Handwriting is a skill that has many benefits. It helps
young children interact intimately with the language. For adults, it can be a
calm and contemplative experience. Getting good at handwriting is a worthwhile
effort for everyone. In this article, we will introduce our essential methods
to improve your handwriting.
The essential methods to improve handwriting is broken up
into 5 major parts:
Preparing to write by hand
Training to write by hand
Handwriting on-the-go (as you write)
Handwriting analysis and correction
Practice makes perfect
These 5 major
parts are essential for improving your handwriting. You should follow each part
according to the above sequence.
in part 1, we will touch on the things to prepare before starting to write by
hand. In part 2, we will explain the training exercises that you can use to
improve your handwriting. In part 3, you will learn about the handwriting
details to take note of while you write. Completing these 3 parts, you will
have learned how to write well by hand.
learning to write well by hand, part 4 will be focused on helping you to
improve your handwriting further. You will learn about analyzing your
handwriting to make future correction and improvements.
will explain about being motivated and how to set realistic expectation for
your handwriting practice in part 5. This is arguably the most important part
of the essential methods to improve handwriting. Here, you will learn advices
to bring about consistent effort that will produce improvements for your
Read on to learn
and apply the essential methods to improve your handwriting.
1: Preparing To Write By Hand
many things to be aware of when beginning your handwriting practice. Knowing
them can help you get the most out of your handwriting practice faster. They
are especially important if you are going to guide young children on
handwriting. It will help them to build
up a good handwriting foundation and habits.
part on preparation, we will cover everything you need to prepare for before
you start handwriting. The obvious will be your choice of writing tool(s) and
positioning your body properly. Some less obvious things to take note of is
your hand grip and other writing apparatus that can help build good handwriting
Your Writing Tool
section, you will want to decide on your writing tool. Will it be a pen or
deciding between a pen or pencil, you will need to consider your handwriting ability. Are you able to control your
handwriting muscles with great ease? If so, then you might consider using a
pen. If not, you might consider using a pencil.
general rule of thumb, for most adults, your handwriting muscles would be
well-developed, and you will want to use
a pen to write more fluidly. But there is no harm in using a pencil to
write, as well. Using a pencil to write can help you to further refine your
The main advantage of using a pencil is the
greater handwriting control it offers. The increased handwriting control comes from
its less fluid and higher friction movements on the paper. You will need to
exert more force against the paper, as writing with a pencil will generate more
friction at its tip. This added effort will help to slow down your handwriting.
down your handwriting can provide you with the time to be attentive to your
handwriting technique. That is why most young children that start out
handwriting always begin with the pencil. If you are reading this article to
guide your young child with handwriting, we will suggest you let your child
write with the pencil first.
Below we have summarized into a table of the benefits and downsides of using a pen or pencil.
Low friction against paper
High friction against paper
Smooth to write with. Good for writing fast.
Rough to write with. Easy to control. Good starting writing tool for young child.
Lowers control Requires a certain level of handwriting skill to use well.
Bad for writing fast.
On Your Hand Grip
There are 4 types of hand grips variations for handwriting. All the types of hand grips use the thumb, index finger and middle finger. As for the ring finger, some of the hand grip uses it to support the writing tool. While other hand grips use the middle finger to support the writing tool.
selecting your ideal hand grip from the 4 types, it is important to bear in
mind that there is no perfect or correct
hand grip. You will have to try out each of the 4 types to find the hand grip that is most comfortable
for you. This hand grip decision process will require you to make minor adjust
to your hand grip to suit your comfort level.
If you are
unsure about which hand grip gives you the most comfort, it is okay to switch
your hand grip around each time till you find one that feels right. The key
point here is to experiment with different hand grip and adjust until you find
if you have been using a specific hand grip since young, and you find that a
different hand grip feels more comfortable now, it is alright to make a change.
However, when changing your hand grip in adulthood, you will initially feel
that writing nicely with a new hand grip is difficult. This difficulty will
subside as you practice writing more with your new hand grip. Similar to any
habit, handwriting with your new hand grip will become an ingrained habit
A tip when
deciding to switch hand grip is to practice writing with your new hand grip
occasionally, while using your old hand grip for day to day writing tasks.
Your Hand Grip
it is important to keep your hand grip relaxed. This is to prevent your hand from getting injured and reduces fatigue. It will
allow you to write longer and free of
with a relaxed hand grip is an important part of improving handwriting. As you
will learn in this guide, improving handwriting is not only about the writing
of letters onto a piece of paper. Handwriting
improvement is also about the quality and endurance of your ability to write,
and that will be contributed by factors, such as your hand grip tightness.
learn about relaxing your hand grip, you need to understand the bad effects of
a tight hand grip.
tight hand grip will cause a strain on your forearm. This is because the hand
grip of your writing tool is controlled by the forearm muscles. When your hand
grip is tight, your forearm will quickly feel the aches. Then, you will not be
able to write longer. If things were to exacerbate, you might find yourself
requiring medical attention for your muscle strain.
having a tight hand grip, you should only use an appropriate amount of force on
your hand grip. As a general guide, you should feel that your hand grip is tight enough to keep your writing tool firmly in your
hand. That means your writing tool is not wobbly.
follow the advice to relax your hand grip, you forearm should not feel tensed
up. You will be able to increase your handwriting endurance without getting
In the next
topic, we will follow up on handwriting endurance and injury avoidance by
explaining the proper use of muscle groups for handwriting.
The Correct Muscle Groups
common for many people to rely on forming letters by their wrist. This is
controlled by the forearm muscles. Like the hand grip, this will add strain to
the forearm overtime.
using the forearm with a small muscle group, it is better to rely on a larger muscle group. It might
be a surprise to many, this larger muscle group controls the shoulder girdle.
That means you can use these larger muscle group to move your entire arm.
Handwriting with your larger muscle group around the shoulder girdle can improve your handwriting endurance. You will feel less fatigue when writing with this muscle group.
If you have
not been handwriting with the use of your muscle group around the shoulder
girdle, worry not! Later in the guide, there will be a section on improving
with a practice exercise, which you can do to start engaging its use in your
A Slanted Board
realize that you will hunch forward when handwriting on a flat table? This is a
common sight of many people writing by hand on a flat table. On a flat table,
the head has to tilt forward to get the paper within visual sight. Following
the head tilt, it is natural that the body tends to hunch forward to avoid an
excessive head tilt.
of writing on a flat table becomes the start of most people acquiring a bad
posture when sitting down. Since we begin learning to write at a young age, the
bad posture is further solidified during our developmental years. Avoiding this
bad posture from a young age is important. Similarly, it is also not good to
continue with the bad posture as adults.
From ages ago, our ancestors have developed a solution to the bad posture caused by handwriting. The solution is a simple angled table, which was commonplace in school desks of the past. However, it has changed in our modern times, where the flat table is more common.
likely reason why the angled table is out of fashion currently is its
impracticality. A flat table is more practical for daily use. We can place our
stuffs on it without fear of them falling off the table.
the benefit of using an angled table cannot be ignored. An angled table helps to elevate the paper. This makes the paper
easier to be seen and places less strain
on our eyes. It also encourages our writing hand to be placed on it with
less force. Having less force on our writing hand will make our writing smoother.
many benefits, it will be a waste to not write on an angled table. Luckily,
there is a modern alternative to the angled table. The modern alternative is a slanted board. This simple board is
portable and can be placed atop any flat table. It can provide the same posture
correcting effect as a dedicated angled table.
Cost wise, the slanted board is cheaper than a
dedicated angled table. Thus, it is a popular option for people of all ages
to use when handwriting.
starting to write by hand, it is crucial you get your posture right. You will
want to get it right and avoid any
discomfort while writing. Additionally, this will help you to prevent bodily injury and aches from bad
posture. A good posture will aid in better
handwriting as well.
body posture, keep your legs planted on the ground firmly when seated. Your
torso should be kept upright.
writing arm, lean slightly on it. Take care not to place too much weight your
writing arm. Importantly, your writing arm should still be free to move around.
to lean on your writing arm is to allow it to rest on the table. You would not
want to tire yourself by raising your arm while writing.
non-writing arm will be used for holding down and moving the paper. As such, do
not lean on this arm. You might consider resting it on the table while it holds
down the paper.
2: Training To Write By Hand
In part 2,
I will begin to introduce the training and ideas you can do to improve your
handwriting. Each training and each advice are focused on a particular aspect
of handwriting. When you use all of part 2 training and ideas in combination,
you will get the most out of your handwriting training.
the training methods will begin from a heavy emphasis on handwriting muscular
control. It will be followed by the focus on writing letters.
part 2, you will read about handwriting tips to make your handwriting training
and practice session more effective.
In The Air
It is time
to write in the air. This training exercise will help you to engage your entire arm, especially the
muscle group around the shoulder girdle. It will get you working with the
correct muscle groups when handwriting. For a young child with no handwriting
experience, this is definitely the best
exercise to use to introduce handwriting to the young child.
The goal of
writing in the air is to form the letter shapes in the air. Using your finger,
you will gesture with the use of your arm, remember to engage the muscle group
around the shoulder girdle, to form the letter shapes. Progressively, if you
want a more challenging experience, start to write a word then a sentence in
practicing writing in the air daily, it can help you to not only engage the
correct muscle groups. Additionally, you will start to broaden your handwritten
letters, as a result of learning to engage the bigger muscle groups. That
means, your improved handwriting will be less cramped and more legible.
the act of random drawing, is a great way to become use to your writing tool. During the exercise, your aim is
to put into practice the good habits learned thus far on holding and
controlling your writing tool.
The aim of
the doodling exercise is also to improve
your muscular control of your writing tool. In the above exercise, “Write
In The Air”, you practiced using the muscle groups for handwriting without your
writing tool. This doodling exercise is to get you to wield and effectively
control your writing tool. That means, your muscles involved in handwriting
will be trained to be more refined in smaller movements compared to the
previous exercise, where your muscular actions are exaggerated.
doodle and become familiarized with your writing tool, you are building up the muscular sensation of
moving your writing tool. If you have been handwriting for many years, do
not skip this exercise, it still has its benefits. From doodling, you can
better internalize the use of your writing tool, especially if it is a new
writing tool. This can help you to better
form your shapes while handwriting.
some advices for the doodling exercise:
doodle, you will want to practice drawing whatever comes to mind. Do not put much thought into your doodle or
overthink your doodle. It should be relaxing and without much stress.
If you are
having difficulty with deciding on what to doodle, you can find some simple shapes or drawings to copy. Try adding your own
touch and flavor to the shapes or drawings you copy. Another idea for doodling
is to draw whatever items are in your surroundings.
doodle, remember to engage the muscle
groups you trained in the “Write In The Air” exercise. You will want to
continue the learned good habit of using the correct muscle groups for
handwriting, as you continue in this exercise and other exercises below.
If you are
starting a young child on using a writing tool, such as a pencil, doodling is
an effective approach for them to familiarize with the use of the writing tool.
Also, it is fun to doodle. This
helps to keep the young child interested
and motivated in using the writing tool.
On a side
note, doodling can also help to spur
felt bored at times? Doodling can help you to displace your boredom. So, use the doodling exercise to help you
improve your handwriting and avoid those boring times.
As we like
to say – “Simply Doodle!”
Basic Shapes And Lines
above exercises, you would have strengthened your handwriting muscle groups.
Now, you are ready to dive deeper into
the mechanics of forming letters. This is the main goal of practicing basic
shapes and lines. Also, this practice provides more opportunity to work on
those handwriting muscle groups.
practice of basic shapes and lines, you will be focusing on the details of a
letter. A letter, as you know, is make up of shapes and lines. In this
practice, the letters are broken into
their basic shapes and lines. This gives you a more focused and simplified
practice to work on.
practice of basic shapes and lines removes the complexity of letters. That way,
you can focus single-mindedly on getting the parts of a letter drawn well.
It is a
good habit to practice with basic shapes and lines before handwriting. The
exercise serves as a great way to
warm-up your handwriting muscles. As an advice, start each handwriting
practice with this warm-up exercise.
The basic shapes and lines to practice:
some advices when practicing basic shapes and lines:
begin drawing the basic shapes and lines, keep your drawing larger than your
usual handwritten letter size. By
drawing larger, you can re-enforce your correct use of muscle groups, and it
helps to improve your handwriting control.
the exercise, you should place your attention on forming the shapes and lines
as best as you can. This means that you should keep the lines you drew as
straight as possible. For rounded shapes, try to form smoothened roundness.
From A Directional Guide
This is an advice if you want to optimize your handwriting of letters. You can learn from a directional guide of letters to find the most effective sequence and direction of letter formation.
that a directional guide is just a guide. Take it as a guideline of the best
practice. If you find that you feel more comfortable and/or effective forming
letters in a particular sequence and direction, it is alright to follow your
preference. Do not force yourself to
conform to the guide if it makes your handwriting experience feels not natural.
other hand, a directional guide of
letters is extremely useful as a starting point for a young child to learn when
handwriting of letters. It provides the young child with a basic idea of
what to follow to form letters. Additionally, the directional guide gives a
sequential process that makes the letter formation easier for the young child
The Paper Around
write on paper, you should consider the position of the paper. You do not have to keep the paper straight
in-front of you when handwriting. It is unnatural to write with your hand
parallel to the paper. You should shift
the paper around to suit you.
on your writing hand, left-handed or right-handed, you might consider shifting
the paper at an angle away from your writing hand. In the case of a
right-handed person, you might want to shift the paper at an angle towards your
left. As you shift your paper, experiment
at different angles for the most comfortable paper position.
benefit of shifting your paper away from your writing hand is improve neatness
in your handwriting. By positioning the paper at an angle away from your
writing hand, you might find it easier to guide your handwriting in a straight
Finding the ideal paper position will take a
few trials. Once
you find the ideal paper position, it will make handwriting so much more
On Lined Or Boxed Paper
handy advice to improve your handwriting practice is to write on either a lined
or boxed guided paper. The lines and box
grids can provide a reference point for your handwriting. It will help you
to keep your handwriting within a consistent size.
boxed guided paper can provide an additional guide for the width of your
handwriting. This is especially useful as a guide to keep your handwritten
letters’ width consistent.
or boxed guided paper can provide the visual cue for keeping your handwriting
in a straight line.
Write Big Before Going
before going small is an effective exercise to refine your handwriting and
train the use of proper handwriting muscle groups. You can start your
handwriting practice by writing letters, words, or sentences in a big size.
This can be up to 3 lined space on a lined guided paper.
explained above, writing with the larger muscle groups around the shoulder
girdle helps extend your handwriting endurance. In this exercise, the practice of writing big helps to
re-enforce the use of proper muscle groups. This exercise repeats the same
idea as “Write In The Air” exercise. While the exercise brings into practice
the use with a writing tool.
You can add
this exercise into the above training of “Simply Doodle” and “Practice Basic
Shapes And Lines”. Also, together the combination of exercises can be a great
warm-up before handwriting.
write big, remember to write smaller as you practice more. When writing
smaller, remember to keep the larger muscle groups engaged.
Keep at it
and write big then small to refine your handwriting. You should aim for greater consistency, control and
clearly formed shapes from your handwriting refinement.
With A Workbook
many advices and training exercises to consider, it can be overwhelming to
remember them all. This is where a handwriting workbook can provide the guided
practice session. A well-developed handwriting workbook will contain all the
above practice ideas.
Good news! We have developed such a handwriting
workbook, which you can download below for free. All we ask from you is your
kind feedback after using the handwriting workbook. It will help us improve the
handwriting workbook for you and others. Or drop us a simple email of your
improved handwriting picture. This will help us know our handwriting workbook
has helped you achieved better handwriting.
(Downloadable book coming soon December 2019, join our newsletter to receive update when its available.)
By sign up
for the free handwriting workbook, you will receive a download link of the
handwriting workbook. Also, the email collected will make it possible for us to
email you with newer version of the free handwriting workbook when available.
The Time To Practice
thing on handwriting practice. You need to find the time to practice your
handwriting. Your handwriting will not
improve until you practice it often.
You can set
a weekly schedule to practice your handwriting. Setting weekly schedule can
help you build handwriting practice into
a routine and long-term habit.
If you find
it difficult to schedule a specific time weekly for handwriting practice, fret
not. Another way is to find free time in your day and do some quick handwriting
practice. Or use your handwriting practice as a warm-up exercise before a
writing assignment. It can be a good way to stimulate your mind, and slot in
that quick handwriting practice.
3: Handwriting On-The-Go (As You Write)
part of essential methods to improve handwriting, you will learn the key
elements to pay attention when handwriting. It is important to become aware of
these elements so that you can improve your handwriting. This is similar to any
process of learning a skill, you need to focus your mental effort on each key
handwriting steps as you write. By doing so, you will be able to correct and
improve or maintain the practice of good handwriting techniques. Also, these
are elements of handwriting that you can adjust as you are handwriting to
improve your handwriting a little more each time you practice.
write, pay attention to these elements of handwriting:
Focus On Handwriting Clarity
purpose of handwriting is to communicate your thoughts onto paper. To effectively communicate your thoughts by
handwriting, you need to write the letters clearly. That means forming each
letter shape properly, such that someone reading your handwritten letters are
able to recognize the letters without much effort.
level of handwriting is at the words stage. When writing words within a sentence, you should give adequate spacing
between words. If your spacing between words is too narrow, it will make
reading the sentence difficult. Similar to forming letters, you would want
someone reading your sentence to be able to identify each word clearly, as each
word is given enough spacing.
are writing, pay attention to the above pointers. Self-correct any handwriting
that is not clear to read.
Adjust Your Hand Grip
As you have
read Part 1 on “hand grip”, the goal of your hand grip is important for comfort
and handwriting endurance. You can
adjust the tension on your hand grip as you write. Remember that your hand
grip should be tight enough to hold onto your writing tool firmly.
The usual tendency of most people is to tense
up their hand grip the longer they write. You might need to remind yourself to relax
your hand grip when writing for longer duration.
Vary Your Writing Speed
your writing speed is a good way to improve your handwriting quality and control.
By slowing down your handwriting, you
can take the time to write out each letter’s shape clearly. It is also fun
to try speeding up your handwriting, as part of an exercise of control.
try handwriting fast and slow at different times, it can help stimulate more
muscular memory for handwriting. This can happen as the varying of writing
speed provides a more challenging handwriting experience, which will help you
to internalize the skill better.
4: Handwriting Analysis & Correction
part, you will learn to analyze your handwriting in greater depth than in part
three. With greater analysis of your handwriting, you will be able to find
areas for improvement. Making the correction on these areas for improvement
will improve your handwriting.
your handwriting, you will want to achieve these three goals:
– This means the written words are easy to read.
– This means keeping the letter shapes and spacing between words consistent
throughout your handwriting.
good – This means that your handwriting is beautiful to read.
recommend that you take a top-down approach to analyze your handwriting. That
means beginning your handwriting analysis from the sentence level then the word
level and ending at the letter level.
“Sentence> Word> Letter”.
keep in mind the three goals mentioned above when analyzing your handwriting at
At the sentence
level, you will want to ensure each word
is well-spaced apart for clarity. A neat trick is to imagine that between
each word, you are able to fit the letter “O” in-between them. If the words are
too close together, it will reduce the clarity of your handwriting, as they are
cramped and difficult to read.
the sentence level you will want to ensure
your handwritten words are of a consistent size. This will keep your
handwritten sentence uniform and looking good.
At the word
level, you will want to consider the
slant and alignment of your letters. Avoid slanting your letters too far to
either left or right, as it can make your handwriting less clear and difficult
to read. Some people would prefer to slant their letters, as it helps them to
write more comfortably. In this case, keep the slant not too extreme. As
always, it is important to maintain uniformity with your handwriting, if you
are slanting your letters, you should strive to keep the slant uniform.
handwritten word, observe if your
handwriting is towards an upwards or downwards angle. This is known as
alignment. The important thing here is to maintain a consistent alignment of
your handwritten letters throughout your handwriting. Analyzing a word would
provide hints if you are not keeping your handwriting aligned uniformly.
you will analyze your handwritten letters. The level of analyzing your
handwritten letters is arguably the most important component to an improved
handwriting. This goes back to all the training you have done above to build up
your letter handwriting ability.
When you analyze your letters, you will want to
observe the following – key shapes, quality of letter shapes and line quality. As discussed, letters are formed by
key shapes of lines, loops and curves. You will want to ensure each letter
shapes are formed well. That means they are clear to read.
quality of a letter is a result of the pressure you applied to your writing
tool when handwriting. You will want to find areas of your handwritten letters
with faint lines that are difficult to see, or of inconsistent line thickness.
If you spot these issues, you will want to adjust your pressure applied while
handwriting to get the letters formed clearly and consistently.
analyze your handwriting, take notes of the areas where your handwriting fails
to meet the three goals of good handwriting.
analyzing your handwriting with the above guidelines, it is time you start to
correct the imperfections. Correct the mistakes you have noted.
correcting your handwriting, you will want to work from a bottom-up manner.
That means, you will start to correct your mistakes from the level of letters
followed by words then sentence. Correct
the flaws in your letters formation before proceeding to improve on your words.
important to not overwhelm yourself by trying to improve too quickly. Always
work on one element of handwriting at any point of time. This will prevent your
handwriting improvement effort from becoming too diffused. Additionally, you
will be able to observe the substantial improvement much more quickly by
working on one element, which can help to keep you motivated to improve
handwriting, as you see progress.
5: Practice Makes Perfect
of the essential methods to improve handwriting will focus on the last piece of
the puzzle to get good at handwriting. This final piece is to practice making
your handwriting as perfect as you want. To many, this idea might sound simple,
but it is definitely the part that most people will struggle with in their goal
to improve handwriting.
common that you will feel fired up after reading this guide on handwriting.
However, this enthusiasm will eventually simmer down. Therefore, it is equally
important to not only learn about the methods to improve your handwriting
technically, but also to set the mental framework to get you through your
handwriting improvement journey.
this essential guide, below you will find the tricks, tools and ideas to keep
you going in your handwriting practice.
starting your handwriting practice, you need to understand the reason you are looking to improve your handwriting.
There must be a reason that led you to read this guide on handwriting.
Are you looking to improve your
handwriting for personal satisfaction?
Are you trying to get good a skill,
and you decided that handwriting is a basic skill to improve?
Are you trying to improve your
handwriting so you can be a better artist and craft beautiful typefaces?
your reason for improving your handwriting, you can determine how motivated you
are. You will also need to decide if your reason for improving is compelling
enough, are there possible additional reasons that contribute to your motivation
for improving your handwriting?
for your motivations. When you have your motivations, it is good to write them
down. Writing them down can provide something for you to refer, remind and
re-enforce your motivation as you need.
A great way
to stay motivated, is to find a goal to strive for in your handwriting
practice. As handwriting is skill used to produce beautiful artform, such as
calligraphy, you can find some videos of
professional calligrapher to watch to get inspired.
to keep yourself inspired is to make a
scrapbook of beautiful handwritten texts you found. The scrapbook of
beautiful handwritten texts can become the handwriting beauty you strive to
achieve. Before you begin your handwriting practice, looking through your
inspirational scrapbook can help set the motivation.
By Hand Whenever Possible
It can be
easy to become occupied with day to day activities and events that we forget
our interest and goals. Your handwriting goal can also become a neglected
interest or goal.
Luckily, handwriting is a skill that you can practice within many contexts. If you are a student, you can write your notes by hand. If you are working in a job, you might need to record down a memo, you can do that by hand instead of typing on a computer.
you sneak in your handwriting practice into every aspects of your life. Find
and write by hand whenever possible!
beats the daily effort to improve. Having
a handwritten journaling routine can keep you on track in practicing daily.
Nevertheless, daily journaling is a good habit to do. It can make you more
reflective and self-conscious of your days and life. That means you will be
more aware, and you can better steer your life towards the goals you hold
reached the end of this guide on essential methods to improve handwriting. As
you can tell, handwriting is a skill that has many subtleties to it.
Nonetheless, it is important to practice systematically one element of
handwriting at a time. Before, you start practicing handwriting set your
expectations realistically, as it will definitely take time to improve your
How long does it take to improve my
Handwriting is a skill. It takes time to improve any skill. Therefore, the
duration required for improvement will vary based on individuals and their
handwriting objective. If you are trying to write neater and more consistent,
you can expect to see improvement after about a month of consistent practice.
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