When I think back to my freshman year in college, I recall a professor returning my very first paper with a comment on the front page. It said: THIS READS LIKE THE YELLOW PAGES. His comment was humiliating and painful. It certainly didn’t offer me tools to improve the paper. Instead, the impact of his choice of words and method of delivery squashed my confidence as a student. All these years later I wonder what impact he was striving for. Or, perhaps on autopilot, he just wasn’t thinking.

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