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How to Write a Descriptive Essay: Tips and Topic Samples
How to Write a Descriptive Essay: Tips and Topic Samples

How to Write a Descriptive Essay: Tips and Topic Samples

If you love explaining things in detail, you have the potential to be a prolific descriptive essay writer. Descriptive essays allow you to explore topics, dissect them, and flesh out valuable knowledge concerning them. However, explaining things with your mouth and writing them are two different things. That’s why we would understand if you’re having a little bit of frustration with the paper ahead of you.

Not to worry, if you hang on a few minutes longer, we’ll give you tips for writing a descriptive narrative essay. We will also throw in some interesting topics you can adopt for your paper if you don’t have one.

What is the standard descriptive essay format for college papers?

The length of your descriptive essay paper depends on the instructions you were given and your topic. However, descriptive essays often follow the same format and structure. Below is the standard descriptive essay structure for college papers.

  • The Introduction: a descriptive essay is majorly divided into three parts; the introduction is the first aspect. A great introduction should stir the readers’ interest and make them want to learn more. It should be only one paragraph and contain your thesis – that is, the argument you’re centering your paper on.
  • The Body: the body section is a descriptive essay’s second and most extensive part. How many paragraphs it takes depends on the length of the paper. Each paragraph in the body should have a topic sentence stating the paragraph’s topic and a closing sentence to conclude it.
  • Conclusion: the conclusion summarizes the entire paper, where you’ll briefly reiterate your position or thesis. Then, you’ll state how your points have sufficiently proven your stand.

Helpful guide on how to write a descriptive essay introduction

The introduction aspect of a descriptive essay can be tough to write; we often recommend writing it last. The introduction section matters greatly; a strong and compelling introduction will keep readers scrolling through your paper. Below are tips for writing a powerful descriptive essay introduction:

  • Keep the sentences short and avoid writing long sentences that readers can’t follow.
  • Say something that’ll resonate with the reader and “hook” his attention.
  • Don’t reiterate the title; reinforce it instead.
  • Don’t let the introduction be too long; keep things short and direct.
  • Articulate what the essay is about and its importance in one to two sentences each.

Valid tips on how to write a conclusion for a descriptive essay

Before you garble up words to dump in your conclusion section, you might want to hold on. Your conclusion is also important because it is what your readers will understand. Thus, you want to ensure it leaves a lasting impression in your readers’ minds. That said, below are tips for writing a strong conclusion for a descriptive essay:

  • Start it with a topic sentence, restating your thesis to remind readers of the main argument.
  • Let your conclusion reinforce and address the thesis and supporting points you gave in your introduction in different words.
  • Summarily restate the most relevant points and summarize the supporting arguments in the body section of the paper.
  • Your conclusion should not introduce new information or ideas to avoid confusing the reader.
  • Write in sensory language to create a compelling, lasting picture in your readers’ minds.
  • Wrap up the conclusion with a synthesis of the key points with clear and succinct words.

Ideas of descriptive essay titles for a great paper

If you’ve got a descriptive essay paper to write and are stuck on a topic, here are some descriptive essay topics to start with. However, remember that the “best” topic is one you can confidently flesh out and do justice to.

Descriptive essay ideas

  1. Riding a horse for the first time
  2. My most painful childhood memory
  3. My pet when I was little
  4. How I overcame an addiction
  5. Actions that trigger me

Descriptive essay topics for college students

  1. My first day in college
  2. The strangest person I ever met
  3. My professor
  4. My best friend
  5. My dream career

Good descriptive essay topics

  1. My favorite celebrity
  2. First love
  3. Gorgeous places in Italy
  4. The best tourist destinations in Europe
  5. Iceland: a beauty to behold

Topics for descriptive essay

  1. The white nights of Canada
  2. Napoleon
  3. Writing my first novel
  4. Why I dread fishing
  5. What life means to me


The essence of a descriptive essay is to give readers a clear, concise, and in-depth understanding of a topic. The essay should be so detailed that after reading it, an individual has a clear picture of the subject discussed. Therefore, the first step to writing is drawing up a descriptive essay outline to guide you on how the paper should go.

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