Key Points

  • Move your entire arm rather than just your hand when writing.
  • Hold your pen or pencil comfortably, not too tight or too loose.
  • Practice drawing basic shapes like lines and circles.
  • Try using different pencils and pens.
  • Practice the alphabet until you perfect each letter.
  • Write sets of words once you feel confident in how your letters look.

/Changing Your Handwriting/

1.Write in the air. Most of the time, people with poor or illegible handwriting simply haven’t properly trained the correct muscle groups in their hands, arms, and shoulders. Avoid “drawing” letters with your hand, and instead write by moving your entire arm up to the shoulder. To practice doing this, the easiest thing is to write sentences in the air using your finger. This forces you to use the muscle groups in your arm and shoulder that help to improve handwriting and keep it from looking messy or cramped.

2.Adjust the shape of your hand. Your pen or pencil should be held between your thumb and index and (optional) middle fingers. The end of the writing utensil should rest against either the web of your hand or against the knuckle of your index finger. Holding your pencil too tightly or loosely (in this position or others) will result in poor handwriting. Hold the pencil in the bottom ⅓ for the best results.

3.Practice the basic shapes. A consistent flaw in poor handwriting is irregularity and inconsistency between letters and shapes. All the letters are made up out of straight lines and circles or semi-circles, so put in some time drawing these. Fill an entire sheet of paper with parallel vertical lines, and parallel diagonal lines. Do the same with a sheet of ‘o’ shapes as well. When you can consistently make the same line over and over, you are ready to move onto complete letters.

4.Study a directional chart. Although everyone seems to do it a bit differently, there is a certain way to write each letter of the alphabet. Following the correct direction of the line that forms each letter can greatly improve your handwriting. For example, rather than starting a lowercase ‘a’ with the tail, begin at the top of the loop. Practice writing every letter in the correct direction, just like how you were taught in kindergarten.

5.Try a variety of writing utensils. Although it may seem nit-picky, different people are able to write better (or worse!) using different writing utensils. Try a variety of tools including a ballpoint, roll-on, and felt pen in addition to traditional and mechanical pencils. Finding one that you enjoy writing with may be enough to improve your handwriting on its own.

6.Try a variety of writing utensils. Although it may seem nit-picky, different people are able to write better (or worse!) using different writing utensils. Try a variety of tools including a ballpoint, roll-on, and felt pen in addition to traditional and mechanical pencils. Finding one that you enjoy writing with may be enough to improve your handwriting on its own.

7.Get it down pat. When you’re certain of your every letter’s perfection, practice writing them in full words and sentences. Write the phrase “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” over and over again—this particular sentence contains every letter of the alphabet, giving you ample practice time. Although it may seem monotonous, the adage ‘practice makes perfect’ certainly applies here.

8.Always handwrite things. Pass up the option to type that essay outline or to pop off an email catching up with a friend, and instead make the effort to handwrite your work. Taking the opportunity to write things by hand whenever possible will be the most beneficial practice in improving your handwriting. It may take a bit longer, but you’ll be building up the muscles that are necessary for easy and smooth writing.

 

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