How to Have a Better Handwriting?

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Having a bad handwriting can be quite frustrating. No, it NEVER determines the intellect or educational caliber of someone. But people always will criticize those who have “unreadable” handwriting. Plus, having a soothing handwriting is always a great skill to have.

If your child or students have really poor handwriting, don’t get stressed. There are always ways to make things better. In fact, one can easily improve handwriting within a few months of dedicated practice – some can even do it within a single month!

It’s not a rocket science!

There are only two simple steps –

  • Analyze the Current State of Handwriting
  • Actual Change of the Handwriting

There are some cunning tips in play too. You should also ask your child or students to follow them for quick and effective results.

Let’s begin, shall we?


Step 1: Analyze the Current State of Handwriting

Whenever you want to tackle a situation, first, you need to understand the depth of the situation. Otherwise, you will be walking on a dark road without any reference or goal.

The same can be said about improving handwriting.

You need to find – the root cause.

So, before jumping into anything, ask your child or student to give their best effort and write a short paragraph.

Why am I emphasizing on “giving their best effort”?

Because our handwriting gets worse whenever we rush it.

Provide them a lined paper while writing this paragraph. It’ll help you make a fairer judgment.

After it’s done, you should be making the judgment. You can follow these steps to come to a conclusion –

  • Identification of primary writing shapes
  • Slanted vs. perpendicular
  • Alignment matters
  • What about spacing?
  • The font sizes
  • Line quality
  • Final assessment


Why should you all these hassles? Doesn’t improving individual letters improve the overall handwriting?

Yes, and no!

Improving the shapes of the individual letters do improve handwriting but to only an extent.

The overall handwriting can still look bad with properly shaped letters. On the other hand, overall handwriting might look excellent with average (or somewhat poor) looking individual letters.

There are a lot of factors in play here.

Let’s look deeper into assessment now –


Identification of Primary Writing Shapes

Everyone has their own personal font.

It can be full of loops and curves, have boxy letters, stiff or fluid, or have too much sharp hard corners.

Think of the handwriting as fingerprints – completely identical.

No matter what is your child’s primary writing shape, let them embrace it. Things will only get worse if you force them to change their primary shapes.

But there’s always room for improvisation, and that’s why you need to know about the primary shape of their handwriting.

Just note it down. You don’t need to take any action.


Slanted vs. Perpendicular

Our handwriting can either be slanted or stand fully straight.

In most cases, they are slanted. And, the degree of slant determines whether the writing is good or bad. If the degree of slant is too great, the handwriting might become “unreadable.”

Also, there is the factor of left- and right-side slanting.

You can get some grid-lined paper for your child to practice. As they try to align with that perpendicular line, they will gradually have less slanted handwriting.


Alignment Matters

While writing a whole sentence or paragraph, words might tend to lift upwards or go downwards. Sometimes a lot of words in a single text can have different angles. I am calling it the alignment issue.

Unaligned writing looks inconsistent and might look bad at first glance. Even someone having nice looking letters might suffer from this issue.

This is a severe issue that you need to address. Again, the solution is using guided writing with grid-lined paper.


What About Spacing?

Why do computer-processed texts look better than your average handwriting?

The simple answer is – consistency.

The space between every letter in a computer-processed text is constant. It rarely happens while we are writing.

Still, you should encourage your children to have a consistent gap between every letter and word. Both the cramped and spaced writing looks bad.

Here’s a tip – tell them to put enough space between the words so that a “capital O” can fit in!


The Font Size

There are two problems related to font size –

  • Too little or too big font size
  • Inconsistent font size

The first issue is quite simple. Kids typically have a larger font compared to the adults. But some might have tiny font too.

Sadly, both of them are bad.

How do you determine whether a font is too large or too small?

Just go through the paragraph that your children or students have written.

If the sentences overlap, then you are looking at a large font. On the other hand, if there is more than enough space to write another sentence between the lines, the font is too small.

The issue number two (inconsistent font size) even a bigger problem.

The handwriting wouldn’t look too bad if your child has a consistent large or small font. But if one word seems too big and the next one seems too small, the whole text looks bad.

Focus on this issue.


The Line Quality

Sometimes kids (or adults) put too much or too little pressure on the paper. It determines the line quality of the handwriting.

With heavy pressure, the writing gets stiff and shows boxy or sharp tones. On the other hand, with light pressure, the writing gets fluid, becomes slanted, and sometimes too faint to read.

Apart from checking that, identify whether the lines are straight or squiggly.


Final Assessment

With all that analysis, you should be able to address all the common issues of your child’s or student’s handwriting.

I would suggest you put equal emphasis on those issues.

You can try to mitigate each of these problems individually or go for the overhaul method.

If your child is showing one or two issues, you should try to address them individually. But if there are too many issues in play, you should go for a big change.



Step 2: Actual Change of the Handwriting 

Now that you are aware of the probable cause of your children’s poor handwriting, you should ask them to take proper steps towards it.

But both you and your children need to understand that changing handwriting is a very, very hard job.


If we want to change the handwriting, we need to forget the previous muscle memory and develop new muscle memory. Plus, writing is a semi-subconscious activity. We don’t actively think about how good is handwriting getting but focus on the text that we are writing.

So, you will need a good amount of time before you can witness a noticeable change in handwriting.

I humbly ask you to be patient.

With enough practice and dedication, things will definitely change.


Here are some of the tested techniques that you can follow –


Change the Grip

One of the biggest reasons behind poor handwriting is an improper grip. You will witness dramatic changes once you change the pen or pencil grip.

The best practices are –

  • Dynamic tripod
  • Lateral tripod

Dynamic tripod grip uses the tips of the thumb, index, and middle fingers to hold and control the pen or pencil. This grip allows the fingers to move freely, and writing becomes more fluid.

Similarly, lateral tripod grip also uses the thumb, index, and middle fingers. But instead of holding the pen or pencil with the tips, it uses the pads of the fingers.

There are also other finger grips –

  • Dynamic quadrupod
  • Lateral quadrupod
  • Adaptive tripod or D’Nealian grip


No matter which grip your child uses, make sure that the grip is relaxed enough. The focus should be on holding the pen or pencil with flexed muscle. Avoid squeezing or clutching the pen.

A relaxed grip ensures fluid handwriting. Most calligraphers emphasize on the relaxed grip.


It All Comes Down to Shapes

Think about it – all the letters in the English language are made of three basic shapes –

  • Straight lines,
  • Circles, and
  • Semi circles

That’s it!

So, before jumping onto the letter practicing, you should ask your child to practice these basic shapes. This practice will help them perfect those basic shapes, and you will see noticeable changes.

Get a paper and ask them to draw small parallel vertical and diagonal lines, small circles (o’s), and half-moons.

So, maintain this practice until shapes become identical enough.

For example, all the vertical lines or the half-moons should look almost the same.

It’ll take some time, but it’ll work.


A Directional Chart

Do you know almost everyone has different ways to write the same letter? This is one of the biggest reasons for everyone to have different handwriting.

But this could also be the reason behind your child’s poor handwriting.

The solution?

Directional chart.

Despite everyone having a different approach for writing every letter, there is still a standard method out there.

If your child has a poor letter forming issue, following a directional chart is a must.

It sounds a bit too much.

But writing the letters just like back in the kindergarten will definitely help.


A Good Pen Can Rescue

You might not believe it, but the writing tool determines the quality of handwriting in many ways. The pen should sync with the grip of the writer and the force applied to the pen.

It seems like a nit-picky solution but works!

There are literally thousands of options (let’s say brands) out there. Your child might like gel pens, ballpoint pens, or even fountain pens. It doesn’t matter. Get them the pen he or she prefers to have.


Try Rotating the Paper

Most probably in kindergarten, kids are taught this weird norm that the paper has to be in a vertical position in front of us.

That’s not true!

I would suggest playing with the position and rotation. It’s only possible that your child will feel more comfortable rotating the paper a bit. Maybe even in an unorthodox position.

Remember, comfort is the key to better handwriting.


Working with a Worksheet

There are a lot of templates and worksheets out there online. Get these worksheets and ask your child to follow their guided writing methods.

With regular practice, your child will develop new muscle memory while writing. It’s a bit lengthy and slow process, but it will bear fruits in the long run.


Final Thoughts

Having good handwriting is a skill, an asset. In many cases, it’s a cheat code for having a better result in the exams.

Moreover, the key to having a good handwriting always depends on practice. That’s why, you should practice as much as you can!

But I want to add one thing – everyone has their own writing styles and everyone should embrace their very own writing styles. It’ll result in long-term success.


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