21 Descriptive Essay Topics Cheat Sheet

Students are usually assigned to write descriptive essays in their English classes. On one hand it sounds simple, but when it comes to picking a topic, it becomes hard. Every descriptive essay should leave an emotional connection between the text and the reader (check out the full guide on how to write a descriptive essay). Don’t worry if the topic you like is too common! Turn on your creative touch and make your essay shine.

To ease your life, our team has collected a list of descriptive writing examples and descriptive essay topics about persons, places, events, and experiences. Also you can find short descriptions to each topic that should help you on the first stages of writing.

Descriptive Topics About a Person

Describe your favorite character from a book (or movie).

What is a favorite movie or book character for you? As soon as you will decide which character to choose, describe when you first saw or read about this character. Start with describing who he or she is, the appearance, and main characteristics. Then proceed to describing what part this character took place in the book (or movie). Don’t forget to explain why you have chosen this character and what traits you admire.

Describe the features of a real hero.

Maybe everyone has wished to become a hero once, even for just a moment. What do you mean by “hero”? Can anyone from your environment be called a hero? What should a person do to become a hero? Describe the character traits and appearance of an imaginary hero. What qualities can be applied to you? Do your friends have any of the listed traits?

Describe your grandparents.

It’s great to remember your grandparents, as they usually are one of the closest relatives after parents and brothers and sisters. We hope that your childhood was bright and you have a lot to tell about your grandma and grandpa. You can start with describing their appearance and their character. Also you can describe the house they live or lived in. What are the most valuable moments in your relationship? What makes you love them? Show it in your paper.

Describe your best friend.

If it happened that you have not made a best friend (yes, it sometimes happens), you can write about an imaginary friend. You can start from the description of your first meeting. Describe your first impression and what he or she looked like. What kind of person is this best friend? What aspects of your friend do you like the most (particular character traits, style, laugh, the way they behave, etc.)? Why do you think you became friends? What similarities do you have? What makes him or her so special?

Imagine that you have made contact with an alien. You cannot send an image, but you can describe what people usually look like.

You can start with describing the parts of the human body: legs, arms, head, etc. Then you can proceed to depicting each part in detail. Point out the different genders and what peculiarities they have. Don’t forget to say that people may have different skin color, height, and hair and eye color. Tell that some humans have congenital or acquired defects and it’s a part of life. Also you can describe overall characteristics about social life, emotions, language, ethnicity, diseases, knowledge, way of life, etc.

Pick any place and describe random people.

It’s an ideal topic that everyone can write about. You can pick a park, cafe, or restaurant – any place where you can have the ability to calmly observe the people around. What is the overall atmosphere of the place? How do people behave?
Pick a couple of people that attract the most attention and describe them in detail. What were they wearing? What are their ages and nationalities? What were they talking about? What do you think they do in life?

Descriptive Topics About a Place

Descriptive Topics About a Place (Location)

Describe an arrivals hall in an airport.

You can start with saying that every airport has an arrivals hall and what it usually looks like. Then you can tell why it is needed and what kind of people have access there. Why do you think people wait for someone in an airport? What feelings does the awaiting person experience? If you have already seen the arrivals hall with people waiting for someone – you can describe them too. How did people behave? What were they doing? What were they talking about? Think about if it’s important to wait for someone close to you in an arrivals hall.

Describe a pet shop.

You can visit the pet shop near your house, or a favorite one. If you visit this shop frequently, tell why you prefer this shop among others. Do you visit a pet shop just to see pets? Describe the building where the pet shop is placed. Tell about animals that live there, maybe you admire one in particular the most. What noises can you hear there? How are animals kept? Do animal look good and healthy? Do you like the service? What emotions did you experienced about pet shops when you were a child? Do you have any memories about your first visit to a pet shop?

Describe the house where you spent your childhood.

Start with describing the appearance of your childhood house and where it is situated. Did you love or hate that house? Why? How many rooms were there? Did you have a big or small kitchen? In what room did you spend most of your time? Where has the whole family gathered? Where was the Christmas tree placed? Did you have a swimming pool? Describe the design of the rooms and details you liked the most in a particular room. Did you have paintings or a library in your house?

Describe an exhibition or museum you have recently visited.

What times have you visited the museum? Who has also visited the museum with you? How often do you visit exhibitions and museums? Describe the building and the museum’s hall. How many floors does the museum have? Does this museum have a history? Were the museum staff members friendly to you? Did you liked the design of the admission tickets? Compare this museum to any other you have ever visited. What distinctive characteristics does this museum have? How is the museum zoned? Tell about your trip around the museum and tell what you have seen there. Sum up the overall experience of your visit.

Describe the place where you have spent the best vacation in your life.

Maybe some of the most unforgettable memories we get are from vacations. Have you already had a perfect vacation? Where did you go? When did the vacation take place? Describe the hotel or place where you have stayed. What climate is usual for this particular region? What was the weather like in those days? Who came with you? How long did the vacation last? What interesting event happened during your vacation? What did you like the most? If you have met interesting people there or went on a trip, describe this too. Summarize your essay with your overall impression from the vacation.

Descriptive Topics About an Event

Descriptive Topics About an Event

Describe and extremely snowy day.

For those who live in a region where snow is an accident, it will be a great topic to write about. If you live in a region where snow is an ordinary part of winter, you can write about the day when it was extremely snowy weather. Usually on this day you can experience new feelings or see the extreme beauty of nature. As an option, if you have traveled to mountains with snowy peaks, you can describe your journey in detail.

Describe your ideal date.

If you haven’t experienced the ideal date, you can turn on your imagination! Where would you go with your partner? What would you be doing? What feelings would you experience? What would you be talking about? What smells would be in the air? Would it be day or night? How would you and your partner be dressed? What about the overall atmosphere? What music would be playing, or would it instead be the sounds of nature? Summarize how the ideal date should end and what emotions would exist between the couple.

Describe the most inspiring view that took your breath away.

Have you ever experienced a sense of shivering from a marvelous view? This moment can catch you anywhere: in childhood it may be climbing on a high tree and watching the neighborhood, or visiting the top floor of a skyscraper. What did you see? What made this view inspiring? Describe every detail: time of the day, location, date, weather, surrounding buildings and nature, people, scents, etc. What feelings have you experienced? Sum up the writing with explaining why this moment is so special for you.

Describe the most memorable holiday from your childhood (or adulthood).

Start with telling about your favorite holiday. Why do you like it the most? Tell some words about the origins of this holiday and how you usually celebrate it. Is it a family holiday? Do you need to decorate a house? What makes this holiday so special to you? With whom have you spent this holiday? Describe something memorable or interesting you did. Explain what has brought you the most joy. Summarize your essay with explaining the meaning of this holiday to you.

Describe the most interesting concert you ever attended.

If you have a favorite singer or band, you can describe one of the most memorable concerts you have attended. Describe when and where the concert took place. Describe the building and the concert hall. What kind of people went to the concert? What were they dressed in? What was the overall atmosphere? Describe how the concert began and how the public behaved during the concert. What was the music quality? Sum up with a description of the concert ending and what senses you experienced during the concert.

Descriptive Topics About an Experience

Descriptive Topics About an Experience

Describe one of your best (or worst) sleepless nights.

Nearly every human has experienced a sleepless night: preparing an essay before the deadline, walking with a beloved one all the night long, watching a film, or partying hard in a club. Think about the most interesting sleepless night you ever experienced. Where were you at that time? What were you doing? Who was with you? What feelings have you experienced? Was it hard to stay up all night? What funny or extraordinary situations happened to you? How did you feel in the next day? Summarize your writing and whether you want to repeat this night once more or not.

Describe how you rented your first apartment.

The first rented apartment is not the most beautiful, but it is full of freedom. When you have a good job and enough money to rent an apartment, this means that you can move away from your parents or relatives. You can tell about your experience with seeking a new apartment. Did you ask an agent to help you or did you search for it on your own? What problems did you face when looking for an apartment? Where was your first apartment placed? Describe the district, building, and neighbors. What relationship did you have with the landlord? What problems were there with moving into a new place? How long did you live there? What interesting situations took place there? Sum up your overview on your experience with renting your first apartment.

Describe the scene of an accident.

Not everyone has witnessed an accident with their own eyes, but you can describe a story that has happened to your friend or relative. What kind of accident was it? Describe in detail how it happened. Add as much information as you can. Who first came there for help? Did the ambulance come? Describe noises and sounds, what people were talking about and how they behaved. You can summarize your text with lessons learned.

Describe how you have gone on a hitchhiking trip.

Hitchhiking is a great way to travel without additional expenses on tickets. If you have ever tried it, then describe it! How did you pack your backpack? Did you make a plan of your trip? What was your final destination? Describe your adventures starting from your home and ending at your last point. Have you enjoyed the trip? What was the most frightening thing? What were the happiest moments? Would you like to try it once more? End your writing with a comment on whether it is worth hitchhiking or not.

Describe an event that you have personally organized.

It shouldn’t be the organization of someone’s wedding for hundreds of guests. You can describe a Christmas dinner or a birthday surprise party, or anything that you have organized on your own. First, describe what kind of event you have organized and for whom. When and where did it take place? Did you have some helpers? Tell about how you managed to gather participants. Did you send invitation letters or just call people? Then you can tell the details about the organization and sum up with the impressions from guests.

Starting Your Descriptive Essay

If you want to pick one of our topics but don’t know how to start, every topic has a short description with suggestions and guiding questions to make the writing process easy. Don’t be afraid that your topic sounds too ordinary; as long as you can describe it in your own words and interest your readers, your essay will have success.

When you will be ready to write your descriptive essay, make sure that your text is bright with scents, voices, and pictures. Don’t be shy to use flowery language, as the readers will be able to experience your emotions better through descriptive words. Or you can find the recommended list of deductive essay topics. Good luck!