Descriptive Essay Definition and Free Topics

Descriptive essays are similar to narrative essays, though descriptive essays pay even more attention to detail yet have less action. Descriptive essays need to convey a feeling, atmosphere, or place. All of the topics for a descriptive essay are your experiences and things you have a vivid memory of.

  • The most recent nightmare you had
  • The weirdest travel experience you had
  • Describe a museum that has become your favorite
  • The happiest day of your life
  • Describe your favorite literary character
  • The person that inspires you
  • The earliest memory you posses
  • Talk about one of your friends and describe him/her
  • The most beautiful view you have ever seen
  • Describe the place that exists solely in your imagination
  • Talk about your favorite sport and describe your experience at a live game
  • Describe yourself to someone who has never met you
  • Talk about your favorite memory
  • The most memorable day of school
  • Your favorite birthday
  • The first time you fell in love: describe your feelings
  • Talk about the most embarrassing situation you have been in
  • The best city you have been to
  • Describe your childhood home
  • Talk about an object that is very special to you

What Is a Descriptive Essay?

A descriptive essay gives a detailed description of the topic and paints a picture with words in the reader’s mind. It could be about an object, place, person, emotion, situation, or anything. It seems similar to writing a narrative essay but it is different and presents different points of view.

It is used to sharpen the analytical abilities of the students, which is helpful in further education and professional life. Therefore, it is often given to students in high school and college.

According to the descriptive essay definition,

“It is the most expressive form of an essay. This type of writing is used to describe and explain an event, a place, a person, or anything in detail.”

This essay encourages the student’s ability to create an image by appealing to the senses of the reader. The five human senses include hearing, touch, taste, sight, and smell.

Purpose of a Descriptive Essay

The purpose of writing a descriptive essay is to describe something such as a person, object, place, or situation. Descriptive speech or essays give readers a clear picture of the essay subject. The writer should make use of vivid language to help the reader understand what the essay is all about.

It does not involve convincing readers or showing factual information to prove something like an argumentative essay does. Instead, it aims to show all the important details about the chosen subject to make the reader understand the subject easily.

Elements of a Descriptive Essay

It comprises of five basic elements including;

  • Sensory DetailsIt involves arousing the emotions of the readers and creating an association with them. They paint a picture of the subject for the reader and engage their senses like sight, touch, smell, and taste.
  • Figurative LanguageUsing figurative language is one of the main elements of a descriptive essay. The use of metaphors, similes, adjectives, and adverbs, etc. creates the character sketch of the subject. This sketch helps the readers feel what the writer felt about the subject and helps him visualize the subject.
  • Central ThemeThe central theme shapes and directs the essay’s content and helps organize the details. It should be well defined and focused on a single point.
  • Precise LanguageThe effect of your essay depends on the type of language that you have used in it. The language should emphasize the main theme and aim of the essay. Therefore, avoid using vague and ambiguous words.
  • Organize your IdeasAn organized structure is an essential element of this essay. Also, the chronology, spatial location, and order play an important role.

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