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How To Improve Your Handwriting

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School child age 4-7 practicing handwriting
Peter Dazeley/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
Have you ever notice a really nice piece of handwriting and felt envious? You can write beautifully, too, if you're willing to take the time to practice.

Handwriting is important for taking notes and writing test essays. Both speed and legibility are essential for good grades, so is is so important to learn to write neatly and in a way that doesn’t fatigue your hand quickly.

But neat handwriting also makes you look and feel good!

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 1-2 weeks

Here's How:

  1. Open a word processing program and write a sentence containing about ten words using a variety of letters.

  2. Copy the sentence and paste it about five times.

  3. Look through the fonts in your word processor to find styles that look like a type of handwriting. Highlight each copied sentence, one by one, and change the font of each copied sentence to one of your favorite fonts, so you end up with a variety of choices.

  4. Print the paper, leaving several spaces after each sentence. Now write the sentence by hand after each of your sample sentences.

  5. Look over the styles and pick the style you like best and the one that feels natural to you.

  6. Once you come up with a handwriting style you’d like to emulate, type out the entire alphabet in your word processor, using your font of choice. Use a large type size and leave plenty of spaces between letters and lines. Save this page so you can print several copies, as needed.

  7. Practice writing the letters. Keep your feet flat on the floor, don’t slouch, and rest your elbows on the desk or table as you write. Make sure your entire arm moves as you write—not just your hand.

  8. Create several sentences to form a new style guide. Practice writing theses sentences, and make sure to pause between letters so that you don't blur them together. Handwriting looks neat when individual letters are distinguishable.

  9. One you get the hang of your writing style, start practicing in a journal every day.

  10. Keep a printed style guide on hand as you do your homework.

Tips:

  1. Watch your posture! Try to keep your wrist straight and “hovering” as you write. Make sure it's not resting on the table. Also don’t lean down too much. You should try to keep your arm’s bend at a 90 degree angle.

  2. Use pen and pencil, because you never know which will be required on exams. Get used to both.

  3. Experiment with size and slant. Find a writing style that feels comfortable and looks good.

  4. Don’t grip too hard. Nerves can cause students to do this in a test situation without realizing it. This can cause pain in the hand and arm in the days that follow.

  5. Practice with different pen and pencil sizes to find the best grip.

What You Need

  • Computer and printer
  • Paper
  • Pens and pencils
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