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How to improve your handwriting?

  1. Feb 21, 2012 #1
    I really need to but I have no idea how :frown:
    I've been writing for at least 15 years, assuming I started writing when I was ~5 yet I'm still pretty terrible at it.

    How does one solve this problem?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2012 #2


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    how terrible are we talking about? if it is legible, leave it alone tbh.
  4. Feb 21, 2012 #3
    It's legible to me, not so much other people or even me if it's been a while since I wrote it..
  5. Feb 21, 2012 #4
    type everything.

    The reason most people's handwriting is bad is because they hurry. Mine was never wonderful but by the time I hit college it became much much worse. You can study calligraphy if you really want beautiful writing or you can go back to the beginning and form each cursive letter correctly and take enough time when you write to do it. You're most likely just writing too fast. Just type everything. That's what I do and then change it over to a cursive style if I want it to look nice.
  6. Feb 21, 2012 #5


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    My handwriting is mostly printing, sometimes with a bit of connectivity like cursive. It looks better, takes little effort, and is easier to read than cursive. Once you get into the working world, anything outside of personal notes will be typed, even on a whiteboard you should print.
  7. Feb 21, 2012 #6
    True about the printing. A family member whose handwriting was so bad his future wife needed help translating his letters to her became an educator, printed everything rather than wrote it and his printing was quite good. (His future wife told him - why didn't you try printing a few years sooner :-) )
  8. Feb 21, 2012 #7
    Then you have a bit of a problem, assuming that the goal is to communicate. How does one improve one's handwriting? With concentrated practice, like anything else.
  9. Feb 21, 2012 #8
    what is handwriting?
  10. Feb 21, 2012 #9
    Yeah, cursive is dead.
  11. Feb 21, 2012 #10

    Ben Niehoff

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    About a year ago I forced myself to re-learn cursive. Now I use it almost exclusively, it is legible, it is faster than print, and causes less repetitive motion stress (due to smoother motions).

    Whether you want to improve your print or your cursive, the same principles apply:

    1. Stop trying to write fast. Focus instead of making letterforms correctly and legibly. The speed will come back with practice.

    2. Try to re-learn how to correctly hold a pencil or pen. If you've been doing it wrong for years, this will be difficult. I still have trouble.

    3. Try to write more with your shoulder, not so much with your wrist. This will be tough at first if you don't normally do it. But it will save you a lot of repetitive motion stress, while at the same time making it easier to form smooth, steady letters.
  12. Feb 21, 2012 #11
    Make sure there is enough room on the writing surface so you can rest your elbow on it. Place the paper at an angle to your body so it's in line with your writing arm. Relax your arm and hand as much as possible as you write and sit up so you're not stressing your back out.
  13. Feb 21, 2012 #12
    It's what you learned back in the day when you had to walk two miles to school in three feet of snow everyday, uphill both ways. This was a privilege because the alternative was milking cows, mending fences, and mowing hay with a scythe, with one hand, while you fended off savage Indians with a musket in the other hand. Ask Evo. She was there.
  14. Feb 22, 2012 #13


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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  15. Feb 22, 2012 #14
    Yep. But those four guys had it easy.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  16. Feb 22, 2012 #15


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    Yeah, my writing is a kind of hybrid between print and cursive. We learnt proper cursive in school (or, as we call it, joined-up writing), but my writing is nowhere near as flamboyant as that nowadays!
  17. Feb 22, 2012 #16
  18. Feb 22, 2012 #17
    The first machine shop I worked in some engineer upstairs drew all the prints we worked from. I was so impressed by that block writing I started imitating it every time I addressed a letter. Makes it so clear.
  19. Feb 22, 2012 #18
    Shorthand is the way to go imo. If you want someone else to be able to read it, then use a computer.
  20. Feb 22, 2012 #19


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    I learned handwriting from an old-school teacher who insisted that we write with the large muscles, not the fingers. She was a smart old bird. I still have acceptable cursive today, even with my arthritic fingers. A few years ago, I had to sign off on something, and the woman said "Wow! You have a real signature!" It's a cursive scrawl, but nobody is going to duplicate it unless they intend to steal my massive fortune.
  21. Feb 22, 2012 #20


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    My hand writing is bad. It is legible by me and others but it's pretty ugly to look at. I put it down to the fact that >99.99% of what I write (this applies to at all times in my life including when I was learning to write) is via keyboard rather than pen. Besides computers are so much more civilised; no embarrassing moments having to ask what someone means, no frustration trying to read an important document that seems like it came from a museum archive and no getting ink on your lips as you accidentally gnaw through a pen.
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