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Tips for more “feminine” writing

The best general advice is to slow down while writing. Here are 25 other helpful suggestions:

  1. Stay relaxed!
  2. Don’t grip the writing instrument too tightly.
  3. Don’t press too hard.
  4. Always have a pad of paper, blotter, or other flat surface under the paper. Do not write with a sheet of paper directly on a desk surface.
  5. Write from the wrist or elbow instead of the fingers.
  6. Don’t use fine point pens or mechanical pencils.
  7. Use a medium ball point pen, felt tip marker, or fountain pen with a medium to heavy nib.
  8. Consistency is key—all letters should be uniform in shape and size.
  9. All letters should have the same slight amount of slanting.
  10. Write more slowly than you usually do.
  11. Write a little larger than you usually do.
  12. Space your letters out a bit more.
  13. Avoid sharp angles.
  14. Think smooth, not spiky.
  15. Use slightly curved instead of straight lines.
  16. Make arched letters convex, not concave.
  17. Make letters with circles more open and loopy.
  18. Don’t lift your pen off the page when forming a letter, except for t and x, and when dotting your i and j.
  19. Use a very tiny circle to dot any i or j and for commas, periods, exclamation points, and question marks.
  20. Add slight flourishes to all letters with tails.
  21. Add a slight hook to all letters that end on a downstroke.
  22. Double back more on letters that require that movement.
  23. Printing instead of using cursive may be easier.
  24. Don’t use block capitals.
  25. Don’t exchange any letters that should be lowercase for capitals.


The key to practice is repetition. Try to do a whole line of a single letter, making each one look as good as the last. Once you have consistency down, try increasing speed. These are like practicing scales on a musical instrument, or vocabulary drills on a foreign language: boring, but necessary if you want to see significant improvement.

Make each letter without lifting the pen off the paper (except i, j, t and x)

  • a: consider shaping it like the a to the left, then start on the part that goes above the x-height and make a full counter.
  • b: start on the top of the ascender and make a full counter.
  • c: should be as round as e and o.
  • d: start on the top of the ascender (not the circle) and make a full counter.
  • e: make this a loop like a cursive l.
  • f: consider going below the baseline with downstroke.
  • g: full counter, loopy tail.
  • h: should look very similar to b.
  • i: tiny circle for dot.
  • j: nice loopy tail or hook on descender, tiny circle for dot.
  • k: don’t make angled arm and leg straight lines.
  • l: this should set the slant for all other letters.
  • m: nice rounded arches, consider a small hook on front and back.
  • n: nice rounded arches, consider a small hook on front and back.
  • o: one of the hardest– a good o with a counter and perhaps a nice flourish is hardest to make consistently, so practice!
  • p: start at bottom of descender and write up to loop.
  • q: should look like mirror of p. You may need to start with loop, and give descender a nice flourish. make it similar to, but distinguishable from, your g.
  • r: nice rounded arch like m and n.
  • s: make lower curve in s much bigger than top.
  • t: this should set crossbar for all other letters.
  • u: should look like upside down n.
  • v: one place where a sharp angle is good. Consider a curved upstroke.
  • w: consider rounded at baseline, or curved upstroke at least.
  • x: consider curved second stroke.
  • y: rounded at baseline, nice curved tail that matches g.
  • z: consider curved on horizontal lines.
  • Capital letters: Add flourishes whenever possible.


Practice writing letters in these groupings to give them consistent feel:

  • a b d h
  • c e o s
  • f t
  • g j p q y
  • i l k
  • m n r u
  • v w x z


Next: Handwriting stylometry and gender

Handwriting and gender