I was reading from the middle of a post on KitchenTableMath and thinking, “That’s just how they taught writing at my high school!” Someone else wrote 3-3-3 paragraphs! Then I got to the top of the post and realized Catherine was quoting an e-mail from me.
In the comments, Matthew K. Tabor suggests telling kids to read their writing aloud or listen as a friend reads it to them. Excellent advice. If it sounds clunky, it is clunky.