I’m going to university this September. Nearly everybody says “In university they don’t try to understand what you’ve written it is unintelligible.” My handwriting is incredibly ugly. I want to improve it by the time I go to uni.

In elementary school they only taught me cursive handwriting. And I never bothered to learn print handwriting. I can write like that but I’m really slow at it.

How can I improve my handwriting? Which exercises I should do?

Thanks in advance!

  • Varyk@sh.itjust.works
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    20 days ago

    I’m very confused.

    Does anyone still use handwriting in university?

    I thought handwriting was done with, honestly.

    Also my handwriting is dogshit and I got 2 degrees ral quick.

    Obviously one of them in literature.

    I wouldn’t worry about it.

    • Thavron
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      20 days ago

      I got 2 degrees ral quick.

      Was one of them in Color Standardization?

    • shinysquirrel@lemm.eeOP
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      20 days ago

      I think (I need to confirm it I’m not sure.) IT exams here are still in handwriting to prevent cheating. They make you write code with a pen and paper

      • Fosheze@lemmy.world
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        20 days ago

        That is the dumbest thing. All of my comp sci stuff was open everything because out in the real world you would never be programming without those resources available. I don’t see why IT wouldn’t be the same. If they are testing your competency then you should have access to the internet just like you would in a job. If they are testing your memory then they should just use a lockdown browser or something.

      • Varyk@sh.itjust.works
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        20 days ago

        Oh, okay. Well practice makes perfect.

        If you’re really concerned about it, just set aside 30 minutes a day and get one of those exercise books they give out in elementary school.

        It’ll still work.

      • Worx@lemmynsfw.com
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        20 days ago

        At my university, all exams were handwritten (with exceptions for people with disabilities or special needs)

      • FuglyDuck@lemmy.world
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        20 days ago

        … how do you debug?!?

        How do you copy and past everything from the broad shoulders of those who’ve come before?

      • bionicjoey
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        19 days ago

        That is unfortunately still very common at many schools. Luckily, the profs are usually pretty forgiving, and will give you lots of space to write. They are mostly aware it’s a dumb task and may require an entire sheet of paper for like 10-15 lines of code. I wouldn’t sweat it too much. If you can hand print a message on a post-it note for someone, you probably have legible enough writing for those questions. They aren’t normally big essay questions.

    • FuglyDuck@lemmy.world
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      20 days ago

      Hooched awn Foniqs Werked phone mini!

      In any case I’d be shocked if handwriting wasn’t used for something other than note taking.

  • foggy@lemmy.world
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    20 days ago

    It’s a motor skill. Consistent deliberate practice will yield results.

    Write very very slowly. Practice all the specific movements for all letter combos. Only allow your speed of writing to increase if the quality doesn’t suffer.

    It’s literally exactly like playing piano to your brain.

  • BougieBirdie@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    20 days ago

    I used to have really bad chicken-scratch printing and I wanted to improve.

    The exercise that really stuck out for me was to find a font I liked in a book on calligraphy and started practicing the alphabet.

    Before I started practicing, I didn’t pay much attention to how I was forming a letter, I’d just draw it - and it would look messy. Once you start looking at each letter as a discrete number of strokes you start paying attention to the small parts and the whole looks much better.

    If you’re really lucky, you’ll find a guide with arrows showing which way to draw each stroke. Super helpful. Note that this font uses a fountain pen, so it’ll look different with a standard ballpoint:

    • HobbitFoot @thelemmy.club
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      20 days ago

      Calligraphy may be too fancy for day to day use. OP may want to look into how architects and drafters would write text. There are tons of guides online for it and that text is meant to be legible.

    • Bob@feddit.nl
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      20 days ago

      font I liked in a book on calligraphy

      They’re called hands, because you do them with your hand. A font is a given instance of a typeface, which is a design of a script. Now you can be pedantic too!

  • explore_broaden@midwest.social
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    20 days ago

    My handwriting isn’t very good, and I recently finished university. I avoided handwriting any time I could by typing things out and printing them off as needed, pretty much the only time I had to submit handwritten work was on exams, and for those I mostly just wrote a little slower than I usually would to make it a little neater (enough to be legible by others if they make some effort).

    I never experienced exams I did at the university I went to (in the US) being marked off because they couldn’t read it, and I think the TAs that did most of the grading (students from higher years or graduate students) probably aren’t mean enough to take off points from a fellow student just for “bad handwriting.” Whoever was grading my exams was probably annoyed at having to read my writing, but I didn’t really encounter any big problems.

  • RuBisCO@slrpnk.net
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    19 days ago

    Practice.

    Taking notes during lecture helped. Not only does it help cement the information in your mind, it is practice writing legibly enough it can be studied later. You could practice this now, before school starts, by watching something like Khan Academy.

    If your major sends you to the whiteboard often, that will help a lot, too. You will naturally improve as you do it out of necessity. Practice on the board until you can write a straight line of consistent text that doesn’t droop or curve down as it goes along.

    I second the suggestion for calligraphy in a script you like.

    Perhaps practice by trying to quickly write down song lyrics as you listen? I think that’s when I first started to improve.

    Pay attention to your classmates who can take good notes quickly. I made a friend who found my writing to be glacially slow, so I watched how they wrote to learn some tricks.

    Sorry if some of these won’t help until you’re in, but don’t worry about it too much. I’m sure your handwriting will be markedly improved by the end of even the first year.

    p.s.
    Write letters or postcards to friends.
    Try to fit your favorite quotes on a notecard.

  • ilinamorato@lemmy.world
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    20 days ago

    Depending on where you’re going, you may not need to worry about it much. When I was in postsecondary education, there wasn’t much handwriting required. And I graduated 13 years ago; certainly things have gone more online since then. You might want to check with a current student in your field of study at your university and see what the handwriting requirements are. Make sure to ask whether cursive is a dealbreaker.

    If it is something you’re going to need to work on, there’s really no getting around it: you’re going to need to practice. Cursive or print, you’re going to need to practice it. Get a big notebook, and something to write (hopefully something you’re actually interested in), and just start writing. Transcribe a TV show as you’re watching it. Copy a book line-for-line. You get good at the things you do a lot, and so you’re going to have to write a lot.

    Also, I would recommend slowing down. My handwriting is great when I’m writing slowly but can be terrible when I speed up if I don’t pay attention. Slow down to start; if it’s still not legible, slow down even more. Make sure you aren’t practicing your existing bad habits. Then, as you practice, be deliberate: focus on each individual letterform, and as you become more comfortable writing legible letters, try to pick up the pace.

    There are other things that you might find help you out: try practicing on wide-ruled paper, rather than college-ruled, for instance. Try a pencil or pen which moves more roughly across the page, for more tactile response. Make sure your pen or pencil is making strong, clear marks so that it’s obvious what legibility issues are your hand (and not just a bad implement).

    You can change your writing style; I have, on a couple of occasions. It just takes practice.

    • shinysquirrel@lemm.eeOP
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      20 days ago

      I was thinking about going to local universitys’ introduction days I’ll make sure to ask handwriting.

      If I go with copying a book do you reckon I should do a book I read before? Would it make it more efficient maybe?

      • ilinamorato@lemmy.world
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        20 days ago

        The mechanical action, not the content, is what’s important. So you want something you’ll be able to stay focused on (and not be bored by), but other than that it’s not a huge deal.

        Actually this could be a good opportunity. If there’s something you want to learn really well—potentially even memorize parts of—writing it over and over is a good chance to do so.

  • alphacyberranger@sh.itjust.works
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    20 days ago

    In my opinion, choosing the right kind of pen is very important. I use ballpoint pens mostly and prefer some pens much more because of their tip, weight , thickness and shape.

    I have really bad handwriting. All my teachers used to complain about it back in school. I did improve it slightly over the years with practice. But nowadays I type on touchscreen or keyboards 95% of the time and in the rare occasions I use a pen I have starting trouble and my handwriting gets really really bad. Hell I can’t even write stuff on a straight line. Writing may become less frequent in the future in most jobs I guess.

    But that being said, if you wanna improve it keep practicing, hold the pen properly and choose a pen with the type of tip that works best for you. You can even practice on those handwriting books.

  • cerement@slrpnk.net
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    20 days ago
    • handwriting is pretty much pure muscle memory – regardless of which direction you head, it’s going to require practice to learn a new style and practice to break old habits
    • cursive was based off of drawings (copperplate etchings), not writing, which is why it comes across as hard to read and feels artificial
    • italic is an older style out of the Renaissance that has the advantages of being based off of writing, is far more legible, looks just as elegant, and (with practice) can be faster than both print and cursive
  • Cyborganism
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    20 days ago

    Buy a fountain pen. They require you to write shower and be more careful.

    Second, why write in print when you already write cursive??? It’s much more practical. Just try to focus on writing clear readable cursive instead.

    • Ephera@lemmy.ml
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      20 days ago

      I also switched from cursive to print for legibility.

      I always found cursive terrible to read. Letters are more likely to look the same and it’s harder to tell where one letter stops and the next starts. I also read print all day, so I’m just more used to reading it.

      • shinysquirrel@lemm.eeOP
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        20 days ago

        I suffered from the same thing. nobody could read my writing because of the reasons you stated

    • shinysquirrel@lemm.eeOP
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      20 days ago

      I think one of the reasons my handwriting is bad, is that letters are bunching up because they are connected in cursive.

  • RandomUser@lemmy.world
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    20 days ago

    Practice writing slowly and with good form. Write regularly, give yourself practice pieces. At uni you will be writing FAST, so it’ll get worse if you don’t keep disciplined.

    Alternatively, learn to touch type, and type any work you need to hand in. - if your handwriting is so bad, you may want to make your notes legible to yourself for revision.

    • shinysquirrel@lemm.eeOP
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      20 days ago

      I’m more worried about exams and what not. I don’t think typing with a keyboard could solve that.

      • RandomUser@lemmy.world
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        20 days ago

        It’s like everything, practice slowly, get good form wired in, then when you write fast for exams your writing will be worse than normal, but still legible.

  • Mothra@mander.xyz
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    19 days ago

    I doubt you need that. What matters is that you can understand your own writing. Most other things you need to submit will require typing, not handwriting.

    But if you want to improve your handwriting, more power to you! Just practice a little every day. Be slow and deliberate with your strokes. See if you can find old calligraphy workbook templates for technical drafting online. Do half an hour of practice a day, practice letters individually, then practice writing stuff. Once you feel more confident try to speed up and see how fast can you writa the same paragraph. Put some 30 hours of practice total and you’ll be good to go I believe

  • RandomStickman@kbin.run
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    20 days ago

    In my personal experience the most of the time I’ve hand written stuff that needs to be graded are mid term and final exams. 90% of the time are digitally typed essays and research papers. I’ve only written in cursive but my profs are mostly older and I’ve never got any complaints about it. Also most profs out there are trying to give you as much help as possible. They’re not out there to try and fail you. Most of them anyway lol.

    I’ve also never used laptops in class and have only taken notes by hand. Maybe practice like that would help?

    • shinysquirrel@lemm.eeOP
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      20 days ago

      I’ve heard in my country profs can be just plain jerk. They can chose to not pass you just because you critiqued them. I’ve heard plenty of stories like this.

  • cosmicrose@lemmy.world
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    20 days ago

    What worked for me is learning some better letterforms from some free images from the Write Now book (by Getty-Dubay) on italic cursive. It’s a different kind of cursive from the awkward one I was taught in school, and it’s a lot easier to write and read.

    I think the biggest improvement in my handwriting was just finding letterforms in that book that are both easy to write but that are also more clearly distinguishable when you write quickly. For example, just putting a little curl at the bottom of my lowercase T’s, I’s, and L’s made them a lot more aesthetically pleasing but also more clearly distinct from other letters.

    Once you find some letterforms like that, it just takes a little practice to rewrite your muscle memory.

  • morphballganon@lemmy.world
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    20 days ago

    When I was in elementary school, I had a bound workbook with print practice exercises. I bet something like that still exists.

  • Uncle
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    20 days ago

    id suggest finding a style you like online, print off a few pages of text thats fairly large. then trace the original to train your hand where and how to move. then practice without tracing.

    No clue if it would actually work, but thats what i did when i got into calligraphy