I used to red pen my students (back before Big English Teachers’ Professional Organizations [BETPO] advised against red pens. Too negative! Use green! If you must, you may use purple! Put a sticker on your students’ work to soften the blow that “j/k” doesn’t belong in a report about Three Cups of Tea. Always recognize the effort! Encourage quantity! Read/comment on almost all of it!) for three reasons:
1. Long parenthetical tangents.
2. Exclamation pointorrhea
3. Being too afraid to start a new piece of writing, and cowering behind a semi-apologetic, painfully self-aware pre-introduction before getting on with the business and pleasure of writing.
Hello, friend. May I tell you some stories? I’ve been spending a lot of some time on them.