Why write in cursive? Learn the benefits of writing in cursive to develop your motor skills and more in our guide.
Cursive writing is a form of handwriting where all the letters in a word are connected. In America, cursive writing began in the 1840s when Platt Rogers Spencer from New York formulated a program to teach this type of penmanship to students. Since then, writing experts have developed various cursive styles until the advancement of technology and changes in the modern educational curriculum.
Its many advantages made it a standard in the educational system. However, after the arrival of the printing press and more modern devices, only 21 states in America mandate cursive writing in their curriculum today. Despite these drastic changes, cursive writing’s benefits remain.
- Top 12 Reasons to Start Writing in Cursive
- 1. It’s Good for Your Brain
- 2. To Be a Speedy Writer
- 3. To Improve Your Sensory and Motor Skills
- 4. To Connect With the Past and Earn a Living
- 5. To Have a High-quality Signature
- 6. To Reduce Mistakes in Positioning Letters
- 7. To Inspire Creativity
- 8. To Follow Writing Rules
- 9. To Be Good at Spelling
- 10. To Read Cursive Handwriting
- 11. To Increase Memory Retention
- 12. To Improve Self-discipline and Self-confidence
Top 12 Reasons to Start Writing in Cursive
1. It’s Good for Your Brain
Professor Virginia Berninger notes that producing a letter in handwriting requires a series of finger strokes versus typing on a keyboard where one just presses the keys. These finger movements activate not only the thinking part of the brain but also the regions involved in language and memory. Cursive writing promotes synchronicity between the brain’s right (creativity and spatial ability) and left (speech and comprehension) hemispheres.
2. To Be a Speedy Writer
Print handwriting requires more time to produce a letter to accommodate the stopping and lifting of the pen after each stroke. For example, if you want to write the word “kite,” the letter “k” alone will make you lift your hand two or three times. Meanwhile, in cursive writing, all the letters are connected, reducing the frequency of pen lifting. Increasing your writing speed is critical for taking notes when speakers such as teachers dictate vital information.
3. To Improve Your Sensory and Motor Skills
Cursive writing is one of the most powerful techniques to improve sensory and motor skills. Writing in cursive requires proper position, grip, angle, and pressure to control the pen and efficiently write on paper. Moreover, it also demands good motor planning to preserve fluid movement in creating each letter from all directions.
With continuous practice, you will master not only cursive writing but also develop fine motor skills essential in performing various tasks such as tying shoes, copying words, and reading. It’s why children as early as four years old are encouraged to write in cursive.
4. To Connect With the Past and Earn a Living
Since the creation of the typewriter, cursive letters are usually only seen in legal documents or invitations to formal events. This is why it’s not surprising for young people to think of cursive writing as “old-school writing.”
Some believe cursive writing is obsolete, but that is not the case. The dwindling penchant for cursive doesn’t remove the talent students can develop upon learning this handwriting style. Moreover, those who dedicate time to learning cursive are hired to create crafty pieces for special celebrations.
Like looking at antique paintings or photographs, cursive writing awakens a nostalgic appreciation for art. To boost their impact, clients request writers to turn their heartfelt letters into beautiful cursive to demonstrate sincerity to a loved one. Some employ cursive writers to produce important card invitations such as those used in weddings or corporate events.
5. To Have a High-quality Signature
If you’re unsatisfied with your current signature, practicing cursive writing will upgrade your signing of papers. Today, most people only use cursive when signing legal documents or bank checks above the printed name. However, there are cases where a person’s signature is deemed invalid, even if there’s no fraud involved.
When you sign legal documents, you should feel confident doing so. Any wrong stroke or uncertainty will automatically invalidate the signature while you scribble on the papers. Practicing cursive improves your confidence in signing documents to enhance legitimacy through clear quality and smooth strokes.
6. To Reduce Mistakes in Positioning Letters
Print handwriting is not advisable for people with focus and attention problems and learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dysgraphia. They need help distinguishing between certain letters, such as b, d, p, and q, which often leads to incorrect writing. People with these disabilities can more easily recognize cursive letters, reducing errors.
7. To Inspire Creativity
Amanda Stedke from the Zaner-Bloser company, which has hosted national handwriting contests for 30 years, identified cursive writing as the earliest method to bring out children’s creativity. Regardless of how you write, cursive writing boosts creativity by generating new ideas and finding innovative ways to solve problems. Learning and practicing different cursive styles allows you to find ingenious ways to write concepts born from imagination.
Cursive writing has many cognitive benefits, such as being an effective meditation technique to calm the mind. Activities like calligraphy also activate different parts of the brain to work together.
8. To Follow Writing Rules
There are different styles available for writing in cursive, such as:
- New American Style – It’s the easiest style with no complicated strokes. All letters are in italic.
- D’Nealian Handwriting – The hooks at the tails of each letter are connected to form a word.
- Zane-Bloser Cursive Writing – It combines the new American style and D’Nealian handwriting.
- Handwriting Without Tears – It’s designed with minimal continuous strokes that almost look like print handwriting.
- Spencerian – It’s an elegant cursive penmanship commonly used in formal and business writing, such as certificates and invitations.
- Palmer Method – It’s simple, standard business penmanship that uses muscular arm movements rather than fingers.
Each style has rules, such as the correct order and spacing between each letter. Learning and applying these rules to cursive writing makes the piece easier to read. They also create smoother handwriting from the continuous flow of each letter, unlike print script, which sometimes has different sizes and doesn’t follow correct capitalization.
9. To Be Good at Spelling
Writing in cursive also helps you become better at spelling through muscle memory. As you write, the hand’s movement sends signals that form a visual of the letter in the human brain. Because the brain has memorized the letter’s form, recognizing the letters that complete a word becomes easier.
It’s like learning how to play the piano, where remembering the correct pattern of hand movements is essential. By constantly repeating the right cursive movements, you unconsciously learn and store the correct spelling patterns of each word in your memory.
10. To Read Cursive Handwriting
Some people have sloppy cursive that is usually the product of speedy writing. You can see this skill in secretaries, doctors, lawyers, and other busy professionals. You’ll have better chances of reading and understanding their notes if you write in cursive.
Additionally, if you’re a beginner practicing your cursive and using it to make your notes, there’s a chance that you scribbled too fast and can’t read what you wrote. Especially if you’re unfamiliar with the subject, you will need help deciphering the writing. So, it’s best to write in cursive and continuously improve your reading ability.
11. To Increase Memory Retention
Handwriting increases memory recall as there is more brain activity when information is physically written on paper. Studies show that cursive writing lets the brain take in more information and prepare it with the optimal conditions for learning.
12. To Improve Self-discipline and Self-confidence
Students taught cursive but didn’t practice it regularly tend to forget this skill. Learning cursive requires patience and self-discipline to push through with their practice. These practices are necessary to develop motor skills and master hand-eye coordination to upgrade your cursive writing continuously.