The best general advice is to slow down while writing. Here are 25 other helpful suggestions:
- Stay relaxed!
- Don’t grip the writing instrument too tightly.
- Don’t press too hard.
- 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.
- Write from the wrist or elbow instead of the fingers.
- Don’t use fine point pens or mechanical pencils.
- Use a medium ball point pen, felt tip marker, or fountain pen with a medium to heavy nib.
- Consistency is key—all letters should be uniform in shape and size.
- All letters should have the same slight amount of slanting.
- Write more slowly than you usually do.
- Write a little larger than you usually do.
- Space your letters out a bit more.
- Avoid sharp angles.
- Think smooth, not spiky.
- Use slightly curved instead of straight lines.
- Make arched letters convex, not concave.
- Make letters with circles more open and loopy.
- Don’t lift your pen off the page when forming a letter, except for t and x, and when dotting your i and j.
- Use a very tiny circle to dot any i or j and for commas, periods, exclamation points, and question marks.
- Add slight flourishes to all letters with tails.
- Add a slight hook to all letters that end on a downstroke.
- Double back more on letters that require that movement.
- Printing instead of using cursive may be easier.
- Don’t use block capitals.
- 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
- Try these pangrams (sentences that contain each letter of the alphabet):http://rinkworks.com/words/pangrams.shtml
Next: Handwriting stylometry and gender
Handwriting and gender