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Topics for descriptive essays

Almost anything under the sun can be described. Therefore, the list of topics for the descriptive essay type is endless and could range from the most banal to the most esoteric. Here is a list of a few such topics.

  1. Profile: A profile essay requires you to describe one particular aspect of a person or thing, an event or experience, but most often, it would be about a person.

Example: If you were to profile your grandmother, you would describe her in general as a woman with various qualities. However, from among these qualities, you would key in on one particular attribute that you find the most significance and describe it in detail. The description will obviously follow up with examples of this characteristic.

  1. A memorable experience: This descriptive essay will include a dash of the narrative. In describing an experience, you would need to provide a background of the experience, describe the experience itself in detail, describe and give examples of feelings and other responses to the experience.

For example, if you were to describe the experience of climbing a high mountain peak, you could write the following: (i) the peak and its element of challenge, (ii) your decision to climb, (iii) the experience of climbing (what happened along the way, your feelings, actions, responses to situations, exhilaration, etc), and (iv) the description of the peak as it appeared to you after the ascent, etc.

  1. Describe a movie. To describe a movie, you would need to describe various facets: direction, acting talent, music, camera work, and editing. Which of these you choose to describe is a personal choice. A topic such as this relies largely on examples. If you were to describe the acting, you would need to describe the qualities that make the acting good or bad, great or mediocre; you would need to describe the characters the actors enact and say why and how the actors brought the characters to life, or how they could have done better, and other such details.
  2. Describe an eating disorder and how it affects teenagers across America. This is a broad topic. You would need to provide a background of eating disorder in general, types of such disorders, their significance in American society, and then narrow your focus to one specific disorder.

Example: Bulimia. What is bulimia? Give brief but relevant background information. Describe its various aspects. Relate it to teenage food habits and the image of the self harbored by teens today. Give factual information about the disorder: what it does to the body and mind, statistics regarding its prevalence in America, et al. Lastly, describe how this disorder affects teenagers and follow up with examples and data.

  1. Describe cloning as an experiment that has failed. Points to describe for such a topic are: cloning, human endeavor to imitate God, why and how cloning has failed. Under the last point, you would need to discuss in what ways it may have failed. Is the failure scientific, social, ethical, moral, or financial? How? Why? Give examples.

Writing an essay, especially a descriptive essay offers a large combination of possibilities. All you want to do is hit upon the key ideas and appropriate words to present your word-picture.

P.S. Please read our aricle about a compare and contrast essay.

ompare and Contrast Essay
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