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Why Is Penmanship Important?

Updated on December 15, 2016
Different selections of cursive writing
Different selections of cursive writing
An example of elegant handwriting
An example of elegant handwriting
An example of a mixture of bold and elegant handwriting
An example of a mixture of bold and elegant handwriting | Source
An example of "chicken scratch" handwriting although this is better than others.
An example of "chicken scratch" handwriting although this is better than others.


In China, the art of handwriting, known as Calligraphy is the first step to becoming a true artist. One must first truly conquer the art of shaping letters and words and then one is trained and taught the ways of the great scholars of China.

The Art of Chinese Painting - Part One

The Art of Chinese Painting - Part Two

Recently it came to my attention that cursive writing may soon be extinct. Slowly but surely it is being phased out and soon it will be no more. In my opinion, this is a complete shame if it does happen, as cursive writing has a lot more in it than learning how to cross your t's and dot your i's.

Cursive writing, which is a part of Penmanship, is one of the most important lessons a child could ever learn. It helps children form an identity. Everyone knows that each and every person has his or her own handwriting. Each person's handwriting is reflective of his or her personality. It also help to teach a child discipline and patience which is much needed in order to be a successful and thorough student.

When practicing Penmanship, one has to have discipline and patience as one tries his best to form the letters into the cursive slant he is presented with. This discipline he implements without realizing as well as the patience which comes along with it, he then takes with him to every other subject he has.

Some children are, admittedly, better at Penmanship than others. Some are highly skilled when it comes to cursive handwriting while others are not. This may seem to be elementary, unimportant information but from this information one can ascertain or infer the areas of strength and weakness a student may or may not have.

The Perfect Handwriting

A student who displays a type of handwriting that is almost identical to the one which they are asked to copy from has what I like to call "The Perfect Handwriting". Not that it is perfect but that it is perfectly copied. I find that students like these have no problems listening to instructions and copying them so as to get the same result. Among this group may be the students who are able to read a note and learn it word for word. Students who write obeying all the rules of cursive writing tend to be excellent at precise art. An introduction to calligraphy is wise when it comes to these students, for out of all they would have the most patience and skill when it comes to perfecting letters. They may also have an interest to drawing or painting.

The Elegant Scrawl

A student with an elegant scrawl is one who takes the basic tuition of cursive writing and then elaborates on it with his or her own graceful slant. I have found that students with this type of handwriting generally like Literature, Drama, and the Theater. This type of student has a serious potential for loving books. They are diligent when it comes to their work but they take a lesson, absorb it, and then regurgitate it in their own way. They are sharp, and witty, and able to explain what they have learned in their own words. These too, may be appreciative of art and artwork but may more lean towards the side of impressionist works, in that impressionism gives the idea of the thing but is not precise exactly.

The Bold Hand

What I mean by a "bold hand" is the type of handwriting that is of a slightly larger size than average, perhaps rounder, and it is generally written with a heavy hand, that is, the writing implement, whether it be pen or pencil, is pressed down upon heavily making the handwriting very pronounced. Students with a bold handwriting generally have an outgoing personality. They are either quick to laugh or quick to cry but they are very decided in all of their actions. This is another valuable piece of information for it shows you just who in your class is not afraid of getting things wrong in order to get to the right answer - and isn't that what the subjects Science and Mathematics ask of a student? These students can take a challenge and will be determined to best it.

The Chicken Scratch

Sadly the most common type of handwriting, I believe it is becoming more and more popular because of all the technical advances man has made. The Chicken Scratch type of handwriting which is basically a nonchalant, I-don't-care type of scrawl or an I'm-in-too-much-of-a-hurry type of scribble can tell a teacher which student has a serious penchant for rushing, which student is potentially over-energized, or which student is not interested. From this information a teacher can now act accordingly to get the best out of his or her student.

As a matter of fact each style of handwriting can help a teacher determine how to teach each and every student. It is like having a little box where the children can throw something in that most represents them!

A view on Penmanship

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Black Book. Handwritten around 1250The Book of Hours - a handwritten book.The Dead Sea ScrollsThe Heart Book - handwritten around 1550
The Black Book. Handwritten around 1250
The Black Book. Handwritten around 1250
The Book of Hours - a handwritten book.
The Book of Hours - a handwritten book.
The Dead Sea Scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls
The Heart Book - handwritten around 1550
The Heart Book - handwritten around 1550

Everyone has a different style of handwriting. Like fingerprints, everyone's handwriting is different. Perhaps this is because handwriting is an extension of our fingertips? But I am going off of the subject.

In today's world, writing, whether cursive or not, is becoming a thing of the past. Everything is being done electronically so that people do not have to write anymore. I think this is a dangerous thing because it makes people less like themselves and more like everybody else.

Consider this article. Because it is typed it takes on the appearance of every other article and though there are nifty things I could add or take away to make this article uniquely my own, have I really left my mark on it?

If you receive a letter from a loved one and it is typed, do you feel as connected to that person who is far away as much as you would if it was handwritten? I am 100% certain that the answer is no. A person's handwriting is a connection to the person placed on paper. One feels and understands a person more when something they write is placed in your possession. It is as simple as that.

Penmanship is important because it is an extension of ourselves. It helps others, in turn, to understand us. If we do away with it, I believe we risk losing an important piece of communication that is vital in our understanding of one another. I believe it is a master key when it comes to what I like to call thorough education. Handwriting helps people think, at least that is what I think.



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    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      4 years ago from The World (for now)

      I hope that you get a great grade, Kymaia.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      im writing an essay on this

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      7 years ago from The World (for now)

      HattieMattieMae, I often wonder where they got their ideas for each and every page detail. Every page was different, and every leaf or pixie or person so detailed and so delicate. I can imagine the hours they labored on it. It had to be something they loved.

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      7 years ago from The World (for now)

      @Pierre Savoie, I understand what you mean. The handwriting analysis, even though I focused on it, was not really my point. Like people in Europe, I too cross my sevens (and my z's) I am also familiar with the shorthand way of writing as I have a friend who, like you, only writes in that style.

      It still think your writing can tell me about you, if only for me to know that your hand touched that piece of paper and put ink on it. The words were shaped and crafted by you.

      I have many favorite authors whose books I cherish and I think that they have a form of as you put it "fundamental excellence" even though all of their works I have only seen in print. If by chance, I stumble upon their handwritten manuscript of any one of those books, it would be more cherished than one that is printed. That is all I was trying to say. Not that your other writing would be ignored.

    • HattieMattieMae profile image


      7 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      Oh yes they are, Love the ones that have the first letter of the paragraph in artistic form, and the beauty of the artwork in pictures to go along with them. Everything finally detailed! You knew they took time to create it!

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      7 years ago from The World (for now)

      @ HattieMattieMae, thank you for your lovely comment. I too love to look at the old books and I do think of them as a type of art work.

    • Pierre Savoie profile image

      Pierre Savoie 

      7 years ago from Canada

      All right, although handwriting analysis is not actually a real science. The STYLE of handwriting varies across the ages (ever write in Spencerian script?) and across countries (Slavic peoples do handwriting according to their own alphabet, and the people in continental Europe cross their 7's), so it would be mistaken to attribute a different personality to them because they use a different style.

      For my part, I have lost practice in handwriting since I mostly type on a computer, very fast, or if I have to write on paper I use Pitman Shorthand, very fast:

      I'd hate to think what people might conclude about my personality from an archaic skill; if they ignored all my other forms of writing they would miss my fundamental excellence!

    • HattieMattieMae profile image


      7 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      Yes I love looking at all the old books and print, and yes cursive writing is so personal,and we've gotten away from the true character of personally being in touch with each other. Yet the old books display such elegant art work even with words. A masterpeice! :)


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