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.

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 descriptive essay topics that will give you an idea.

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Popular Descriptive Essay Topics for College

To get your reader’s attention, make sure that your descriptive essay topics for college contain all the five human senses. This includes touch, smell, sight, taste, and hearing. The topic or issues to discuss vary from one person to another but 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.  

Topic Ideas on Person I know Closely

  • 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

  • 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

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








  • Willis Tower Skydeck

  • Millennium Park & Cloud Gate

  • Magnificent Mile in Chicago

  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

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 descriptive essay topics for college students 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 type 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 2019

  • 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

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 topics ideas whenever you are wondering how to write a descriptive essay could be based on places, objects, events, feelings, and emotions, among others.

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- smell, taste, hearing, sight, and touch.

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