Boilerplate: Ethan Wolfe

Like most writers (I imagine), I often fall victim to the usage of excessive boilerplate language in any of my writing that is intended for others. So when I reread one my essays about my work at the Daily that I wrote to apply to the business school, I couldn’t help but cringe at the thought of what past-Ethan was thinking he did so well. Three glaring examples of boilerplate I found were:

“In just a few months, I have developed an array of invaluable skills, professionally and socially.”

I wrote this in response to how my Daily experience translates to business. I couldn’t tell you what I was thinking here. The people who were reading my essays certainly didn’t learn a single thing from that sentence. In fact, I believe they expected me to have professional and social skill.

“I have not only improved as a writer, but my communication and networking skills have become better, too.”

Exactly what I said for the first sentence applies here. Communication and networking skills are expectations, and anyone reading this sentence would question the correlation between those skills and writing. Further, saying something is better doesn’t mean its good, and it would’ve been better to elaborate on how I got better at those things.

“The relationships that I have made with my fellow sports writers have reinforced the significance of working in a comfortable environment with hard-working people.”

This sentence was describing something I learned with the Daily. I wouldn’t work in an uncomfortable environment with lazy people, and I don’t think most would. So saying that this was significant for me doesn’t really add much value, its just contextualizes that I don’t just do writing at the Daily.

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