Writing apprehension continues to be a barrier to effective student writing, and has been found to have an impact on choices of course, major, and even career. Yet the causes of writing apprehension have not been fully investigated. This study examined the relationship of comment placement, appearance, tone, and completeness to student writing apprehension levels, and to student perceptions of comment tones, which could also affect writing apprehension. A survey was designed and tested for use in this study, and was administered to freshmen and seniors in college. Statistical analyses of survey responses seemed to indicate that some specific aspects of instructor comments could be related to student perceptions of the tone of those comments. Of the aspects of instructor comments that were considered, only comment tone had a direct relationship with writing apprehension scores, but a number of other aspects of teacher comments, including placement, color, and completeness, were found to be related to student perceptions of tone, and thus indirectly related to writing apprehension levels.