List of Descriptive Essay Topics
Of all different types of essays a student may have to write, the descriptive one is by far the easiest. They are often relaying a more personal message and do not require much research, the descriptive essay can be a great way to get your students started in the writing process. When it comes to choosing the right topic as a writing assignment for your students, the sky can be the limit.
When choosing a topic for a descriptive essay, it helps to understand what information the paper should include. Remember that the essay has to describe in detail a certain place or an experience that the writer has had to deal with. The subject of a descriptive essay can be either a person, place, object, memory, event, or an experience. Ultimately if you give your students an option it will be up to them to narrow down the endless array of choices they might have. Ideally, they will want to select a topic that will easily conjure up descriptive terminology in a way that the reader will be able to connect to.
When describing a person, the writer should not just write about the physical characteristics of the individual but also include personality quirks, sense of style, the way they talk and communicate, and their feelings in different circumstances. Consider writing about some of these people:
- Someone who means a lot to you
- A person that frightens you
- Someone you deeply respect
- A family member
- A political figure
- A favorite actor or musician
- An artist
- A neighbor
- An industry leader
- A person you rely upon
When writing about a place, the writer should include distinguishable features of the area. However, it is not enough to just write about what the place looks like, the writer should endeavor to incorporate the 5 Wâs into the paper: who, what , when, where, and why. If all of these are included, the reader will not only understand why the location was chosen but what it means to the writer. Here are a few suggestions:
- An important place
- A place that inspires you
- A historical site
- An art exhibit
- A prison cell
- The Superbowl
- The site of a natural disaster
- A strange place
- A favorite place to eat
Objects often carry with them sentimental meanings that could make it easy to describe. Again, the writer wants to answer all of the pertinent questions that the reader would have when reading the paper. The writer should endeavor to describe why the item is important to them. Does it have a negative connotation or does it bring back pleasant memories. What is the sentiment connected to it and how important it is to them. Here are a few suggestions:
- An object of personal value
- A book
- A family heirloom
- A movie
- A meal
Memories also can provide excellent descriptive subjects. Memories come in all types from a real life memory to a very vivid dream. Memories evoke many emotions that could come out in the writing process allowing them to express things they would not normally think about.
- A personal memory
- Your life in 20 years
- A lesson youâll never forget
- What do you daydream about
- Learning something for the first time
- A recent vacation
- The future
Events can sometimes overlap with memories and the fundamental descriptive prose is often the same. When youâre dealing with an event from the past, youâre also dealing with a memory. Conversely, when youâre dealing with dreams of the future youâre also dealing with hopes and dreams of today. All of these can make for extremely descriptive prose.
- A favorite holiday
- A phobia
- A life changing event
- Your first paycheck
- Winning something
- A recent vacation
- A major accomplishment
- A concert
Youâll notice that the topic chosen has to be something that is very personal to the writer. With that personal connection, the ability to write descriptively will be much easier.
As you can see, there is no end to the number of topics you can choose for a descriptive essay. Remember, it is not about facts and figures as is the case with other types of essay topics but is about what sensations the writer experiences when in that particular situation or in the presence of that individual and how he can relay those feelings to the reader.
The Anatomy of a Research Paper
A research paper encompasses many things. It may be a paper due at the end of a term or class. It may be the result of weeks, months or years of research. During the course of completing this type of academic writing assignment, you examine an issue to write an analytical or argumentative paper that is a summary of research and your conclusions.It is the combining of your thoughts with the thoughts of others.
Term papers are often considered this type of paper, and the term “term paper” is used interchangeably with research paper. However, the traditional definition of a term paper does not always require research, so if your assignment is a term paper, make sure the requirements are in line with what a paper involving research entails.
The anatomy of a research paper consists of four main parts:
- The introduction, including background information, history and outstanding research questions
- The body paragraphs, where research that includes current data and statistics is presented
- The discussion section, where problems within data are identified and solutions to them are identified
- The conclusion, where you sum up your research, findings and any drawn conclusions and make recommendations
Introduction of a research paper
The purpose of the research paper introduction is to set the stage for your paper. Setting the stage involves doing the following:
- Giving an explanation of what you are researching and the reason
- Identifying the issues you intend to examine
- Stating what you aim to prove
- Asking any relevant research questions that are outstanding and pertinent to your topic
In addition, the start of your research paper may also include a background or history section if the topic requires it. Providing this information is not a mandatory part of a paper involving research, but it is sometimes necessary to explain the development of a particular problem or issue to put your topic within context. Only use this section if it applies to your topic; do not force it into a topic where the information is unnecessary.
Body paragraphs of a research paper
The body paragraphs of a research paper focus on research. These are the body of your research, and this section is usually broken into multiple subsections. Each subsection focuses on a particular aspect of your research. The goals you should aim for with the body paragraphs include the following:
- Incorporation of current and relevant research as it pertains to your topic
- Presentation of evidence objectively and in a balanced manner
- Avoidance of drawing any conclusions about the research
Discussion or analysis section of a research paper
In the discussion or analysis section of a research paper, you focus on a thorough analysis of the research you presented as it pertains to your topic. Areas you might cover include the following:
- Any problems your research identifies
- Solutions to those problems
- Analyses of how the research you presented as it is relevant to your topic
The analysis section is usually the most crucial section of your research paper. Without an analysis or discussion, you are simply restating the research and opinions of others without any personal contributions in the form of the conclusions you draw and your opinion or thoughts.
Conclusion of a research paper
The conclusion of a research paper addresses your thesis statement by synthesizing the research you presented in your paper and should show how you accomplished what you set out to do or analyze. A good conclusion includes the following:
- Your thesis statement restated, not simply repeated
- The results of your research are summarized and synthesized
- Recommendations for further study or implications based off your research and analysis
A conclusion never introduces new material. If you have new material to introduce, it should be included in the body or discussion section of your research paper.
While the structure of a research paper is pretty straightforward, you must take care to ensure you are following the scope and purpose of your assignment to write a good paper. Proofreading and evaluating your paper are important steps in ensuring you tackle a research project with success. Likewise, finalizing your paper to ensure the best quality is vital to completing an effective research paper. By utilizing these steps, you improve your paper from the first word of the introduction to the last word of the conclusion.