, and describe how it shaped you to be the person you are today.

However, it doesn’t have to be a personal emotion always. You can also write descriptive essays on observed emotions.

Here are two emotional essay writing examples –

  1. Love and hatred – How they are two sides of the same coin
  2. How has love changed me into a better person?

Describing an Object

You can also describe an object with which you have a special connection. There are many things that you have cherished growing up. It can be your first cricket bat, a toy your grandpa gifted you, something that used to scare you, etc. You can even consider fictional objects from cartoons that connect with you in some way.

A couple of examples are –

  1. The first toy car I possessed
  2. How I always wished to long a Beyblade

Describing a Place

Similarly, you can also write about a place where you have spent a large part of your childhood. It can be the public library, school playground, or classroom. You can certainly consider writing about fictional places too. Just ensure that whatever place you are writing on should be connected with you in some way.

For example,

  1. My dream destination – Narnia
  2. A trip around New York


The 101 of Creating a Descriptive Essay Outline

A proper descriptive essay outline should have the following outline –


The introduction of a descriptive essay introduces the subject to the readers. By going through the introduction, the readers get the full context of descriptive writing. However, introductions should not be too long. Keep it short and interesting. Remember this descriptive writing tip – the first paragraph of a descriptive essay should be unique enough to stand out.

An ideal introduction should contain these three elements –

Hook sentence

Descriptive papers should be an exciting read overall. However, it all starts with an eye-catching hook sentence. This sentence is used to “hook” the attention of the readers instantly. Then you can keep engaging the readers with vivid descriptions.

Background information

Once you have hooked your readers, you need to tell the readers what you want to talk about. Explain why it is important for you. Provide an overall context of the paper briefly.

Thesis statement

The thesis statement is also a part of the introduction. Through the thesis statement, the author can provide a short yet concise summary of the work. Ideally, a thesis statement describes your subject and why you are studying it.


Body paragraphs are where the writers describe the important findings of the study. The body is divided into three paragraphs. Although there is no specific rule on how many paragraphs you can make. Depending on the essay, you can break the essay into as many parts as you want. However, sometimes, the professors instruct you to make a certain number of paragraphs, which you should abide by. If you don’t find much to write on a topic, you can even wrap everything within a single paragraph.

Include these three parts in your body paragraph –

Topic sentence

Start the body paragraph with a topic sentence. For example, "The orange looks familiar; it is citrusy fruit that is round in shape, and its name matches its color.”

Sensory details

Adding sensory details makes the essay more appealing. While describing the orange, mentioning words like juicy, fresh, etc., appeals to relatable senses.

Actual details

Don't just stop by adding the sensory details; include the actual facts too. Descriptive essays call for detailed information. Use the body paragraph to describe the subject in detail. Maintain proper sentence transitions as they create a more immersive experience for the readers. Smooth transitions of sentences ensure that the paper becomes more readable and not looks like a random list of facts.


Going by the descriptive essay format, the conclusion should be a summarized form of all the main points of the essay. Use the conclusion to wrap your paper by relating it to the main point of the paper. Reflect on the main subject, and then elaborate on how it affected your life and why you decided to write an essay on it.

Once you have written the conclusion, the essay is now done. Proofread the essay paper to check for any grammatical errors, and correct them before the final submission.


Clincher statements are the sentences that the writers use to finish the essay. This statement reinforces the main purpose of the paper. So choose a clincher statement that leaves the audience intrigued and wondering about the subject. It can be a statement, a quote, or a question.

Also read - How to Write an Analytical Essay with Examples and Topics

Writing and Reviewing Your Descriptive Essay Structure

These are the stages you should remember while describing essay writing –

  1. Examine if all the sources are legit and cover everything you need to write your descriptive essay. This is termed the pre-writing stage.
  2. Then you will start writing the paper with engaging and powerful sentences. You can take the help of metaphors and quotes to make it look attractive.
  3. Create the first draft of the essay. Try not to waste much time while creating the initial draft.
  4. Writing descriptive essays means you need to add vivid details about the subject. So work on your vocabulary and refer to dictionaries to add the most appropriate words to convey your feelings and leave a lasting impression.
  5. Revise and edit the essay thoroughly with the help of online grammar-checking tools.

Reviewing the descriptive essay format –

  1. Have you offered sufficient context for the readers in the introduction?
  2. Is the paper easily readable?
  3. Does the thesis statement relate to the paper's contents?
  4. Does the paper have vivid and descriptive language?
  5. Are there enough details in the paper so that the readers can get a detailed and vivid perception of the description?
  6. Is there a clincher statement?
  7. Does the clincher statement make an optimum impact?
  8. Does the paper have any unnecessary detail that isn’t required in the description? Or can that data be ignored or replaced with more meaningful information?
  9. Is the grammar and punctuation in the whole paper accurate?
  10. Overall, do you feel the paper makes sense to you as a reader?

Do not shy away from referring to a few old papers and samples to verify if your descriptive essay is ticking all the boxes.

Few Descriptive Essay Examples to Get You Started

What it is Like to Play Football?

To someone who is first watching football, it may look like 20 players are running on a giant rectangular field, chasing a ball. In a game of football, players don't wear any kind of protective gear, despite it being a physical game. So, it may look like a very high-intensity game, but, in reality, football is a gentleman's game that originated in England. Both teams try to dribble past their opponents and score goals to win the match in football. Football is a great game to promote team bonding and mutual respect.

Artifacts and Ecofacts of the Jurassic Age

In this descriptive essay, the writer explains how life existed even before humans came to the Earth. Even before humans, there were giant birds like Pterodactyls who most probably sustained by eating smaller animals. In this descriptive essay, the writer placed himself in the Dystopian Jurassic age and imagined how that era looked like with giant dinosaurs strolling the Earth.

50 of the Best Descriptive Essay Topics

  1. My favorite movie
  2. A book I loved the most
  3. My favorite comics character
  4. The House of the Dreams
  5. My first overseas trip
  6. My first memory of visiting the zoo
  7. My first love
  8. A concert I will never forget
  9. My first time on Facebook
  10. My dream career
  11. My most exciting trip on a cruise
  12. The most beautiful place on Earth
  13. My top 10 destinations in Europe
  14. The best places to visit in Asia
  15. Strangest creatures in Australia
  16. A journey through space
  17. An expedition in the Himalayas
  18. An adventure in the Amazon
  19. A world within the world – Iceland
  20. The white nights of Canada
  21. The beauty of the Northern Lights
  22. One week on a ship
  23. Alexander the Great – the legendary commander
  24. Napoleon – the King of France
  25. The American War of Independence
  26. The tragedy of Pearl Harbor
  27. A visit to the National Museum
  28. Life of a Pirate
  29. A fairytale I most loved
  30. A hot summer day
  31. A warm winter evening
  32. My first day in college
  33. A Christmas miracle
  34. A picnic with my parents
  35. A day beside the seaside
  36. My favorite pet
  37. The greatest emperor in the history
  38. A history lesson that impacted me
  39. My favorite web series
  40. My favorite children's movie
  41. A poem that I loved as a child
  42. My favorite novel
  43. My favorite writer
  44. The beauty of the painting of Mona Lisa
  45. A dance to remember
  46. How my usual day looks like?
  47. My first fishing experience
  48. The first time I cooked for my parents
  49. My favorite sports
  50. A date I still hate


Q.1. What is a descriptive paragraph?

A descriptive paragraph is a form of literature where the writer uses vivid descriptions of an object, person, event, etc., to provide a detailed explanation of the same. Unlike narrative paragraphs, descriptive paragraphs don’t include any feelings or personal thoughts. Descriptive paragraphs are used strictly to explain the details of an event or a person and should never be personal.

Q.2. How to end an introduction paragraph in a descriptive essay?

The introduction of a descriptive essay carries a lot of value. This part should be able to set the scene and introduce the subject to the audience. So, the writer needs to include a lot of sensory and actual details to describe the background of the subject. Simultaneously, they also need to write a hook sentence, which will grab the attention of the readers instantly. Ideally, the introduction in a descriptive essay should end with a thesis statement.

Q.3. How many lines are in a descriptive paragraph?

There are no fixed rules of how many lines there should be in a descriptive paragraph. However, according to the experts, you should include five lines per paragraph as a rule of thumb. However, it depends entirely on the nature of the essay. You should be able to describe the whole concept in detail without making it redundant. Moreover, your professor may also ask you to follow certain rules. If not, try to wrap everything up within five sentences.

Q.4. What is the main purpose of a descriptive essay?

The main purpose of descriptive essay writing is to describe a thought in the most detailed way. Through descriptive essays, the writer tries to describe a person, a place, or an object in the most vivid way possible to paint a clear picture in the reader’s mind. So, a descriptive essay focuses on adding as many details as possible and giving a sensory experience.

Q.5. What are the 5 parts of a descriptive essay?

The five parts of a descriptive essay are –

  1. A hook sentence
  2. A thesis statement
  3. A detailed body paragraph
  4. A solid conclusion
  5. A clincher statement


Q.6. How many paragraphs are in a descriptive essay?

Ideally, descriptive essays should have five paragraphs. Although there are no fixed rules about including paragraphs, 5 paragraphs, have always been the norm. However, ultimately it depends on the type of essay. If you have a lot of details to add, you can add more than five paragraphs. You can even end the essay within a paragraph if you don't have many details to add.

Q.7. How to write a thesis statement for a descriptive essay?

The thesis statement in a descriptive essay should ideally be short and concise. However, the thesis statement should be able to cover all the vital elements of the essay within those few sentences. It is mandatory to include the subject of your essay and the purpose of writing it in the thesis statement.

Q.8. How long is a descriptive essay?

There are no fixed rules about how long a descriptive essay should be. While some may complete it within a single paragraph, others may drag it for several paragraphs. Although there is no set structure, experts advise students to complete a descriptive essay within five paragraphs – An introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Q.9. What are the three 3 forms of descriptive writing?

The three major forms of descriptive writing are –

  1. Writing about an object
  2. Writing about a person
  3. Writing about a place

Q.10. What are the most important components of a descriptive essay?

The most important components of descriptive essays are –

Vivid details

Precise language

Figurative language

Thoughtful organization

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