Handwriting and Literacy: Five Ways Research Supports the Power of Penmanship!

1. Handwriting speed and legibility, or transcription fluency, predicts a student’s quality and quantity of written compositions (Peverly, Garner, & Vekaria, 2014; Peverly et al., 2007). Fluency is developed by practice.

2. Students who lack transcription fluency from kindergarten through college level often struggled with writing their ideas quickly enough to remember what they were trying to write (Berninger, 1999; Graham & Wientraub, 1996).

3. Four-year-old children’s fine motor writing skill (the ability to form letters, numbers, and shapes) is an indicator of stronger academic achievement in later grades. Academic achievement by those with better handwriting is seen in both reading and math, and it is reflected in both teachers’ grades and standardized test scores (Dinehart, 2014).

4. There is a correlation between handwriting speed and typing speed (Connelly, Gee, & Walsh, 2007). Children learn to write with their hands before they learn to type.

5. People who take handwritten notes process information better than those who type notes on a laptop (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014). Students who type notes tend to record what they hear verbatim, whereas those who take handwritten notes are more apt to write more reflectively as they translate what they are learning into their own words.

Five Ways Research Supports the Power of Penmanship