Causes of Poor Handwriting: Factors that Affect Writing Legibility

Causes of Poor Handwriting: Factors that Affect Writing Legibility

Having good and legible handwriting takes a lot of practice. When you were a child and you were first learning how to write, your handwriting most likely looked like scribbles and lines on paper. As you grow old and gain more practice, your handwriting will have become more “perfected” to how you want it to be. 

However, there are times when people still find it difficult to have good handwriting no matter how much they try. While we are already in the digital age where everything that you want to write can easily be typewritten, there are still times when you need to write down something. This can be as simple as writing quick notes or maybe something more personal like writing cards and letters to people who are close to you. 

If you are struggling with poor handwriting or know someone in the same predicament, you should know that the first step to improving your handwriting is to understand the causes of poor handwriting. In this article, we will look at the most common factors that affect writing legibility for us to take the next step of improving handwriting. 

What Are The Causes of Poor Handwriting? 

Incorrect Pen Grip

Having the correct grip on your writing instrument allows for proper handwriting. As children, the first thing that we were taught was how to correctly hold our pencils and crayons. Correct grip that is comfortable and makes it easier to write legibly while an improper grip can cause discomfort and difficulty in taking control of the movement of the pen on paper. 

Most of the time, individuals who do not like writing and have poor handwriting have incorrect finger positioning on the pen, making it very uncomfortable for them to write. Some may also be holding their pens too close to the top or too close to the bottom of the pen, leading to too much pressure or not enough pressure when writing.

What Should I Do? Try practicing holding a pen properly. Your pen should sit between your thumb index and middle finger in a slanted “tripod grasp” position. Your ring and little finger should be tucked under and resting comfortably on the table. 

First step to improving your handwriting is to understand the causes of poor handwriting

Poor Posture

Related closely to improper grip, having poor posture has a huge effect on how legible your handwriting will be. When your arm and elbow are positioned incorrectly or awkwardly, your handwriting will tend to look awkward as well. Your poor sitting posture is also one of the causes of poor handwriting. When you are not sitting comfortably and in the right position, the words that you are putting on the paper will also go in all directions. 

What Should I Do? When sitting down to write, make sure to observe proper posture as well by sitting in an upright position and have your feet firmly on the ground. Make sure to have your elbow and arms angled in a comfortable way that allows your writing hand to rest comfortably on the table. 

Wrong Writing Materials 

While most children and adults can write fairly well on any surface and with any writing materials, some individuals can find it difficult to do so. The reason behind this is that some pens can be heavy to use where you have to apply stronger pressure for ink to come out. For some people, applying too much pressure on the hands while writing can cause discomfort, leading to messy and ineligible handwriting. Furthermore, some surfaces can be more difficult to write on as they can have a “scratchy” feeling that can be irritating to those who have sensitive hands 

What Should I Do? If you are having difficulties in writing due to the writing materials that you are using, you should find the right ones that you can be comfortable using. Otherwise, you will only have the same messy handwriting. You can try using a lightweight pen like the YSTUDIO Classic Revolve - Mechanical Pencil Lite that offers stability and balance to make it especially easier to write even for long periods. 

If you are having difficulties in writing due to the writing materials that you are using, you should find the right ones that you can be comfortable using.

Improper Paper Placement

How your paper is situated on your table can have a huge effect on whether your handwriting will look straight and clean or messy and going at all angles. In addition, if your paper keeps on moving and shifting as you write, this will most likely result in messy handwriting. 

What Should I Do? For beginners to handwriting or those who are practicing in improving their handwriting, you should place your paper straight and not tilted. To ensure that your paper stays in place, you can use your non-dominant or non-writing hand to hold your paper in place. You can also opt to clip or tape your paper to the table while still practicing your handwriting to make it more stable. 

Medical Reasons

There are also medical reasons that can be the root cause of difficulty in writing. Individuals who have Dyslexia make it harder for them to read, thus resulting in difficulty in writing as well. This type of condition can also lead to messy handwriting in addition to interchanging letters or omitting words when writing. 

Another condition that can gravely affect handwriting is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which causes pain in the hands and fingers. This condition makes it very very difficult for someone to write as it causes sharp pain in the arms, wrists, and fingers. 

What Should I Do? If you think you have any of these conditions, the best thing to do is to schedule a visit with your physician so they can correctly diagnose you and prescribe ways how to address these. Once you have been given a proper diagnosis and prescription, you can practice your handwriting at your own pace and not rush yourself.

Causes of Poor Handwriting Conclusion

Bad handwriting is not something that you should be worrying about too much as this can be improved with continuous practice. While it may be frustrating at first–especially if you are looking forward to giving handwritten notes– what’s important is that you keep on practicing. 

Apply the recommendations on what to do discussed above and in no time, you will see your handwriting improve. Beautiful handwriting is a process so there’s no need to rush, and always remember, your handwriting is yours so embrace and love it!

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