50+ Descriptive Essay Topics For College

October 9, 2022 F WP
Descriptive essay topics for college

50+ Descriptive Essay Topics For College

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There is no denying that writing is a hard vocation. Writers have to go through hectic processes and a lot of trouble to put down words that hold any meaning for both the writer and the reader. Another thing that is common among writing pieces of all shapes, kinds, and forms, is that it is always describing, explaining, or making something, no matter the core subject or topic.

As students of creative writing, it is necessary to understand the different natures of things and apply the knowledge to new assignments. In this blog, we will recap what a descriptive essay is, its essence, and the importance of choosing a topic, and then we will top it off with 50+ descriptive essay topics. This will help students to kickstart their process of writing without staring at a blank page for eternity.

What Is A Descriptive Essay?

A descriptive essay, in a nutshell, is a written account of a person, a thing, an event, or an experience that is replenished by figurative language and sensory details. Based on the topic and the scope of the essay, writers go through the research and outlining processes to ensure that when they sit down to write, they have everything they need.

The purpose of writing a descriptive essay is to connect the readers with the subject and make them see or feel the subject without actually doing that firsthand. There are two major types of descriptive essays. First is the objective one that stays true to the facts and empirical evidence of the subject. The other is impressionistic which borrows elements from writers’ thinking, beliefs, and training as a writer.

In academic institutions, instructors gauge students’ abilities to think and write better and more clearly for objects that can induce solid prose from them.

The essence of Descriptive Writing

Since writing is subjective, it is almost impossible to come up with the real essence of descriptive writing. For some, it is about making the subject come alive with all the necessary details so that readers can even swear that they have seen, touched, heard, or tasted the subject under consideration. For others, it is about simply describing a subject for what it is and not what it stands for. The objective approach may feel drab and without any life, but it has its uses.

Between these two extremes is the balanced approach. This approach propagates the idea of leaning on either side of the body but then gravitating toward the objective side in the conclusion.

Importance of Choosing A Topic

Imagine you want to reach a destination and you have all the necessary things to commence your journey, except one thing – the heading. Would you reach your destination – ever? The answer is no. In the same way, deciding on a topic before writing a descriptive essay is an absolute must. In this section, we will go through some of the benefits of choosing a topic before writing an essay, thus highlighting its importance in the process. When you are assigned a topic for a descriptive essay, the direction is set by the instructors. When that is not the case, it is necessary to do it on your own before moving forward. Here are some reasons why.
Gives Your Writing Focus

While writing, writers inevitably get thrown off the topic in the heat of the moment. This is normal and should be expected. In these situations, they have a solid topic with concrete direction and heading. Another thing that writing suffers when there is no clear topic is the focus. Writing lacks cohesion and paragraphs lack bridging when there is no single thread of theme or idea running through it all. So, if writers feel like their writing is not what it should be, it is best to revisit the focal points and narrow them down as much as possible. This will fine-tune the whole essay for them.

Lets Readers Know

A topic is not only the prelude to the essay, it can do the marketing for free. Think about it, as you write an essay, what could get the readers in and make them read the whole writing? At first, it is the topic and title, and then it is the introductory paragraph. The more you spend time and improve your topic, the more chances it will have to fetch more and better readers. We have seen many writers put off by the prospect of a poor title even though the write-up was of superior quality and held its water. They need to know before they give it a try.

Lends Character To The Essay

It is often our observation that we see a person and after knowing his name, we would say that he did not look like a “Jim” or a “Mike”. This is common and understandable. In the same way, essays have character and personality to them. They should have the power to move and inspire readers in any direction. Many writers dread the prospect of giving poor meanings to their essays and for all the right reasons. So, when you are assigned to write a descriptive essay, it is necessary to come up with a solid topic and title and give it a believable as well as relatable character.

Excellent Descriptive Essay Topics

  • Describing your best friend on his worst day at school
  • Thinking about the future as in science fiction movies
  • Making a speech in front of a hostile crowd
  • Meeting a stranger in a market
  • A funny memory that brings you tears
  • Describing a true piece of the art covered in mud
  • The best teacher you had in primary school
  • Writing a descriptive essay on writing an essay
  • Baking a pizza in the wooden oven
  • Reliving in a garden that you loved in your childhood
  • Explaining yourself to someone who has never met you
  • Describing the best friend from your childhood that you still love
  • Explaining the infinity of the sky
  • What is a perfect town in your opinion?
  • Your first day as a student in high school

Exceptional Descriptive Essay Topics For College

  • What would your graduation day be like?
  • A visit to a historical place that you thought was haunted before
  • A mentor you cannot forget in your life
  • The ideal roommate you want to have in life
  • How would you motivate a pessimistic person?
  • Describing your best friend to a stranger
  • Describing a skyscraper to a blind person
  • Explaining a musical concert to a fan
  • Experiencing paragliding for the first time
  • First time visiting your dream college
  • The beauty in the islands
  • The best restaurants in town
  • Learning a new language in a foreign land
  • Calling the wrong number and chatting with a stranger
  • Explaining a boxing match to a friend who loves bloody sports

Best Topics For Descriptive Essay Writing

  • Describing your next-door neighbor to your hostel roommate
  • Explaining a construction site to your mother
  • Thinking about the features your dream smartphone will have
  • The idea of a perfect vacation in the Bahamas
  • The idea of a perfect day in your life
  • The things that make me different from my siblings
  • Spending the holiday just the way you like it
  • Constructing your dream house in your mind
  • Describing your best friend to a stranger
  • Missing someone in the eye of a crowd
  • Describing the street that led to the school
  • Your most favorite pet in your whole life
  • The habit of your favorite person in the family
  • The childhood memory that you want to live and relive
  • The best place to hide while playing with friends

Ultimate Descriptive Essay Topics For College Students

  • The things that make you laugh even when you are alone
  • Discovering the world’s biggest secret
  • Remembering my first school teacher
  • Relationships between tunes and working faster
  • Finding beauty in life by accepting our destiny
  • First day in school after vacations
  • Describing the workings of the solar system
  • Things that life can teach us
  • Facts of life for domestic violence survivors
  • Explaining my passion for sports to a stranger
  • Why I love the country and the people there
  • Visiting a mosque for the first time
  • Changing a car’s tire for the first time
  • Why I love football over other games
  • Free education or free ignorance


There is no hard and fast rule to distinguish a good topic from a bad topic. There are many elements and angles to it and one thing that looks extremely promising to one may look miserable to other. Still, topics and titles that can motivate and inspire readers and touch their feelings are considered the best for descriptive writing.

Descriptive essay writing is about describing a subject which can be a person, a place, or a thing. In that scenario, here is a range of things that can be covered as the topic for a descriptive essay:

  • Describing a person
  • Describing a place
  • Describing a thing/ object
  • Describing an emotion/ experience
  • Describing a memory

Following are the steps involved in writing a descriptive essay:

  • Choosing a topic
  • Gathering necessary information
  • Outlining the whole essay
  • Writing the outline, the main body, and the conclusion
  • Proofreading and editing
  • Finalizing the draft before submitting

The two major types of descriptive essay writing are as follows:

  • Objective descriptive writing
  • Impressionistic descriptive writing

Where the former deals with the empirical data and information concerning a subject while the latter covers both the subjective and writer’s side of the subject by using highly figurative language and sensory details.

Here is a rundown of the process that you can employ to improve your descriptive writing in the shortest possible time:

  • Read descriptive writing from the masters
  • Experiment with the content and form
  • Practice with different types of topics
  • Get it evaluated by instructors

Sometimes, students are provided an image and are directed to write a descriptive essay based on that image. The best way to tackle problems like these is by following both objective and impressionistic approaches. It is best to start with the former and then top it off with the subjective side before concluding it at the end.


Deciding on a topic before sitting down to write a descriptive essay is an important step in the process. Apart from providing the necessary direction, focus, and connection to the writers and readers, respectively, it adds to the cohesion and the singular identity of the essay.

We have covered over fifty descriptive essay topics in this post. They cover bases from describing a person to describing a thing as well as emotions and memories. We hope that the students will find it beneficial to speed up their process and connect the dots in the best way. The bulk of the process lies in getting started and writing the first draft.

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