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There are plenty of resources, both online and offline, designed to show you how to write neatly. Below, you’ll find a list of only the best of the best.
The handwriting exercises you’ll learn from these resources, and penmanship practice you’ll gain will straighten out those illegible scribbles of yours in no time at all.
Handwriting Exercises: A Few Common Themes
To save you a little time and to give some extra direction, it’s worth pointing out a few common exercises that are repeatedly mentioned in the courses, lessons, apps, and books that follow.
You should always keep these in mind, no matter which of these resources you try out.
- Start with basic movement exercises to loosen up.
- Practice your handwriting exercises every day.
- Slow your writing down.
- Learn from writing that you like.
The Basics: Cursive Writing for Adults
This basic 29-part YouTube course on How To Write In Cursive (the first video is above) is a thorough place to start. You might feel like you’re back in school, but you’ll be surprised at how many of the fundamentals have slipped your mind.
Each lesson is extremely short and comes with a free worksheet (which you can find in each video description) to print out to help you practice.
Intermediate Handwriting Exercises
Once you’ve nailed the basics of cursive (again), you’ll likely want to make some improvements to your style to add some more personality or professionalism to your handwriting.
This 14-minute video by professional sign-writer John Neal looks specifically at how to improve handwriting for adults. The valuable content really starts at 2:30, where you’ll be shown how to pay special attention to the rhythm, speed, and direction of your writing.
Penmanship Practice: Become a Pro
Next, work your way through this short, 8-part YouTube course taught by a handwriting specialist. Much of the information does overlap with the previous video, but hearing two different descriptions of similar handwriting techniques will only help.
Be sure to regularly practice the handwriting exercises you’re taught in these videos to help you create the muscle memory that’s needed to really make your new skill stick.
If you’ve tried the above courses without seeing much improvement, it might be time to spend a little cash on something more comprehensive.
Udemy has a highly rated 4-hour course titled Improve your Handwriting – Improve your Life. I’ve not taken this course myself, but many past students cite “immediate improvements” after going through the handwriting classes. The course is usually priced at $75, but I’ve often seen hefty discounts of up to 85%, so it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled.
The aim of the course is to guide you through daily, 10-minute practice sessions to build your muscle memory, causing a positive effect on your handwriting. You can sign up on Udemy for a free preview of the course.
Books to Improve Your Handwriting
If you’re looking at using a textbook to help improve your handwriting, there are two books I would recommend.
The first is Rosemary Sassoon’s Improve Your Handwriting. The structure of this book encourages adult readers to experiment with styles to find the one that works for them, including left-handers.
The second is Barbara Getty’s Write Now: The Complete Program For Better Handwriting. The aim of this book is to help anyone “achieve elegant, legible handwriting” by focusing on writing in a specific italic style.
Apps to Help You Write Neatly
Although handwriting is almost exclusively for pen and paper these days, you can use mobile devices (preferably tablets) to help you practice. Using these apps on your smartphone is possible, but you’d definitely benefit from a larger, flatter area on which to write.
Cursive Practice (iOS)
If you have an iPad, the Cursive Practice app is an easy way for you to practice your cursive writing on the go. The handwriting lessons take you through uppercase, lowercase, individual words, cursive practice sentences, and numbers. You can also change the width and style of your “pen”.
Download: Cursive Practice for iOS(Free)
LazyDog Calligraphy (Android)
A similar option for Android devices is LazyDog Calligraphy. With this app, you can choose from a range of different handwriting styles, and you’ll be scored for each letter, showing you how you’re progressing. You’ll also have access to printable writing worksheets, so you can practice the same style on paper, too.
Download: LazyDog Calligraphy for Android (Free)
Remember, for best results, invest in a stylus pen to use with your smartphone, rather than relying on your finger.
Free Handwriting Worksheets
Once you’ve spent some time studying how to improve your handwriting, you’ll need to have some decent worksheets on which to practice.
First off, you should check out our list of free, printable handwriting worksheets. And if they don’t deliver, search Google Images for “handwriting worksheets” (searching specifically for large images which are suitable for printing), you should be able to find all you need.
Writing Neatly: Why Should You Care?
Whether you believe it or not, knowing how to write legible, cursive handwriting is still important. Of course, certain common arguments for teaching cursive in schools don’t hold up to scrutiny.
Yes, you can access some of these benefits even with bad handwriting. But if your scrawls remain illegible, then you lose out on a chunk of these benefits because you simply can’t understand what you wrote down in the first place. This means you won’t be able to revisit those thoughts again in the future.
If you’re looking for an even more pragmatic reason to improve your handwriting, remember that the handwritten note will never be fully replaced by email. When it comes to building your network or climbing the career ladder, Jessica Cleiman believes:
“In this day and age, when sadly we’re getting fewer and fewer letters in the mail, a handwritten thank you note, well-crafted on good stationery, will make a candidate [or acquaintance] stand out from others who chose not to take that extra, personal step.”
A hand-written note tends to hold more value than a quick email or message. If you are able to craft such a note in decent, if not excellent, handwriting then, you’re able to use this as a tool to create deeper relationships and to stand out from the crowd.
A Life of Beautiful Handwriting
Once you’ve spent a good deal of time practicing the lessons you learn from the handwriting resources mentioned in this article, writing beautifully will become the new norm for you. You can finally have pride in your handwriting. And you can use your new skill in handwriting to start pursuing even more creative skills or perhaps write a letter to a soldier.