Emily Fehrman, Staff Writer
Ever since any of us can remember, we’ve been writing. Perhaps, at first, it was just a jumbled mess of scribbles and unintelligible words, but then it evolved, becoming another piece of our identity, and a convenient way to convey our thoughts and ideas. However, there is a deeper importance behind handwriting than most of us may think.
Take third grade for example. That was when most of us began learning cursive, which was emphasized incessantly by our teachers. Though it may have seemed pointless and painfully redundant, they actually had more logic behind it than we thought. By physically going through the motions of creating the letters and linking them together to form words, your brain makes connections that it otherwise would not have if you were just pressing keys on a keypad.
You also may recognize a similar redundant classroom process: writing outlines. Before writing an essay, it is usually required by a teacher that you “organize your thoughts” on a piece of paper. This can be in a standard column form or an idea web. The act of writing actually helps you clarify your thoughts, and get the point of your paper across more accurately.
This also applies for vocabulary lists, which by this point in our lives, we have completed far too many of. The physical act of repeating the definition to yourself and transferring it onto paper in your own handwriting actually helps you remember it.
Sure, typing is quicker. Also, it’s a lot more convenient, right? Most people have access to either a smart phone, tablet, or computer of some sort. These help us on a day to day basis, allowing us the get our work done quicker, and more efficiently. This is made possible with convenient devices like automatic formatting, the simple backspace key, cut and paste, and the always necessary spell check. With utilities like these, who really needs to write things by hand anymore?
Some people believe that, in a few years time, no one will. With the ever improving technology, writing by hand seems almost obsolete. For people with poor handwriting, this is a dream come true.
On another note, poor handwriting seems to correlate with some struggles in other common school activities such as note-taking, test-taking, and class activities. Even back to the primary grades, handwriting practice (or lack thereof) seemed to have a sizeable impact on reading and spelling achievement.
In addition to this, when children learn to write letters, they also learn their sounds. Although they are small connections, they help throughout our lives, making us realize and really comprehend things we otherwise may not.