What teachers generally tell students –
Ah, this essay isn't typed correctly.
Em, those letters should be capitalized.
Ha, parts of this are plagiarized!
Look, this paragraph needs more development.
Uh, I'm afraid this work is going nowhere . . .
Things we probably ought to say –
Keep exploring your core ideas – wrestle with them patiently.
Surface mechanics can be handled later – focus more on the content now.
Read a bit more, then compare your ideas with others.
Revise fearlessly: gradually your words will shine.
Writing is a journey, not a destination –so keep at it.
There is probably very little we can meaningfully say to most students.
Yep! Moreover, most of the time students aren't even listening. Repeating the same stuff over and over gets frustrating.
I suspect most folks don't want to hear the truth about their writing. If we were brutally honest, I'm afraid most people would stop writing entirely since 95% of our words are essentially trash.
Be careful about comments like that. It's arrogant for any person to claim to know "the Truth." Moreover, the notion of what is "trash" or not is highly subjective.