A descriptive essay is a type of content writing about any particular topic using elaborative language in such a manner so that it creates a visualization of the topic through words for its readers. Such elaboration makes it more interesting for the readers to understand the topic. Effective descriptive essays should provide information about the topic to its readers in such an illustrative way where readers can get the insight of the topic through their senses!
One can write an essay on any topic. This may be a part of your academic assignments as students or you may wish to pen down your thoughts or understanding something. Mostly such descriptive essays include any of the following topics.
- A person
- An object
- An event
- An activity
- An emotion
How to write a descriptive essay about a person or object?
If you choose to write an essay on a person, this can be anyone such as a friend, relative, a known personality or a fictional character. You can also choose to write on an object or a place such as a school, your favorite animal, mountain or your city. In a similar way, you can also elaborate on an event, which can be your memorable experiences such as your trekking trip last year, or a global event such as the tsunami in Japan! You can also write about your favorite sports activity or emotion such as anger!
How to write an ideal descriptive essay?
Choosing the accurate descriptive essay topics is the most important part of essay writing. Close your eyes and think about the topic, place or event for which you have a strong feeling or inclination. You can choose the person or event of your memory such as writing about your brother, a close friend or trekking trip on a mountain. One can also choose an imaginary character or place to write on. Ideal descriptive essays should be treated as an artwork of words where the reader can know about the topic by feeling it through their senses. In their imagination while reading, they should feel, see, hear, touch, smell and taste about the events described.
Let us consider a descriptive essay with examples. Such as if you are writing about your ‘Trekking Trip to the Himalayas’, description of your experience of skiing on snow should be illustrative enough to make the reader ‘see’ the snow-covered sloppy mountain, feel and ‘touch’ the snow and ‘hear’ the wind while skiing! That should be the objective of writing the best essay. Create an outline of what you prominently want to describe in the essays.
These can be important events or experiences or characteristic features of the person or objects, which you want to highlight. This will help you make your content more interesting. For example, if you are writing about your trekking trip, first make an outline and identify at least three significant experiences which you want to describe in the essay such as skiing on the snow, memorable experience during campfire the previous night, feeling when you reached at the peak- your destination.
Components of a descriptive essay
There are three main components of any such essay.
- An introduction
- The main body of the essay
Though the ideal essay should comprise of around 500 words included in 5-6 paragraphs, it is not limiting condition for writing a longer essay. The first paragraph should be an introductory paragraph, which describes what this essay is all about. This can also include a thesis statement, which gives a summary of the essay and helps to grab readers’ attention. This creates an impact on readers’ mind and builds their interest in reading the essay. For example, coming back to our ‘Trekking Trip to Himalayas’ essay, a thesis statement can be like this:
“If you are on a mountain expedition, it’s the journey of memorable experience where you take the path less traveled and reach the top of the world!”
The second, third and fourth paragraph or even the fifth paragraph is the main body of the essay. Here you take the reader on an elaborative journey of your topic. Make sure to include your experiences during writing this so that reader can actually visualize the events. The most impactful event should be captured in the first paragraph of the body where possible without disturbing the sequence of events. Subsequent paragraphs of the body should include other events while observing continuity with the start of the essay body. Including the interesting but unknown facts and information based on real-life experience can greatly impact the readers. The content of the main body should relate to the thesis statement of the introductory statement.
For example of ‘Trekking Trip to the Himalayas’, in the first paragraph of the main body, write about how hiking expeditions bring you close to nature, write about the destination and unknown facts about the Himalayas, your skiing experiences, your campfire memories etc. The last paragraph of the main body should also include the skill set required for hiking and what quality one can develop being in such expeditions. Concluding paragraph should complement the thesis statement and summarize the events mentioned in the main body in an effective manner. Readers should come to note that the essay is about to end and the message should be clearly highlighted in last concluding paragraph.
Proofread your essay after completion
Once you completed your essay writing. Read it again or ask some friend to read it and invite suggestion. You may find some correction related to grammars, you may also encounter some repetitive facts which you can rectify and you may also recollect something which you missed to include. Though reading your own writings may sometime look unexciting, but it is very much recommended to have a final touch on the content.
- Choose a topic in descriptive essays, which is close to your heart where you think you know something important to share.
- Penning down your thoughts is the first step to the effective descriptive essay.
- Identify at least one message which is prominent and this should go in the thesis statement of the essay.
- The description should always be elaborative targeting senses of the readers. This creates the IMPACT.
- The main body of the essay should include the events sequentially unless you have some very strong event/experience to share in the first paragraph of the main body.
- Re-read your article and refine with respect to grammar and vocabulary by following.
101 Topics Ideas for a Descriptive Essay
Movies: You have definitely watched a lot of movies. Maybe, some of those movies made an impact on you, maybe they did not. There are many things that can be described about movies. These are some ideas:
- Your favorite movie.
- A movie you do not like at all.
- A movie you like but your friends do not.
- A movie you consider was not appreciated enough by the Academy.
- A movie you consider is too overestimated.
- A very silly movie that does not make any sense.
- A movie that everybody should watch.
- What elements make a movie to be good?
- The role of women in movies.
- A movie about animals.
Places: You probably know a lot of places, near or far away where you live. Places are very good ideas as topics, they count with a lot of information that can be described. Use these as ideas for your next descriptive essay:
- A place you love to go.
- The place where your parents met each other.
- A place you and your family do not like.
- A place you would love to go.
- A place you would never go.
- The place you went on your latest vacations.
- The places every person who visits your country should go to.
- A place you would like to move to.
- A place that gives you a lot of peace.
- A place that stresses you out.
Animals: Animals are a great topic to talk about on descriptive essays. There are many things you can describe about them, such as their habits, and their habitats. The following are some great ideas about animals:
- Your pet.
- Your favorite animal.
- An animal you do not like.
- How to treat well a pet.
- Animal abuse in the film industry.
- Animal abuse in the pharmaceutical industry.
- Animal abuse in the cosmetic industry.
- An animal that is near to extinction.
- How the world would be if dinosaurs still lived.
- An animal you wish never had disappeared.
History: Many events have happened throughout history. Each event counts with many things that can be used as ideas for descriptive essays. These are some of those ideas:
- World War I
- World War II
- The Cold War
- The role of women throughout history.
- The age of enlightenment.
- The process of civilization.
- A famous war that happened in your country.
- A famous character that participated in a war in your country.
- The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- The September 11 attacks.
Music: Music has passed through many stages during time. All the diverse elements in the music world work as great topics for descriptive essays. Use one of the followings:
- Your favorite song.
- Your favorite music genre.
- The evolution of pop music.
- Great exponents of classical music.
- A music genre you do not like.
- A famous singer or musician from your country.
- A folkloric music genre from your country.
- A music festival.
- Your favorite musical instrument.
- Your favorite singer or band.
Food: Even though you do not believe it, food is a great topic for descriptive essays. You can describe a lot of things, from the scent to a flavor of a dish. These are great ideas regarding food:
- Your favorite meal.
- Your ideal breakfast.
- Your favorite restaurant.
- A meal your family likes but you do not.
- A dessert you love.
- A meal you consider is too overestimated.
- A folkloric meal from your country.
- Tasty herbs you like to use while cooking.
- The importance of eating fresh food.
- Eating insects.
Sports: There are many things that can be described about sports. Whether you play them or not, you can use sports as a topic for your descriptive essays. Use these ideas:
- Your favorite sport.
- A sport you would never play.
- Video games as sports.
- A sport you consider is too overestimated.
- A sport you played as a kid.
- Chess as a sport.
- The importance of healthy competition.
- The evolution of sports.
- The first sport that ever existed.
- A sport you would like to play.
Art: Besides music and movies, you can find inspiration for descriptive essays in many other forms of art. Painting and sculpture are great ideas where you can get inspiration from. Use these ideas as an example:
- Your favorite painting.
- Your favorite artist.
- The Impressionism movement.
- The Dada movement.
- Realistic paintings.
- The evolution of art.
- An important artist in history.
- The Renaissance.
- The elements of a good painting.
Controversial Topics: There are some controversial topics that work perfectly for descriptive essays. Since you are writing a descriptive essay, your responsibility is only to talk about them without taking a stand. These are some controversial ideas.
- Same-sex marriage.
- Same-sex parenting.
- Social status.
- Gun control.
- Death penalty.
Lifestyle: There are so many things we daily do that are good topics for descriptive essays. Yes, even the simplest things can work as topics. Check these out:
- The importance of eating well.
- The importance of sleeping well.
- How to be fit.
- The benefits of having a pet.
- The benefits of drinking coffee.
- Your daily routine.
- How to relax after a stressful day.
- The vegan lifestyle.
- The importance of taking a vacation.
- Why to read a book.
- How to fight anxiety.
These topics should help you with writing a strong paper. However, if you seek writing help with descriptive essay, be sure to visit professional essay writing service.