Every individual has unique handwriting. And it depicts some important aspects of one’s personality. With the changing times and priorities, handwriting improvement holds no or less importance for many people (including students). At this age and date, there is a huge dominance of technology in our lives. And gradually, good handwriting has become a lost art. Most people have lost the habit of writing.
And the growing reliance on digital devices, note making applications has further deteriorated the quality of their hand writing. Most of the teaching and learning processes have also shifted online . As a result, the zeal to improve these abilities has also minimized considerably.
Handwriting-Related Issues in the Digital Age
Back in the year 2012, a leading journal revealed that 33% of people had difficulty reading their own handwriting.
And later in the year 2019, another source confirmed similar facts, wherein almost 45% of Americans agreed that they struggled to read their own handwriting. We can easily assume that the situation is no better in other parts of the world. Because hand writing importance is taking a back seat globally with the choice of convenience through digital technologies.
A look at the weightage of the varied problems at the workplace, caused due to bad handwriting.
This lost quality has affected the lives of professionals adversely. Because the inability to write legibly creates confusion and misunderstanding in the workplace. It can also lead to anxiety issues when people are asked to write on white-boards during a meeting or conference etc.
Hence, we can conclude that despite the growing dependence on alternatives for handwritten text, the importance of legible hand writing remains as it is. Let’s decode how one’s handwriting can have a profound impact on various aspects of life.
Importance of Good Handwriting
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Bad handwriting should be considered as a sign of an imperfect education.’.
Certainly, our hand writing is a reflection of our personality. It depicts our thought processes. And also unfolds some hidden facts about our nature/mindset. Handwriting types can speak volumes about one’s character traits. For instance, good hand writing shows clarity in one’s mind. And illegible writing depicts a confused or chaotic state of mind.
Poor or illegible writing also highlights that the individual lacks hold on the language. Very often people who write illegibly might also lack confidence. For students, there can be many more advantages of writing legibly and neatly
Why is Good Handwriting Important for Students?
For students across all age groups, this ability to write legibly has a number of benefits. At the elementary stages, it helps them to develop reading fluency and also improves comprehension. Later in higher grades, it supports students in note-taking, assessments and makes them more confident to present their work in large groups. Other than these generic advantages, this quality can also support better learning.
The Link Between Writing and Learning?
Studies have shown a strong link between writing by hand and better learning. It is proven that writing by hand is an effective way of strengthening one’s learning. On the other hand, the same process of learning gets impaired through typing. The reason behind enhanced learning through writing is that it involves a number of senses. Through these sensory experiences and motor actions, our brain receives feedback. Another similar research shows that different parts of our brain are activated when we read alphabets that are learned by handwriting.
It is clear that hand writing practice can support students in numerous ways. But one needs to have legible hand writing to come back and read the self-created text. Our next section will describe some handwriting improvement tips. So let’s jump to this part now.
How to Improve Handwriting
In this age when pen and paper look obsolete to many people, handwriting of English is not given much importance. What most people overlook is the significant advantages of writing legibly, some other members of society are keen to improve their handwriting through conscious efforts.
If you wish to make this healthy change, try these tips:
- Select the right type of writing material (like pens) that can support more neat text creation.
- Choose the most suitable handwriting types and observe a couple of good samples.
- Learn to manage your speed and practice enough with workbooks (specially designed for this purpose).
- Stay patient and wait for desirable results to follow with ample practice.
What are the Qualities of Good Handwriting?
Let’s discuss through an example, the importance of cursive handwriting. In cursive handwriting, continuity is an important factor. A limited number of pen lifts, pen pressure, and the right balance between strokes add value to its neatness. Broadly speaking, a clearly written text has enough spacing, regular letter formation in uniform size across the entire sample.
In cases of slant styles, one should stick to a single direction, and never mix right and left together. Some other habits like writing over the printed line, or mixing two types of handwriting styles can also affect one’s quality to jot down text legibly. These conditions depend on the goals of writing. Hence, these can always be subjective in nature.
What is the Most Important Goal of Handwriting?
The most fundamental goal of handwriting is to strengthen the literacy level of an individual. It also supports the building of other skills such as reading and comprehension. And also eventually leads to school success (for both students of a traditional school/online school). Other goals include the development of one’s skills to an extent that supports clear communication through the written medium. This includes accuracy, neatness, and correct spelling to convey the exact message to the reader.
You must be wondering why there is so much emphasis on cursive handwriting when a lot of digital options are available for us.
Well! there is a reason for it.
Despite alternatives, Handwriting is still Important?
As per the New York Times, the importance of cursive handwriting is much more than just writing. In fact, it is a great support to one’s brain development. And affects areas of thinking, working memory, and language too. Cursive handwriting improvement tips can help an individual to improve their writing. This in turn improves one’s comprehension abilities and also their ability to focus.
The above-mentioned journal beautifully describes the importance of cursive handwriting to master the standards of written expression. In addition, it also supports life skills that are even beyond the vicinity of a classroom (virtual in case of an online school).
Other than these great advantages for students, writing legibly is also a way to identify cognitive impairments. A study shows that handwriting is a powerful tool that can help in gauging the cognitive status of an individual. It is an essential parameter to test an individual’s cognitive status. And helps to diagnose even the most severe cognitive impairments.
While many of us know that good handwriting can improve our lives, why do we struggle to write legibly?
Why do People have Messy Hand Writing?
Illegible and messy handwriting can be because of too much speed. It can also be due to too many experiments including the ones for handwriting improvement. And even through experiments to select the best among all styles. Some people try imitating other’s styles and they end up losing the neatness of their own written text.
In the haste of writing, we often miss simple rules like uniformity, size, and slant selection, etc. But at the same time, when we write slowly and consciously the results can be much better for us. Have you noticed that when we know that we will be judged through our writing (such as a shopping list or a to-do list), we make a better attempt and slow down our pace? This automatically supports better formation of alphabets. Because we tend to follow most of the golden rules for handwriting improvement.
With the growing influence of technology in our lives, handwriting seems to have lost its charm. We have gradually moved away from our roots. And this process is depriving us of our inherent abilities. If only we identify our imperfections, we can strike the right balance between the tried and tested methodologies and new-age technology.
Let’s try to get back to the basics and remind ourselves that good handwriting is a key to success in life. So help yourself and your kids to master this valuable learning tool. And witness the beautiful change of legible and neat handwriting.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Why handwriting is bad?
There can be various reasons behind illegible handwriting. Some of these are being out of practice, writing in haste, or too many mixed styles that lead to a messy look. In today’s age of digitalization, too much dependence on digital note-making has also made us out of practice.
- What is the handwriting importance in adulthood?
The importance of handwriting is paramount in all stages of life. Adults do get judged because of their handwriting, And they can be highly conscious of themselves if they do not write legibly. Clear handwriting shows confidence, clarity of mind, and hold on the language of the writer.
- What are some quick handwriting improvement tips?
You can select the right style, arrange for some practice books, and get a pen that works best for you (gel, ink, or ball pen). Take an appropriate sample and devote some time to improve.
- What is the importance of handwriting in preschool?
Preschoolers who practice handwriting well tend to be better at reading later in elementary school. It is also great for their motor movements, coordination, memory, and even their vision.
- How can we improve handwriting of English?
Practice is the key. One of the best styles is cursive, you can practice this style through readily available material in the market and improve your handwriting of English.
- How many hours do we need for handwriting practice?
It totally depends on your preference, zeal, and lifestyle. Somewhere between an hour to more can suffice if you make a genuine and constant effort.