How to Improve Your Handwriting


Having good handwriting is useful for writing letters and cards and filling out important paperwork. If you wish your handwriting was a little easier to read, don’t worry! There are a few techniques you can use to make your handwriting more legible and aesthetically pleasing.

Part 1
Analyzing Your Handwriting

Analyzing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

1
Choose a topic— it can be whatever you want—and write at least five sentences about it. If you’re not feeling too creative, simply copy a passage out of a book or newspaper. The goal is to get an idea of what your handwriting looks like on average. The more you write, the more accurate your analysis will be.

Analyzing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

2
Is your handwriting full of loops and curves? Is it primarily straight lines and stiff in appearance? Do you have hard corners, or do your letters blend together?

Analyzing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

3
The angle at which you write your letters can make or break your handwriting. Is your handwriting perpendicular to the lines under it? Does it fall to the left or to the right significantly? A slight slant is typically not a problem, but too much of one can make reading difficult.

Analyzing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

4
Do your words tend to be written on an upwards or downwards angle? Do they overlap with the lines on the page? Is every word individually angled, or do your entire lines of text head in a similar direction away from the line?

Analyzing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

5
The distance between your words and letters helps determine the quality of your handwriting. There should be enough space between each word to fit the letter “O.” Using more or less space than this can be an indicator of poor handwriting. Pay attention also to the closeness of each individual letter. Cramped writing or letters that are spaced far apart are also difficult to read.

Analyzing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

6
Turns out size does matter, at least with handwriting. Does your writing fill up the entire space between two lines? Can you write all your words in less than half the space between two lines? Taking up a large amount of space or using too little are both things to avoid.

Analyzing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

7
Look at the actual lines that comprise your writing. Are they drawn with heavy pressure, or are they faint and hard to read? Are your lines straight, or are they kind of squiggly and uneven?

Analyzing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

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Considering all of the aforementioned, what is it that your handwriting needs in order to improve? Possible changes can be made to the shape of letters, your spacing, alignment, writing size, line quality, and the slant of words. Changing one or more of these will improve your overall handwriting legibility.[1]

Analyzing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

9
So now you know your letters are too large and your shapes too round, now what? Go onto font websites and look for handwriting samples that you like. Make a copy of each style of handwriting that is feasible for you to mimic. Don’t be afraid to look for samples that might vary significantly from your own handwriting, as you can pick and choose certain aspects of different handwritings rather than adopting an entirely new one.

Part 2
Changing Your Handwriting

Changing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

1
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.

Changing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

2
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.[2]

Changing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

3
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.[3]

Changing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

4
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.

Changing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

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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.

Changing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

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Yes, just like in first grade, fill up rows upon rows of lines with each letter of the alphabet in lower and uppercase. Use your font inspiration that you gathered as well as your handwriting analysis to focus on what you need to change. If slanting is your problem, make it a point to keep your letters vertical. If you are trying to change the shapes of your letters, concentrate simulating the shapes you see in the handwriting inspiration you’ve chosen.

Changing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

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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.

Changing Your Handwriting on How to Improve Your Handwriting

8
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.[4]