How Handwriting Improves Spelling

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A Brief History

A letter written on August 19, 1665 or 1666 was found inside the cover of The Voynich manuscript, an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system.  From medieval to modern times, letter-writing remains a fundamental aspect of your civilization and culture.  Professional Writer Cody Rhodes from EssayZoo says that writing a letter is one of the essential steps to embrace to develop and nurture your writing skills; however, some people perceive as a wastage of time. Hence,they opt to send text messages or emails. This is not wrong as what you want to convey gets to the recipient fast; however, it will not help you improve your writing skills. Technology has brought many changes in the world today. And, many people heavily rely on it for their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities, which can be detrimental more so if you want to mind your spelling. Thus, at times, it is better that you learn a particular task(s) manually–more so if you want to perfect or master it.

If you embrace such an act, not only will you be able to identify the common mistakes you always make but also learn the spelling of new words and phrases. Additionally, you will get to improve your handwriting in the process, thereby getting the academic grades you have been yearning for. And if you want to learn how you can boost your handwriting, you can pay for perfect essays and find out these professional writers craft their work. Also, below are some suggestions for how to improve hand writing for adults you can use.

Digging Deeper

Kinesthetic learning

Constitution of the United States

Writer Darren Barden from admits that when you practice handwriting, you acquaint or familiarize yourself to the fluid motions which are delineated to craft each letter. As time passes, you develop an automatic response of crafting these letters, which is similar to muscle memory. And, when you practice writing continuously, you will be less conscious or mindful of the whole writing process, which is referred to as automatic handwriting. If you progress and excel to the level of automatic handwriting, not only will your mind be free to focus on proper spelling but also grammar.

Handwriting, spelling, and reading unites

Many take notes while reading.  Photograph by Arntor.

Good handwriting skills activate the areas your brain uses to read comprehensions. And practicing handwriting regularly helps reinforce or strengthen these areas of your brain, thereby making reading easier and enjoyable. Unlike typing, practicing writing manually helps you note some of the words which you do not know their correct spelling. Typing often has an autocorrect which automatically corrects wrongly spelled words. Thus, you may presume that you wrote a word correctly, and instead of it being highlighted so that you can note the error it gets autocorrected. But, when you write manually, you train your muscle memory to reminisce the shape and movement of words and phrases. Eventually, you not only get to know the correct spelling of many words and phrases but also get to improve your handwriting.

Handwriting is better for association

Charles Elliot’s handwriting to Clara Elliot.

Managing our writing tasks by tapping the buttons on a keyboard does not build a strong association. You have everything in front of you, and all you have to do is press the button which matches the letter you purpose to write next; however, with writing manually, everything is different. You may be unsure about the correct spelling of a particular word or phrase. Thus, you will have to think consciously about its spelling. If you are unable to, you will be forced to look it up. And, this will help you to know its spelling as well as its definition. Handwriting builds a stronger association with writing wholly than automatically, like pressing a button.

Without spellcheck

Google Chrome spell checker in action for the above poem, the word “chequer” marked as unrecognized word.  Image by Jerrold H. Zar.

As mentioned earlier, when working on a writing task automatically, you are bound not to note the spelling mistakes you will make. This is because they get autocorrected. Many web browsers and computers which have spellcheck denote a misspelled word by drawing a red squiggly line underneath it. And when you double click it, the issue gets to be corrected. Hence this hinders you from knowing how to spell the particular word(s) correctly. When you sacrifice your autonomy or self-sufficiency to technology, you will not be able to learn anything at all. But, when you embrace manual writing, you will learn a lot. Do not worry about the number of mistakes you make. You can do without spellcheck. And, this will help you to better your handwriting. So, you will not have to wonder and ask, “How do you spell penmanship?”


An example of OpenDyslexic typeface, used to try to help with common reading errors in dyslexia.  Screenshot of en:OpenDyslexic, set in that font face.

Persons who live with dyslexia have a difficult time reading and writing, because their minds find it hard to string letters together in the correct format. Print writing is not a good option to better their skills, as all the letters are separate. But, when using cursive, it will be easy for them to read and write by memorizing these words wholly more so when they are written in a connected cursive. Cursive helps formulate long strings of letters which are connected as a common word. So, if you are wondering, “Can I write my name in cursive?” Well, you do not have to anymore. Cursive can help you read and write things with ease.


Example of Latin text with abbreviations.  Image by David of Augsburg (David ab Augusta).

Many people often abbreviate words and phrases when sending emails, texting, or chatting through social media. But, when it comes to handwriting, it is not advisable to use shortcuts, because you will not express the meaning of a word as you ought to. Also, you should refrain from using emotions to replace words. It will stagnate your cerebral development. So, you need to avoid using shortcuts at all costs when handwriting to boost your vocabulary.

How cursive helps

Example of classic American business cursive handwriting known as Spencerian script from 1884.  Image by D.L. Musselman.

Cursive writing has all the letters linked together. All words written in a stroke create strong links for letters in particular groups. Cursive handwriting helps you learn how to spell by building stronger links with collective strings of letters instead of individual letters.

Handwriting may be a cumbersome task. And with the automation and informal approaches technology has, the cerebral development of many people is hindered. Handwriting enables you to learn how to retain information. Hence, if you are among the students who wonder, “How can I improve my handwriting?”above are some tips you can use to perfect the art.

Question for students (and subscribers): Do you prefer typing or handwriting?  Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Clayton, Ewan.  The Golden Thread: A History of Writing.  Counterpoint, 2014.

Trubek, Anne.  The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting.  Bloomsbury USA, 2016.

The featured image in this article, a detail from page 107r of Voynich Manuscript depicting the “recipe” section, is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason: This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1924.


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