Writing

The benefits of handwriting

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  • Le dimanche, 08 mars 2020
  • Commentaires (8)

Writing is an important means of communication. He who can’t write legibly or fluently hinders his communication possibilities seriously, both at school and in social life. Despite the growing developments in automation and communication, writing is a critical skill in our life. 

We will always write

HandwritingWriting is necessary for a memo, a shopping list, a love letter or a poem and an essential skill when it comes to studying and memorizing.You find below the 10 benefits of handwriting compared to using the keyboards.

Ten benefits of handwriting compared to using the keyboards

1) With handwriting, you create the letters each time, using more complex motor skills thereby aiding the finer motor-skill development. Typing on a key-board is file retrieval, remembering where a letter is. The more we type and text - instead of handwriting - the less comfortably we grip ballpoint pens and pencils, because of lack of practice. Using pen and paper to write engages the more intuitive, right-brain aspects of cognition. Tapping into your intuition is a critical part of writing, just as finding the right word for a given thought. Some poets, who value precision in words, refuse to compose on a computer for this very reason. How we write affects what we write. You compose in a different way using pen and paper than you do using the keyboard of a computer. In essence, you think in a different way.

writing skills

2) Handwriting forces us to make an investment. The words are written on the page; we can't change them, except to scratch them out. It forces us to compose the sentence in our heads first – and the sort of sentence you can compose and keep in your head is likely to be shorter and clearer than otherwise. Text on a computer is infinitely corrigible allowing us to make an incomprehensible mess of things. We sail recklessly into a sentence with no idea of where we are headed, and often get lost. 

3) One’s handwriting often communicates more than the words themselves do. Handwriting is a way of recognizing and knowing another person, an extension of who they are. It's a living thing. Handwriting is unique and an indicator of personality traits. Michon, a Parisian priest is quoted as saying: “The slightest movement of the pen is a vibration of the soul.” Handwriting is a symbol of our individuality. Our personal style comes through our handwriting, compared to the limitations and sameness of keyboard writing.

4) Handwriting draws greater attention because it is less expected. It also conveys a kind of intimacy. A handwritten note demonstrates your thoroughness and attention to detail. It shows that you are considerate and that it's important to you to "go that extra mile". Even with computer graphics, there is still a place for a handwritten note of apology, thank-you note, birthday card, expression of sympathy or a poem for someone special. The pleasure that results when someone has cared enough to write a sentiment by hand cannot be replaced.

Sheri Fink
Sheri Fink, award-winning author, likes journaling, using paper and pen

5) A handwritten letter retains more attention.

6) Penmanship is a democratic skill: anyone can use it, anytime, anywhere. It’s at our fingertips: fast, reliable and legible. Handwritten signatures are still necessary in certain documents.

Signatures

7) Medical studies suggest that writing by hand enhances neurological activity. Handwriting is a good cognitive exercise to keep the minds sharp. Writing by hand engages the brain in continued learning.

8) The writing remains longer in memory. We retain the handwritten information, rather than a keyboard note.Logo Relational Presence

9) The cursive writing eases access to reading.

10) Handwriting can be an early diagnostic tool in neurological disorders. Graphology can identify personality traits through analyzing handwriting; doctors can detect functional problems such as those involving the glandular system or antisocial tendencies. 

Conclusion : The goal of writing is communication, whatever the means we use to get there. If we only learn to use computers, we won’t have an alternative strategy during a power outage or mechanical failure, or when we are sitting on top of a mountain, inspired to record our thoughts. What about compiling the last-minute grocery list, writing a note to the painter, transcribing a phone message or sending a note of encouragement to your child in her lunchbox ? Imagine a CEO of an international company unable to write a thought when his or her smart phone malfunctioned ? Computers are a means to an end. Technology offers us of course many advantages, which I have not developed here (e.g. the speed of writing on a keyboard). It's good to use but not to rely on as only vehicle. Handwriting is creative ; writing on keyboards is mechanical. Both are partners.

Ecriture notes

P.S. You can also read the following article from The Guardian : "Why reading and writing on paper can be better for your brain"

Leave a comment below and share what handwriting means to you. 

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Commentaires (8)

ksmigrod
  • 1. ksmigrod | samedi, 16 mai 2020
One important factor for learning handwriting, something I like to use when talking to “keyboard at school” enthusiasts:
Typing mathematics, is hard. Clicking through equation editor is much slower than writing equations with a pen on paper. Typing equation in LaTeX syntax is faster, but it requires thinking through layout of whole equation before typing it, keeping track of deeply nested braces, and memorizing “mini-language” of symbols. It's not something you want to teach 10yo students, in addition to their first fractions.
Bénédicte Roy
  • Bénédicte Roy | samedi, 16 mai 2020
Absolutely. That’s an interesting example
ksmigrod
  • 2. ksmigrod (site web) | mercredi, 13 mai 2020
1. We do not lose ability to grip handwriting implement because we type,
we lose it because we do not write by hand,
it is perfectly possible to be proficient at both touch typing and handwriting.

2. Handwriting does not force us to plan ahead, we still can commit our thoughts to paper as a stream of consciousness.
School assignment type of handwriting task forces us to plan ahead and prepare at least bullet points of arguments we intend to use.
Word processors do not force us to compose on the fly, we still can list arguments we wish to make and flesh them out as we go.
It is akin to difference between analogue and digital camera.
Analogue incurs cost on every try, and digital gives more freedom for careless experiments.
Word processors and fluent touch-typing give us freedom to record our ideas as they come.

3. This conjecture requires us to assume that writer's handwriting skill,
is developed up to the point of personal style.
A condition like dysgraphia that hinders handwriting development, could communicate false impression.

4. I agree.

5. I agree.

6. Penmanship might be democratic skill for adults.
All you need is time for practice, so it is limited for those of us who do not have to work two jobs to make a living.
Handwriting for kids is far from democratic skill.
It requires practice, and practice means teachers who care more for skill development than for checking out all boxes on Ministry of Education mandated itinerary for pupils grade.
Practice means also parents who understand value of this skill and have both time and inclination to supervise practice.
I am not a lawyer, but in my country there is no rule, that signature under a document must be written in connected cursive.
Neither civilian authorities nor commercial bank refused to accept handwritten signature consisting of disconnected “print” letters.

7. Sources, or it did not happen.

8. Sources, or it did not happen.
Check also the assumptions made during experiments.
Was it really the act of writing that made statistically significant differences,
or was it possible that longer time required to write down the information,
and increased number of repetitions made during writing it down made the difference?

9. One does not have to be proficient in writing specific form of cursive, to be comfortable reading it.
A lot of historians are able to decipher secretary hand, but cannot write in period accurate handwriting.
National school system mandated form of cursive is just a form of writing, not the writing system ‘to rule them all’.

10. As usually, references to the sources would be welcome.
Bénédicte Roy
  • Bénédicte Roy | mercredi, 13 mai 2020
Thank you for your feedback. Handwriting and writing on keyboards are certainly complementary, as written in my conclusion. As a graphotherapist, I assure you that handwriting is unique and can tell a lot about a person. Swiss psychologist Max PULVER exposes the symbolic characteristics of writing in his flagship book “the Symbolism of handwriting”. When someone’s handwriting is disturbed - like with dysgraphia-, it’s interesting to find and understand the causes thanks to several tests. Signing by hand is still mandatory for most official documents but there is no rule that a signature under a document must be written in connected cursive. Handwriting is “democratic” because affordable everywhere for all levels of society, poor and wealthy people. It needs nevertheless time from caregivers (parents, teachers,….), especially in the beginning, and practice, like every skill (swimming, playing the flute,…). In the above mentioned article of The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/feb/23/reading-writing-on-paper-better-for-brain-concentration, you’ll find several scientific experiments comparing writing versus typing. You can also have a look at the comparative study of handwriting and computer by Spanish professors, http://eprints.rclis.org/29618/1/c4810en.pdf and the conclusions of Virginia BERNINGER. She is an education psychologist at the university of Washington in Seattle and studies the effect of handwriting on the human brain : https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/39656832_Virginia_W_Berninger .
Aynne Johnston
  • 3. Aynne Johnston | mercredi, 06 mai 2020
There is something quiet and deep in handwriting that does not happen with the computer. The computer is fast and efficient, but I am aware my head works differently as I create on a computer, so for the most significant things in my life, I use pen and paper. I am grateful that I have cursive to allow my thoughts to flow from me. There is a kind of creative reflection I find using cursive which is fluid, intuitive and takes me to deeper places. I journal with cursive. I create with cursive. I contemplate in cursive. I plan in cursive. While we need both, I realize that the things I write in cursive I remember better, and can take notes usually faster in cursive than my students or myself on a keyboard -- without tapping keys interrupting thought. Beautiful cursive from years past shows a care and thought we would do well to revive and be more conscious of, particular when children are learning. As an education professor, I lament the loss of cursive. Students need to be able to process in the natural way of cursive as well as the electronic mode of a computer. Presently, without cursive, we are becoming illiterate when people have no cursive skills. Some of my students only print their signatures. We need to revive the respect of cursive and the role it plays it embedding memory and care in our communications.
Bénédicte Roy
  • Bénédicte Roy | jeudi, 07 mai 2020
You explain the importance of cursive writing beautifully, Aynne !
Sheri Fink
  • 4. Sheri Fink (site web) | vendredi, 10 avril 2020
I love handwriting letters, cards, and the first drafts of my books. I definitely remember ideas and content better when I take the time to write them down by hand. I also feel more fulfilled when I journal using paper and pen than when I type my thoughts and feelings. Handwriting is a beautiful art of connecting with yourself and with the reader.
Bénédicte Roy
  • Bénédicte Roy | lundi, 27 avril 2020
Thank you Sheri for sharing !

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