How to Create an Original Essay Topic

Recorded Saturday, July 2, 2022 at 05:00 PM

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About this livestream


College applications are all about showing who you are and what makes you unique—and the essays are the #1 opportunity to do that!

Join writing expert Robbie Herbst as he walks you through how to find an original essay topic that sets you apart from the crowd. Robbie will be discussing the ins and outs of crafting an engaging personal statement and nailing supplemental essays.


Robbie Herbst

Dartmouth College, CU Boulder
Hello! I am a writer, editor, and violinist, and for the past eight years I've coached students through the college application process.

In the 2022-2023 application cycle, my students received admission from Stanford, Columbia, Duke, Northwestern, UVA, Carnegie Mellon, Tufts, Bates, Vanderbilt, Case Western Reserve, and many others.

When I was in college (Dartmouth '16), I became interested in creative writing. During my time there, I won the student awards for best Short Story and Best Creative Work. I also founded the campus literary magazine. In the years since, my essays and fiction have been published in esteemed literary magazines including Gulf Coast, CRAFT Literary, and The Offing. A full list of my publications and awards can be found at my personal website,

After graduating from Dartmouth, I channelled my passion for writing and editing into the world of admissions, and I began working with rising high school seniors in 2016. Since then, I've worked with all sorts of students including transfers, veterans, students applying for medical/graduate school, students taking gap years, as well as more traditional undergraduate applicants. The breadth of my writing experience has given me insights into the editorial process, and I know my students benefit from it.

In my parallel life, I am a violinist, and I play with a number of groups in and around the Chicago area. I graduated from CU Boulder with my Masters of Music in 2019 and my Artist Diploma in 2021.
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