Imagine you’re an English teacher. You gave the students a writing assignment that requires them to write an essay on their favorite thing to do. One student turned in the following paper:
Over the weekend me and my girlfriend went to the Mall. It was fun. I love going to the Mall. It’s my favorite activity but I’m not sure if I like it as much as I like going to the skating rink. But I also think I like going to the beach to watch the waves. I don’t know. I wonder what the new movies are on Netflix. I went to the movies last month to see this crazy movie about a man who was trying to take over the world. I don’t remember the name of the movie. I should’ve asked my boyfriend because he went with me, but we broke up so he’s probably not talking to me right now. I’m thinking about getting a dog. My birthday is next week. My birthday is my favorite holiday because I get lots of presents and get to hang out with the people I care about most but it won’t be my boyfriend this year because he broke up. I can’t wait for my vacation to begin so I can have my birthday party and see a new movie.
This paragraph is difficult to read. What is it the student’s favorite thing to do? Going to the Mall? The skating rink?The movie? Their birthday? There is no specific train of thought. When writing you should stick to a particular focus/subject and elaborate on that topic until you want to transition into another topic.
This person would be considered GARRULOUS: excessively talkative about trivial matters and not sticking to the subject matter she was instructed to write about.