essay writing prompts

Descriptive Essays Topics: 20 Examples From Past Students

There is good news for you, students. Guess what the easiest essay to write is? A descriptive essay.

Now, given your age and station in school, your topic may need be more advanced than others. But still, you can begin with a nugget of an idea and let it blossom via research and close reading about the topic that you will write this descriptive essay about.

Pick a Topic That You Cannot Wait to Read More About

My best advice is to pick a person, place, thing, past vacation, animal – whatever you feel you can read and write about with sheer passion and enjoyment, where even the reading about it will be a pleasure, that there is plenty to say. You do not want to pick a short, sweet topic—although even a descriptive essay on a cupcake with decorations could become a novel in the right person’s hands. Marcel Proust wrote a whole chapter on the experience of eating a cookie and all the memories it evoked in his tome Remembrance of Things Past.

You can use these next examples as inspiration for creating your own or use them!

20 Examples of Past Students’ Descriptive Essay Topics

  1. My favorite animal of the sea—This particular student’s topic was sea otters—how they play, open shells by banging them on their belly . . . It was fascinating and fun.
  2. Describe your favorite hobby—I got an essay from a student one time about creating scenes inside blown out eggs—fantastic.
  3. Describe your favorite thing to do in your leisure time.
  4. Describe your favorite historical figure’s key accomplishments
  5. Describe your favorite style of music and why
  6. Describe your favorite work of art.
  7. Describe your favorite trip to the beach—the smells, sights, and sounds
  8. Describe what it is like to have a roommate/dormmate
  9. Describe what it is like to be an only child
  10. Describe what it is like to be a sibling
  11. Describe what it is like growing up in a one-parent household
  12. Describe your most frightening experience
  13. Describe an incident that seemed scary but is now humorous to you—fearing your first shot/fearing having your tonsils out, fearing swimming—whatever
  14. Describe your favorite dream
  15. Describe your favorite movie
  16. Describe your favorite actor or actress
  17. Describe a show you loved in childhood
  18. Describe your favorite author
  19. Describe your favorite book as a child
  20. Describe your favorite book as an adult.