Top 9 Descriptive Essay Ideas To Get You Started

October 10, 2022 F WP

Top 9 Descriptive Essay Ideas To Get You Started

Table of Contents

Opening Remarks

One of the most crucial things in writing for school or college or professional reasons is to get started and in the right way. Many times, people take an initiative but regret it down the line because they hadn’t thought it through. For instance, if a writer starts working on an essay without outlining and researching it first, he will be most likely to hit a wall due to writer’s block.

Having good solid ideas and templates to work on is a good thing. In schools and colleges, teachers often provide the topic or the premise of the essay when they assign the task. This makes the whole task easier and more focused. On the other hand, when students are not given an idea or a topic, they need to start from scratch.

Now we know the importance of getting started the right way, let us move to our topic.

Introduction to Descriptive Essay Writing

Essay writing comes in many forms, shapes, and sizes, but some differences can help us categorize them for better understanding. A descriptive essay is different from a narrative essay or an argumentative essay, primarily because of its content.

descriptive essay is an essay about a person, thing, place, or event that the writer describes through sensory details and figurative language. It has the standard structure and format of three sections, from the introduction to the main body, and ultimately the conclusion. In addition to this, it has a thesis statement that summarizes the theme and focus of the whole essay in a single sentence that often comes at the end of the introduction.

Another thing that sets apart a descriptive essay from other types is its purpose which is to paint a subjective picture of a person, thing, or place for the readers so that they can understand its intricacies even from another person’s account.

Choosing The “Right” Idea To Work On

Another aspect of getting started is the right way to find the “right” idea to work on. When we sit down to write, often our minds are bombarded with ideas, themes, and premises that we all think will make the final cut. For whatever reason, all of them are dropped and only a handful are promoted and immortalized throughout the writing. 

The surefire way to land on the best idea for your descriptive essay is to visualize the subject or topic in your mind. This exercise is essential because it will help you get to the sensory aspects of the subject. After repeating it multiple times, you can see whether a topic is worth continuing or abandoning it for better pursuits.

Best Descriptive Essay Ideas For School & College Students

Since writing is subjective and dependent on countless variables, it is impossible to come up with ideas and topics that can work for all, every time in every situation. In schools and colleges, factors such as the designated time and word count of the essay play the most important role in deciding the most suitable topic or idea to work on. Still, generalizations can be made and parallels can be drawn to come up with new and novel ideas while practicing and then writing and editing for the actual task. In that spirit, here are the top 9 descriptive essay ideas that you can work on for maximum scores.

Describing The Strangest Person You Ever Met

As a person, we are destined to meet and interact with new people almost every day. This is what makes us social animals as we cannot survive or thrive without the help of our kin. In a descriptive essay where you need to describe the strangest person you have ever encountered, it is necessary to establish first what is normal and what is strange. While describing the strangeness in that person, you can highlight the personality traits that played the key role, including his dressing, his gait, his use of language, and so on. Remember that your job as a writer is to highlight the strangeness or differences of that person from other people.

Describing The Person You Envied

Another thing we encounter often in our personal and professional life is envy and jealousy. This happens when we see a person enjoying endowments that we were denied or could not get from life. In this instance, you need to draw a balanced picture between you and that person. These could cover all the things that you wish to have but don’t against the person who is having the time of his life. Anything can make others envious, from personality quirks to fortune and wealth and you need to make a clear distinction of which is the strongest player in this game.

Describing An Inspiring Friend Or A Family Member

We tend to remember people that affect our lives, both in good and bad ways. We have observed that many people are hurt by families and family members throughout their lives. Contrary to this, many had wonderful parents and siblings to help them learn, grow, and enjoy the best time in their lives. Right in the mix of things are the people that easily become mentors and inspire us to do great things. They kindle a fire in our hearts and fan the flames without us knowing, setting us on the path of success and salvation. They are the ones you need to picture in this descriptive essay writing idea.

Describing A Spooky Or Haunted Place

Negative thoughts and memories have a special place in our heads, that’s why they are not easy to shrug off and move on. When you decide to write a descriptive essay on a spooky and haunted place, it is necessary to provide a backdrop on where your beliefs about ghosts and fear were formed and what factors influenced them in the past. Then, you can go on about the physical and metaphysical characters of the place and highlight them through literary devices such as similes and metaphors. These descriptive essays, when written carefully, can generate interest and higher scores for writers in schools and colleges.

Describing A Heart-Stealing Landscape

Now that we are going through places, spooky places, in particular, let us go through the exact opposite of these spaces. It could be a trip to the alps or summer in meadows that can steal your heart and remain in your head for the rest of your life. There is no denying the potency of the scene, but you need to come up with pertinent sensory details to connect with the readers. Even if you skip where the landscape is located but do the justice with the intricate details, we can safely say that the job will be well done.

Describing Your Childhood Favorite Spot

We all go through different phases of our lives and become adults, whether we want it or not. During childhood, many things defy logic and reasoning and we have an explanation of our own regarding things, places, and persons, most of the time. When describing a place that has been your favorite since childhood or used to be back then, both sensory details and reasons behind picking that spot will help readers see it through. It can be the rusty rails of the abandoned station in your neighborhood or a grassy park to play with dogs. Whatever it is, it needs to get readers in.

Describing A Lucky Object For You

We are defined by the things we believe in and they are not always rational or logical. Most of the time, we contend with our beliefs and try to bend them according to modern science. Other days, we just can’t win over them. In a descriptive essay about a lucky object for you, you can come up with an heirloom, a charm, a pendant, or any ornamental thing that made you feel lucky when it is around you. This topic is not for everybody but as a writer, you should always challenge your limits to learn and grow.

Describing A True Piece of Art

Like writing and other indulgences of man, art is a subjective thing. While many people are willing to sacrifice their lives for artistic freedom, many see it as a luxury and a nice-to-have. While describing a true piece of art, you need to keep two important things in mind. One, it is necessary to show the readers what is your definition of the art and how you are inspired or moved by it. Second, you need to describe that piece with abundant details so that readers can create the replica in their minds.

Describing Your Favorite Bat Or Ball

As a kid, many people indulged in sports and games. Many keep the momentum in adulthood and become professional sportsmen. Whatever your stint was with the sports and games, you might have a favorite bat or balls that you loved to play with. In a descriptive essay, you can describe both tangible and intangible things about the subject under consideration. In addition to the bat and ball, you can also write about other sports goods and equipment you used as a child and even connect the narrative in description with the lucky things in your life. Ultimately, it should pop into readers’ minds and make them care.


The best way to start a descriptive essay, or any essay for that matter, is with a hook that can make the readers go on. It should be well-placed and thought out in the introduction section of the essay. It can be a quote, a bold statement, or a question directly asked by the readers.

Here is a simple example of real-life descriptive writing. Saying the night is dark and cold in writing is a simple sentence with no description at all. Writing that the night is blacker than her hair and colder than her heart is descriptive writing.

Potentially, there is no limit to the things or subjects that you can base your descriptive essay on. It can be a person, a thing, a place, or an event, either real or imaginary.

In a 45-minute descriptive essay exam, instructors usually expect a full page of error-free description of the subject. But, if you want to earn higher marks than that o your peers, you need to churn out at least two quality pages.

The real page count for a 1000-word essay can be different based on writing style, margins, and many more factors. Generally, a 1000-word essay takes up four standard pages in academia.

The explanatory sentences describe the subject under consideration with the help of examples and facts. Whereas in descriptive sentences, writers rely on sensory details and figurative language to paint a picture for the readers.

Concluding Remarks

Writing a descriptive essay is a tough task, given the hurdles and the time to write and improve one. Still, students and professional writers learn the art by slowly practicing and covering ground by choosing and working on diverse topics and ideas.

In this guide, we have covered 9 of the best and most intuitive descriptive essay ideas that can help you get started. They are not one-off templates because you can learn to cover other topics and areas by mastering these simple yet deceptive topics. In addition to this, we have also shed ample light on the dynamics of descriptive writing while answering frequently asked questions in a separate section.

So, for those who are struggling to leap, in the beginning, this is the perfect spot to take off!

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