Descriptive Essay Topics for College Students

As the name suggests, a descriptive essay enlightens the reader on something significant or new. Good descriptive essay topics are those that aim to provide comprehensive details about something that will trigger the emotional response of the reader. The better part is that you don’t need to undertake any research when writing such an essay since you can choose any subject you wish to discuss, and it could be either a place, event, object, memory, story, etc. The one tip you should always have in mind when deciding on topics for a descriptive essay is that it should create an attachment with the readers' emotions. Whoever reads your work should feel as though they meet the person you are describing or have visited the place you have outlined in your paper.

Is writing essays your hobby?

Participate in our "Independence Day of the United States" essay writing competition and get a 12-month Quizlet subscription.

  • Deadline: July 24, 2023
  • Topic: Declaration of Independence
  • Language: English
  • Length: 1000-5000 words
  • Font size: 11 or 12
Writing essays

What to Write Your Descriptive Essay About

There are various topics that you can choose from whenever you are short of ideas on how to title an essay that is described based. Ideally, good descriptive topics are known to be the pillar that supports your creativity as well as help you understand your environment. It is through such writings that you gain the experience to engage in conversations that help you analyze your surroundings. In this article, we will highlight a list of essay topics that will give you an idea of what to present in the intro, body paragraphs, and also conclusion.

All the descriptive essay topic ideas we have here are accurate and popular. This means that any essay topic from the list can help you. First, you need to know what is a descriptive essay and why writing a descriptive essay is so important for you and your education. It is one of the writings that will help you more than you may believe. This is why descriptive essays are so common these days. Most students actually like writing these due to the appeal and great list of possibilities.

Need help with an essay?

Get your paper written by a professional writer

Get help 4.8/5

How to Choose a Descriptive Essay Topic?

There are a few things we will have to mention here. The first one is the most obvious. Always choose the essay topic you are passionate about, or you find it interesting. If you do this, you will have fun writing, and you will want to work on that paper. If you don't, you will end up with a paper that you don't like and you hate working on. This causes stress and forces you to complete the task in less time. As you can assume, this has a huge negative effect on the overall quality and makes your paper poor. This also means that your grade will be lowered, and this is something you don't want.

The next thing you will want to consider is experience and knowledge. If you have these two that are related to one of the topics. Go for it. You will have the knowledge, meaning you will need to do less research, and you will have a better time writing the actual paper. If you have the skills related to that topic, you can use these as well, and you can make the whole process better and easier.

The last thing here is also very important. You will want a topic that has tons of data and facts, so you can use that. If you have a topic that has no data to use, you will need more time for research, and you will need a lot of time to invest into that paper. This is not something you will actually like or want to do.

Popular Descriptive Essay Topics for College

To get your reader's attention, make sure that your essay topics for college contain all five human senses. This includes touch, smell, sight, taste, and hearing. The topic or issues to discuss vary from one person to another. Still, some of the ideas that are quite conversant to many people and that are likely to have more content to discuss include themes of people you know closely, famous people, and famous places. In the lack of a better word, descriptive writing is complicated and you need to pay close attention to body paragraphs and the intro. We hope these descriptive essay ideas can help you with the whole task and help you get a better grade.  

Topic Ideas on Person I know Closely

These ideas are very common and very popular. You will probably have to write a couple of them in your lifetime. Here are a few examples you will want to consider before you start.

  • My best friend
  • My worst enemy
  • My favorite teacher
  • My Hero
  • My Mentor
  • My pet
  • Describe someone whom you miss
  • Favorite colleague
  • My ideal roommate
  • The idea parent
  • Memorable person
  • Describe yourself to someone who has never met you
  • Describe a famous person you would like to meet
  • The person who made a difference in my life

Descriptive Essay Topics on Famous People

Once again, you will have to write about a person. But, here you will need to use actual data related to that person and also include interesting facts, if possible.

  • Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) - American singer, actress, model
  • Abraham Lincoln (1809-1965) - US president during the American civil war
  • Mother Teresa (1910-1997) - Catholic missionary nun
  • Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) - American Boxer
  • Bill Gates (1955- ) Microsoft founder
  • Nelson Mandela (1918- 2013)-South African President
  • Martin Luther King, Jr (1929-1968) - Civil rights activist
  • Charles Darwin (1809-1882) - British scientist
  • Albert Einstein (1879-1955) –Theory of relativity
  • Lionel Messi (1987- ) Argentinian footballer
  • Donald Trump (1946- ) President of the United States

Build your thesis statement

This is AI-powered online tool that lets you create a thesis statement about any topic you need.

  • Simple interface
  • Works with any type of paper
  • Absolutely free
  • Unlimited attempts

College-Level Descriptive Essay Topics on a Famous Place Near Me

Here you will have to write about a place. Ideally, you will choose a place where you have lived, live now, or where you want to live. These are essential and have a huge role in your education. We can add that these topics are more important than you may believe.


  • Unites States Capitol and Capitol Hall
  • The White House
  • The Lincoln Memorial
  • The Washington Monument
  • National Mall and Veteran Memorials


  • The Statue of Liberty
  • Central Park
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Broadway and the Theater District
  • 9/11 Memorial and Museum
  • Times Square


  • San Antonio's River Walk
  • The Alamo
  • Space Center Houston
  • Big Bend National Park
  • Padre Island National Seashore
  • The Texas State Capitol in Austin


  • Colonial Williamsburg
  • Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive
  • Virginia Beach
  • Monticello and Charlottesville
  • Jamestown and Yorktown


  • San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Disneyland
  • Death Valley National Park


  • Walt Disney World
  • Kennedy Space Center
  • Miami Beach and the Art Deco Historic District
  • Everglades National Park
  • SeaWorld Orlando


  • Willis Tower Skydeck
  • Millennium Park & Cloud Gate
  • Magnificent Mile in Chicago
  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Stuck with finding the right title?

Get plenty of fresh and catchy topic ideas and pick the perfect one with PapersOwl Title Generator.

Get topics

Topic Ideas for College-Level Descriptive Essay

Unlike high school, descriptive essays that only require you to use a rhetorical style that incorporates the five senses and other details to provide the reader with a clear picture of what is being represented; most essay topics for college require you to be thorough.

This means that you should be able to differentiate between showing vs. telling, incorporating observation details, deciding on the purpose of the description, as well as, organizing the ideas to provide a surreal quality paper. As a college student, it is advisable to focus on current issues as well as those that directly affect you.

The types of essays can be complicated and time-consuming and is the reason why most students choose to seek descriptive essay writing services from online platforms. And although this is a reliable option, here are a few examples that can give you an idea of what to write in your next paper.

Descriptive Essay Topics on Education System

  • Dress codes and school rules. Do you think some are outdated?
  • The ideal modern teacher
  • Education vs. religion
  • Your perception of standardized testing
  • What do you think about multicultural education?
  • Describe school violence and how to minimize and deal with it
  • Are teachers supposed to only strictly teach? What is the role of a teacher as a moral guide and negotiator?
  • Describe private education
  • Describe how the internet has impacted the education system
  • Does education ever stops, or it continues during the entire life
  • How do you stay motivated while in school?
  • Do we need grades in the modern education system?
  • Should parents be involved in the education process?
  • Why is it important to teach sex education?
  • What is your take in elite schools? Are they increasing the divide between the rich and poor?
  • What is the appropriate age for children to start attending school?
  • Is the Electoral College a necessity?
  • Why there are low graduation rates in urban areas

Topics on current issues in 2022

  • Do you feel safe with the current school shooting?
  • Impacts of cultural fragmentation
  • Describe the current climate change reality
  • Have the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) been achieved after 4 years?
  • Walking the walk on financing a better future
  • What do you expect from the modernized UN?
  • What is your response to humanitarian crises?
  • Describe how the world is at a defining moment for collective action. Discuss climate change, economic turmoil, and inequalities.
  • Does God Hate Women? Discuss based on the Bangladeshi murder case
  • Describe your opinion on the ever-growing authoritarianism and social inequalities

Catch plagiarism before your teacher does

Check your paper against billions of web pages and publications.
Get an accurate plagiarism report in a few seconds.
It's fast, easy & free!

Check my paper

Easy Definition Essay Topics

Away from the technical topics, you can still come up with an outstanding descriptive paper based on basic things. A perfect list of topic ideas, whenever you are wondering how to write a descriptive essay, could be based on places, objects, events, feelings, and emotions, among others. Keep in mind that these topics are easy and simple, but this doesn't mean you should rush things and try to complete the task in no time. You still have to invest a lot of time and effort and try to make your writing spotless. Choose wisely and once again, try to find a topic that makes a lot of difference, and you really like. This is a simple and effective strategy even professional writers use.

List of Topics on Events

  • A near-death experience
  • Horse riding
  • A bonfire night
  • A visit to a new country
  • My experience of bungee jumping
  • Growing up in a small village
  • My first day as a student
  • The most embarrassing day of my life
  • An event that changed my life
  • The moment I discovered who my true friends were
  • Making a speech in front of the president
  • A night walk
  • A snowy day
  • The longest trip ever
  • A concert

List of Topics on Objects

  • My first smartphone
  • The dress I wore on my prom night
  • Living a day without my smartphone
  • The school bus
  • Describe the childhood toy that you liked to play with
  • The best gift I have ever received in my life
  • The best film I have ever watched
  • Describe your dormitory
  • Describe a food you love the most
  • Describe your favorite book
  • Describe a new car
  • Describe a picture
  • An object that is special to you
  • Your ideal apartment
  • Traveling without your backpack
  • Describe a shopping mall

List of Topics on Feelings and Emotions

  • The experience of falling in love
  • The saddest moment of my life
  • The happiest moment of my life
  • A time that I felt scared
  • A rime that I felt excited
  • The most embarrassing moments
  • My association with Christmas
  • My oldest memory

There is a high chance that you will be required to write a descriptive essay at some point in college, and it is advisable to learn about this type of assignment. Make sure to follow the instructions provided by your teacher, and when you are short of ideas on what to write in your descriptive paper, the above essay descriptive topics are perfect to choose from. Since the main point is to give your reader a pictorial description, make sure to include all the five major senses from smelling, taste, hearing, sight, and touch. If possible, pick the one descriptive essay topic you like the most, and you love writing about. Here you can see countless descriptive writing topics. So, you can pick one that will be just right. Then invest a lot when working on body paragraphs.

Was this article helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!


Simply fill out the form, click the button, and have no worries!

By clicking “CONTINUE”, you agree to our Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, and to receive promo emails.