Loosen your grip. “Penmanship is something of a lost art,” but if you have the pen in a “death grip,” you’ll never learn. A tight hold makes handwriting “smaller and harder to read.”
Don’t get loopy. People get “unnecessarily loopy and tangled” when writing in cursive. “Aim for clean lines” and avoid “excessive flourishes” that seem fancy but actually are inscrutable.
Perfect your print. If your script is a “complete disaster,” printing works fine, as long as it’s kept clean. Keep ascenders (l, h, b, d) and descenders (g, j, y) short and lift the pen from the paper between letters.
Slow down. The faster you write, the less control you have over the pen. “Slowing down helps keep the shape, slope, size, and space of the lettering consistent—and consistency is the key to good penmanship.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- Hey, grammar nerds! Stop freaking out about 'alot.'
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The elusive 'It factor' in presidential politics
Subscribe to the Week