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How to Have Good Handwriting

Just like fingerprints, handwriting styles are totally custom and unique to the person. It's a fact that most people dislike their handwriting, but with a little practice you can love it. The key is not to rush so you can keep it consistent. Grab out your favorite notebook, and let's get started.


Re-Training Your Handwriting

  1. Look at some computerized fonts or your friends' handwriting for ideas. Open a word processor such as Microsoft Word, and change different font styles to see which looks best and try them out. If you find a font you like, type out every letter (capital and lower case) so you can copy it later.

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    • You can also practice good handwriting by borrowing notes from students who who have good handwriting. See how they have written each letter and word and try to write like that.
  2. Practice the letters you have the most trouble with. Don't try to change everything all at once. Start with the letter that is sloppiest. If your A looks like a giraffe with eight legs, change it. It'll be easier to see progress this way, too.

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    • Have a letter sample on the side of your paper. Have a short line next to it for practice. Continue this for the whole width of the paper. Skip a line and then do this again with a sample for copying each time. Never do a row of letters as you will tend to copy the one you just finished.
  3. Practice letters with similar strokes. Take for example lowercase letters "g," "c," "o," and "e." They all have that same rounded shape. Good handwriting is consistent, and all these letters should have the same round-ness about them. Once you've worked with letters separately, work with them in their groups.

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    • "M," "n," "u," and "w" is another common set of letters that may need working. You may also want to consider making your tails consistent ("y" and "g," for example) or your longer letters the same, like "h," "p," and "b."
  4. Practice writing the same sentence over and over. Now that the letters are easier, what about writing them in actual works? It is usually best to write down a sentence and then start writing that same sentence a few times slowly. As it gets easier, aim to write faster and faster.

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    • The key is to remember to try and keep each letter the same size. For example, tall letters like "t," "l," "k," etc. should all be the same height. Then letters like "a," "o," "e," etc. should all be the same height, too. You'll need to concentrate at first, but it gets easier! Keep the letters rounded and take your time.
    • "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" has all the letters of the English language. It's a good sentence if you want to work on every letter!
  5. If you want to start writing in cursive, practice connecting letters. Practice connecting the letter before and after with another letter you know well in the same group, such as "adc," "aca," "ada," "gag," etc. When you get good at that, start working in different groupings.

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    • Hard to make letters like "f" in cursive can be done with notebook paper turned sideways ¡ using the line as the down stroke for the f. Lower case b and q are other ones that can be successful with this approach. They all have the loop going to the right unlike "g," "j," and "y."
  6. When joining letters, try to be consistent in terms of angle, length, and height. This will make it easier for people to distinguish between letters and joins. Ensure that spaces between words are consistent, too.

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    • A sloping desk encourages more rounding of letters. If your angle isn't what you want it to be, consider changing the angle of your paper or the surface you're writing on.

Avoiding Frustration

  1. Accept your writing for what it is. You're never going to be perfectly happy with your writing, but you've got to realize that you can write, and that is something to be thankful for. Just find a style that suits you, regardless of what it looks like.

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    • Good handwriting is like a "good painting" – subject to fashion, technology and personal judgment. The Mona Lisa was not considered to be a good painting for many centuries until Franco-Italian nationalism made it the focus of attention. Similarly, we consider the serifed Renaissance style of handwriting to be barely legible and now encourage our children to write in a sans-serif style resembling digital fonts like Arial. Neither can be considered "good" in the long term, but there have been times when each was seen as ideal.
  2. Know that illegible handwriting doesn't make you look dumb. There is an inverse relationship between legibility and credibility: doctors are universally respected for their knowledge yet derided for the illegibility of their prescriptions; manual laborers receive less respect even though it is generally very easy to read their handwriting. If your handwriting is hard to read, don't stress it. No one is judging.

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    • A similar pattern can be seen between male and female handwriting: the latter tends to reflect the shapes of letters as taught much more closely than male writing, yet people are less likely to be promoted if their handwriting is seen as childish, simplistic or lacking individual identity.
  3. Don't give up. If you try best, you will definitely see an improvement in your skills. Keeping a diary or journal is a good way to practice without it feeling like a chore. Go off the computer for a bit and write instead. Make small efforts to see large changes.

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    • Everything gets better with practice. When you have a bit of spare time, write down everything you can. Write letters to your friends, even if you don't send them. Write notes to your friends in class – or even write notes to yourself. Think of it as doodling.
  4. Don't rush your writing. Take it slowly at first; when you practice more only then will you get faster. When it comes to handwriting, to be neat takes time. You'll get into the habit of writing clearer and you'll be able to read what you've written. In the end it will pay off.

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    • Write slowly and take the time to make sure each letter is the perfect shape. Speed will come later. Don't stress about it now. You have to walk before you can run, you know? This isn't a race – you have years to perfect your handwriting skills.


  • Try using a ball-point pen with good ink-flow. This will produce standardized width letters with minimal drag between letters.
  • Relax your hands. Apply a firm amount of pressure around the pen, but remember that you need to be relaxed and calm when you write. It's imperative to the improvement of your writing that you aren't cramping your hands. Your writing will only get worse if your hands are tensed.
  • Also do not give more than enough pressure on the paper.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper/Notebook

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