The Lost Art of Cursive Writing

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Handwriting matters ... But does cursive matter?

Research shows: the fastest and most legible handwriters avoid cursive. They join only some letters, not all of them: making the easiest joins, skipping the rest, and using print-like shapes for those letters whose cursive and printed shapes disagree. ((Citation: Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger, and Naomi Weintraub. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HANDWRITING STYLE AND SPEED AND LEGIBILITY. 2001: on-line at — and there are actually handwriting programs that teach this way.)
Reading cursive still matters -- this takes just 30 to 60 minutes to learn, and can be taught to a five- or six-year-old if the child knows how to read. The value of reading cursive is therefore no justification for writing it.
Remember, too: whatever your elementary school teacher may have been told by her elementary school teacher, cursive signatures have no special legal validity over signatures written in any other way. (Don't take my word for this: talk to any attorney.)

Yours for better letters,

Kate Gladstone — CEO, Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works
Director, the World Handwriting Contest
Co-Designer, BETTER LETTERS handwriting trainer app for iPhone/iPad

Kate Gladstone more than 5 years ago

Calligraphy/Cursive writing...

A few thoughts are on their way to you via email. It is still important opinion. The article is from the Reed College Magazine. And then my memory of a class I taught so many years ago.

Dorene Rhoads more than 5 years ago

Cursive Writing.

Jill, I agree completely. Job applications are not readable. Everyone thinks they are a "doctor" when it comes to writing and their signatures. Even though my handwriting is deteriorating as I get older, you can still compare it to my earlier writing and it is still visibly mine (or perhaps my mother's). Good article, much needed.

Randy Loyd more than 5 years ago

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