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What ever happened to cursive writing?

The efficient writing style once thrived in U.S. businesses and schools, but researchers fret that today’s lack of cursive literacy may have a surprising impact on history—and ourselves.

What’s something kids can’t do, but teachers don’t teach? If you answered “cursive,” write a flowing capital letter “A” by hand on your report card. Once a staple of classrooms and correspondence, cursive—a style of handwriting with joined letters and flourishes that put simple print to shame—is on the wane.

Or is it? One look at TikTok or Instagram shows that the art is still very much alive: Think bullet journals, calligraphy demonstrations, and hashtags like #penmanship, #cursive, or even #penlife, all awash with photos of impeccable handwriting in high-end ink.

But how did cursive develop in the first place—and is its future really doomed?

Writing your way up the economic ladder

For centuries, writing was the realm of the highly educated and privileged: Paper was expensive, and special scribes developed ornate handwriting styles to give flair and polish to illuminated manuscripts and official documents. But in the 18th and early 19th centuries, writing became more accessible, leading to the flourishing of penmanship and the invention of faster ways to write. One involved running the letters of a word together—and cursive (based on the Latin verb currere , “to run”) as we now know it began.

“Secretary hand,” the most popular early style of cursive writing common in England between the 15 th and 17 th centuries, mashed some letters together. Next came “Round Hand,” an elaborate style of calligraphy used primarily in official documents in France and England. As immigration to the British colonies and eventually the United States began in the 18 th century, immigrants brought their preferred cursive styles, or “hands,” with them. One of these, Copperplate, grew out of Round Hand and became a favorite of private writing masters who tutored many elite students. Technology helped, too: When the fountain pen began replacing quills in the early 19th century, Copperplate cursive became easier and more accessible to the masses.

As the U.S. educational system developed, new types of cursive writing emerged. One, Spencerian script, was inspired by American landscapes and became a widespread—and uniquely American—school of handwriting. The script was the brainchild of Platt Rogers Spencer, a writing-obsessed New Yorker and writing master who used the types of arcs and lines he witnessed in the natural world—like the shape of pebbles in a stream—to create flowing, organic form of cursive handwriting.

For Hungry Minds

Soon, Spencerian handwriting was all the rage, and was widely taught in American schools and used in U.S. business correspondence. The rise of industry and technology helped cursive spread, says Debbie Schaefer-Jacobs , a curator for the history of education collections at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

“More people are being trained for business, and higher education emerge[d]” at the time, she says. “Writing is part of the curriculum at that point.” Students learned Spencerian script from their teachers, through “copy books” filled with examples, and through rote repetition, in keeping with the educational method of the times. A mastery of Spencerian script meant the ability to get a job outside of a factory and became a means of social mobility as newly arrived immigrants, newly enfranchised African Americans, and women entered the workplace.

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The popular palmer method.

Other handwriting systems came and went, but it would take another American, Austin Norman Palmer, to create cursive as we know it today. Palmer watched the quickening pace of U.S. office work, and envisioned a form simplified Spencerian script that would enable the newly created class of clerks, secretaries, and administrative employees to keep up. Invented in the 1880s and enthusiastically embraced by educators, the Palmer Method was designed to automate human hand writing using seated postures, hand positions, and internal reflexes that could produce a quick-to-execute script almost mechanically, much like the newly developed typewriter.

“Pupils who follow absolutely the Palmer Method plan never fail to become good penmen,” Palmer declared in a 1901 manual . Emphasizing “absolute mechanical mastery,” the Palmer Method specified everything from the proper clothing (lightweight sleeves that would let the forearm move) to the proper hand with which to write (right), warning students and teachers alike that without “absolute control” and a grasp of each component motion of cursive, they would fail. With the help of drills, examinations, and even penmanship competitions, the Palmer Method became the dominant form of handwriting well into the 20th century.

So why can’t modern-day students read it? Blame the rise of the typewriter, then the personal computer, both of which contributed to the death of penmanship in business. And point the finger at national educational standards while you’re at it, especially the Common Core State Standards . Adopted in 2009, the initiative brought together 48 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia to devise a set of accepted curriculum standards for K-12 education—standards that do not require most American public-school students to learn cursive.

In a 2016 interview with Education Week , one of the national curriculum standard’s lead writers for English and language arts, Sue Pimentel explained that technology was at the forefront of curriculum experts’ minds as they set the national educational agenda. “We thought that more and more student communications and adult communications are via technology,” Pimentel explained, adding that “sometimes cursive writing takes an enormous amount of instructional time.”

The death and rebirth of cursive

But while more and more communication is done with keyboards, there are experts who are concerned about the modern lack of cursive literacy. Newly minted historians and student archivists don’t necessarily read or write cursive, Schaefer-Jacob notes—and they can be stumped by archival documents written by hand.

“I have seen it firsthand as a historian,” she says. “They can’t decipher certain documents.”

There is some help for those faced with a tangle of confusing handwriting. Pharmacists and doctors are among the last bastions of modern workers expected to be able to read and write in cursive, and they often receive specialized courses in writing well by hand (and deciphering others’ scrawls) during their training. Likewise, historians can take special paleography courses designed to familiarize them with old forms of cursive.

Regardless, a working familiarity with modern cursive gives historians a leg up in the archive, Schaefer-Jacob says—and she and other researchers worry that the past will remain inaccessible without ongoing cursive instruction in schools.

Historians aren’t the only ones advocating for a resurgence of cursive. Occupational therapists and psychiatrists say it helps with the development of hand-eye coordination, cognitive development, and fine motor skills, to name just a few. Handwriting instruction has been linked with academic success, and in one 2007 literature review , researchers wrote that poor handwriting comes with “far-reaching academic and psychosocial consequences.”

Those consequences have created handwriting advocates: interest groups like the National Handwriting Association, calligraphy ambassadors online, and even lawmakers. After states adopted Common Core standards that cut cursive education, legislators in several states responded by insisting cursive is necessary—and mandated cursive education in their states anyway. As of 2023, 21 states require cursive writing to be taught in school, and this year Michigan approved legislation requiring the development of an optional cursive writing curriculum for its public schools. Cursive may be endangered, but it certainly isn’t dead yet—just ask Gillian Goerz, an artist whose series “solving” cursive letters has racked up millions of views on TikTok— and with new media and new resolve to preserve its curlicues and connected letters, it may just live to turn a new page.

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biography in cursive writing

Cursive: A Storied Past and a Complicated Future

Cursive's Future Remains Uncertain

Jason Gelb , Lucio Bollettieri , and Maggie Seidel

September 29, 2021

Understanding Cursive’s Past

By jason gelb.

The history behind cursive begins in ancient Greece and Rome, where early versions of it were most likely used to hasten writing and prevent damage to the writing tool. During these times a quill and ink was used to write, creating two difficulties when it came to writing: the ink would dry out fast, and the quill was easy to break. By keeping the quill on the page longer, the ink on the tip wouldn’t dry out as fast, and the quill was less susceptible to breakage as the writer could better manage the pressure placed on it while writing. Cursive has been present in the English language since before the 11th century, however, it wasn’t until the 17th and 18th centuries that cursive became standardized as Edward Cocker introduced the French ronde style followed by John Ayers and William Banson’s round hand style. These styles were very flamboyant and in order to improve efficiency clerks in the 18th and 19th century simplified them down to a style called fair hand, which is quite similar to cursive today. The development of cursive remained relatively stagnant until the 1960s when some pushed to write cursive in italics to aid learning, but the movement largely fell through. The downfall of cursive has occurred quite quickly relative to the length of its total existence. The first step in cursive’s decline was the invention of the ballpoint pen in 1888. The pen used quick drying ink, preventing smears and reducing the need for careful penmanship. After WWII, ballpoint pens were mass produced, expediting cursive’s decline. This already rapid decline was made even worse once computers and other technologies were introduced to the market, reducing the need for writing as a whole, but especially a style as intricate as cursive. Today the debate around whether cursive is useful still lives on. To some, advanced technology has removed the need for cursive, but many still argue that cursive is a useful tool to expedite and enhance writing.

The Cons of Cursive

By lucio bollettieri.

Cursive’s relevance has shrunk significantly over the last several decades, which is a trend that I believe should be embraced and not resisted. In my mind, cursive writing is the handwritten equivalent of the typewriter: An outdated system that has widely been replaced with a newer, more efficient, and more practical successor. I’m all for the recognition of traditional practices — such as cursive — in a historical context, but the notion that cursive needs to be taught in addition to modern print is redundant, and the idea that cursive should be revived and taught instead of print writing is simply absurd. We aren’t taught to use a rotary phone, so why are we taught to use cursive?

I can recall a small cursive unit near the end of my third grade year at the Blake lower school that spanned a few weeks, but outside of this unit I had no other instruction on how to write or read cursive. I was taught cursive letters and practiced writing and reading them, but not to the extent that I retained a long-term ability to read or write fluidly in cursive. I can passably accomplish both tasks, but have certainly not mastered either. I believe this short exposure to cursive was more than enough knowledge an elementary school student needs to be successful in school. I can certainly say that I do not encounter cursive commonly in my day to day life outside of school, and the only times I can recall being required to use it were all in a school setting. Children are taught cursive so they can use it in the classroom, and cursive is used in the classroom because children are taught to employ it. This is circular logic. A writing form taught in school that is no longer used outside of school is clearly an antiquated and vestigial technique.

These views on cursive are shared amongst the student body. “Cursive is outdated. It’s unnecessary because of the technological advancements we have today like printers and computers,” says Frida Illescas22 , who learned cursive at the elementary charter school she attended. “I don’t see the point in using the limited time we have in classrooms to teach children to write in a certain way when they should be encouraged to express themselves in their writing style however they want.” 

There are obviously situations in which familiarity with cursive would be beneficial (if not essential), such as reading original texts of historical documents, but these scenarios are few and far between. Of course, if a student is interested in cursive they should be able to learn it through instruction. Instead of requiring cursive instruction through, it should be offered as a separate class, much like those for foreign languages. After all, it certainly looks like one to many.   

The Pros of Cursive

By maggie seidel.

I am still drawn to the timeless art of a written card or message. Whether it be for a noteworthy occasion or simply a message of gratitude, there is something intangibly personable about a handwritten note. 

I vividly recall learning how to write lowercase letters in first grade, graduating to uppercase in second grade, and then moving towards cursive writing in third grade. The skill of placing pen to paper and creating legible markings has been instilled in me since I was young. I feel significant gratitude for my penmanship mentors, as this skill will reep lifelong dividends. 

According to a New York Times article written by occupational therapist Suzanne Baruch Asherson, “cursive is shown to improve brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory. Cursive handwriting stimulates brain synapses and synchronicity between the left and right hemispheres, something absent from printing and typing.” Not only do handwritten notes provide a thoughtful and considerate message but there is also scientific evidence to support the developmental importance of learning how to write cursive and proper penmanship. The artful qualities of cursive have tangible effects on cognitive development. 

Furthermore, according to a Scholastic article presenting a study conducted by the University of Montreal, the process of visualizing letters and writing words on paper can lead to stronger spelling habits. This ability will enable children to be more confident writers and more effective communicators. 

Although our society becomes ever more reliant upon virtual communication, I concur that the art of the written word and letters will remain. Stories, ideas, and emotion can be conveyed through written messages and passed along for generations, framing traditions and cultures. The gift of writing and penmanship is vital to this continuation of these stories and must be prioritized in schools. 

Students rely upon their education systems to value one of the oldest forms of communication. Writing offers an oasis from the bombarding reality of electronic communication and presents an opportunity for the writer to interact with their emotions and ideas sans distraction. In doing so, we contribute to a legacy of thinkers and preservers of history. And, we simultaneously become less dependent on Siri’s auto corrections that alter and, in many situations, misconstrue our messages.

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Rhonda Byrd • Apr 28, 2024 at 9:21 am

I love cursive writing! I wonder where do we get a signature from if we are not taught to write in cursive? My children were born in the 2000s and both of them rarely, barely use cursive writing. They only use it for their small signatures. They both relish my hand written notes to them and they both barely can write their names in cursive. They lacked the patience to lear to write in cursive at home because in school they always use computers and laptops. I cherish the days of receiving handwritten notes. 🙂

Anonymous • Nov 6, 2023 at 12:24 pm

I love cursive

Anonymous • Nov 7, 2021 at 9:43 am

It’s much easier to carry a pen or pencil than a lap top and cursive is much faster than printing. It isn’t that difficult to teach and doesn’t take that much time in the classroom. Cursive writing seems to be more personable and individualistic than using any kind of machine.

Anonymous • May 21, 2023 at 3:00 pm

I loved teaching cursive! The students seemed to be excited in learning the skill. Many could put their personal touch to their signature. It seemed to give them their own self.

Historical documents are written in cursive. Can any young adults read them?

biography in cursive writing

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A Brief History of Penmanship on National Handwriting Day

By: Jennie Cohen

Updated: May 16, 2023 | Original: January 23, 2012

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 29: John Hancock's signature is seen at the bottom of his inaugural address as Governor, a document stored at the Massachusetts State Archives in Boston on Jan. 29, 2019. Massachusetts officials on Tuesday unveiled a new vault to store the commonwealth's myriad historical treasures and documents accumulated over nearly four centuries. The expanded 25,000 square-foot space in Dorchester allow the archives to grow after the Columbia Point building reached a "critical point" of limited space, said Michael Comeau, executive director of the archives. The space also features modern environmental and security controls. (Photo by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Borrowing aspects of the Etruscan alphabet, the ancient Romans were among the first to develop a written script for transactions and correspondence. By the fifth century A.D. it included early versions of lowercase letters and sometimes flowed like modern cursive. After the Roman Empire fell, penmanship became a specialized discipline that primarily blossomed in monastic settings, specifically the medieval scriptoria that churned out Christian and classical texts across Europe. Styles varied widely by region, however, so in the late eighth century Charlemagne tasked an English monk with standardizing the craft. Influenced by Roman characters, Carolingian miniscule was designed for maximum legibility and featured lowercase letters, word separation and punctuation.

As the price of parchment and demand for books soared in the later Middle Ages, a denser style of writing evolved for European languages. Johannes Gutenberg used this Gothic approach for his printing press in the mid-15th century. Italian humanists soon revolted against the heavy look by reverting to a more Carolingian script and inventing a cursive form of it, known as Italic. Elegant handwriting emerged as a status symbol, and by the 1700s penmanship schools had begun educating generations of master scribes.

During the United States’ infancy, professional penmen were responsible for copying official documents, including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Among amateurs, meanwhile, signature handwriting styles became associated with various professions and social ranks; women and men were also expected to embrace flourishes unique to their sex. In the mid-1800s an abolitionist and bookkeeper named Platt Rogers Spencer attempted to democratize American penmanship by formulating a cursive writing system, known as the Spencerian method and taught by textbook, that many schools and businesses quickly adopted. (Ornate and sinuous, it can be seen in the original Coca-Cola logo.)

By the turn of the century, an approach introduced by Austin Norman Palmer replaced the Spencerian method in American classrooms, where students learned to form loopy characters between horizontal lines on chalkboards; its predecessor, D’Nealian script, originated in the 1970s and was designed to ease the transition from printing to cursive writing. Another handwriting style, developed by Charles Zaner and Elmer Bloser for elementary-aged children, dominated textbooks for much of the 20th century.

As typewriters and word processors swept the business world, schools began to eliminate penmanship classes, and by the 1980s many U.S. children received little formal training. (This was not the case in many European countries, where students are given rigorous handwriting instruction to this day.) While penmanship studies haven’t completely disappeared from the American curriculum, schoolchildren today spend more time mastering typing and computer skills than the neat, standardized cursive of their parents and grandparents. As early as 1955, the Saturday Evening Post had dubbed the United States a “nation of scrawlers,” and studies show that handwriting abilities have largely declined since then.

Bemoaned by many (but not all) educators, the loss of penmanship as a requisite skill inspired the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) to create National Handwriting Day in 1977. According to the group’s website, the holiday offers “a chance for all of us to re-explore the purity and power of handwriting.” How can you celebrate? The WIMA suggests you pick up a pen or pencil and put it to paper—so get off the computer and start writing!

biography in cursive writing

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Cursive Writing: What Is It & How To Learn Cursive

  • January 18, 2024

Table of Contents:

Introduction, what is cursive writing, background of cursive writing, learning cursive writing: take it step by step, step 1: understand the cursive alphabet, step 2: master individual letters, step 3: practice capital letters, step 4: joining letters, step 6: practice with sentences, is there an order for teaching cursive writing, why people write in cursive, speed and efficiency:, intellectual development:, aesthetic appeal:, individuality:, tips to write well in cursive, understand the cursive alphabet:, use the right tools:, start with lowercase letters:, consistent practice:, master the connections:, maintain a steady pace:, posture and grip matter:, experiment with styles:, conclusion:.

Cursive writing is a style of handwriting where all the letters in a word are joined, giving the penmanship a flowing, often elegant, appearance. One can trace its origins back to Roman times. At its core, this writing is a skill blending aesthetics and efficiency – it helps write faster and adds a visual appeal to the written text. Learning cursive involves more than just mastering elegant letters. It enhances cognitive abilities and academic performance, contributing to children’s mental and intellectual development.

Our Manuscript Writing Guide offers step-by-step instructions on writing in cursive and provides insightful tips to make learning more enjoyable and rewarding.

Cursive writing is a unique style of penmanship primarily characterized by handwriting, where letters are often connected in a flowing manner. ‘Cursive’ is derived from the Latin’ cursivus,’ meaning ‘flowing’ or ‘running.’ This alludes to the pen’s flowing and continuous movement while writing cursive.

When learning cursive, consider letter positioning and shape as key elements. Each letter has its designated line, forming a joint writing style prevalent throughout history. Cursive, valued by professors, enhances writing prowess.

Master sloping letters starting from the base and ending with a stroke at the upper baseline. Some letters feature loops at the top or bottom, varying by letter.

Now, let’s talk about a little of its history. The origins of cursive writing date back to the times of ancient civilizations. The Romans were among the first societies to use this writing style, developing it as a way to write faster and more efficiently. This swift writing style was valuable, enabling scribes to capture live speeches and facilitating maintaining records more quickly.

But it took off during the Renaissance, with the advent of the writing method known as “Italic Handwriting.” Named after Italy, its place of origin, Italic Handwriting is a semi-cursive writing style characterized by curved and flowing letters, which were easier to write and more aesthetic.

By the 18th and 19th centuries, this writing style became commonly taught in schools worldwide. Modifications and developments led to different styles of cursive writing, influenced by specific geographical regions like English Roundhand and Spencerian Script in America.

Learning to write in cursive can be super fun and rewarding. It’s like drawing and writing all mixed up together. Here’s a step-by-step guide that’ll have you writing cursive like a pro in no time.

Okay, so each cursive letter is a bit like a little drawing. Some are like loops, and others have tails. Knowing what each letter should look like is your first big step. And watch out for the ‘entry strokes’ and ‘exit strokes’ – they’re like ramps to help letters join up and dance across the page together.

Now, let’s buckle down and draw – I mean, write these letters! Grab some lined paper (those lines are like training wheels), and start with the easiest lower-case ones like ‘c,’ ‘l,’ ‘a,’ ‘d,’ ‘g,’ and ‘o.’ They’re mostly all about the loop-de-loops. After you’ve got the easy dudes down, step up to the tricky gang like ‘b,’ ‘f,’ ‘k,’ ‘p,’ and ‘z.’

Capital letters in cursive can look super fancy, like kings and queens of the alphabet. They’re a bit tougher than the lower-case crew, so tackle them with patience. Like before, stick with it until you feel you’ve befriended each of these capital letter royals.

Linking the letters together is what makes cursive, well, cursive! Practice sliding from one letter to the next without picking up your pen. It’s like they’re holding hands.

Then, It’s combining letters time! Start small with easy words. Once you’re good at those, throw in some longer ones. It’s like building with blocks – start with a small tower before you build the castle.

Got the hang of individual words? Excellent! Now, it’s time to connect them into sentences. This is where all your learning truly comes to life. Keep that pen flowing, connecting your thoughts and your paper seamlessly.

As with any skill, mastering cursive writing requires a dedicated commitment. Establish a writing routine where you put aside at least 20 minutes each day to focus on the cursive alphabet—start with lowercase letters before progressing to uppercase ones. Writing essay drafts in cursive enhances skill and familiarity. Later, type them into a Word document for ease and practice.

The more you write, the more your hand remembers, and the better you get. It’s like playing a game – the more you play, the higher your score.

Teaching cursive doesn’t follow a strict order, but experts suggest starting with lowercase letters before uppercase ones.

Children typically begin learning cursive around age seven, progressing independently by age nine. The recommended order for learning cursive letters includes:

– c, a, d, g, q

– i, t, p, u, w, j

– e, l, f, h

– k, r, s

– b, o, v

– m, n, y, x, z

This sequence, backed by research, introduces simpler letters first, resembling their print counterparts and aiding in joining words efficiently. Progression to more complex letters occurs as children master initial ones through consistent practice.

Cursive writing is gradually regaining popularity, with handwriting enthusiasts and educational institutions advocating its benefits. Here are a few reasons why people choose to write in cursive:

Writing in cursive is significantly faster than print handwriting. The continuous flow of cursive handwriting increases writing speed, promoting efficiency.

Research suggests that learning cursive can enhance intellectual development in children. It helps refine motor skills, improves literacy levels, facilitates memory recall, and promotes the development of cognitive skills.

Cursive handwriting offers a unique aesthetic appeal that adds personal charm to any written piece. Its fluidity makes it ideal for ceremonial documents and calligraphy. Furthermore, the role of cover design typesetting enhances this visual charm in print documents, creating a polished look.

In addition to its functional and cognitive benefits, this writing style is unique to each writer. How one connects and forms letters is typically individual, fostering self-expression and providing a sense of identity through penmanship.

Writing in Cursive is a beautiful art form, though it may seem daunting initially. Here are some practical tips to improve your cursive writing skills:

To write well in cursive, first familiarize yourself with the cursive alphabet. Note the nuances for each letter in the cursive script — both lowercase and uppercase.

A good quality pen or pencil and lined paper can greatly impact how you learn this writing style. A pen running smoothly over the paper will make writing much easier.

Lowercase letters are simpler and more frequently used in this style of writing. Practice them consistently until you’re comfortable, then graduate to uppercase letters.

Like any other skill, practice makes perfect. Develop a habit of writing in cursive daily. This consistency will help you retain the unique strokes of cursive.

The cursive style of writing is all about the flow. Spend ample time mastering connecting one letter to another, creating an uninterrupted line of text.

Keep your speed slow and consistent while learning. Trying to write quickly may make your letterforms sloppy. As you become more comfortable with cursive writing, gradually increase your speed while maintaining legibility.

A comfortable sitting posture and a relaxed yet firm grip on the pen can help you write better and for longer periods.

Over time, you can experiment with cursive variations to develop your unique style. Remember, your handwriting is a reflection of your individuality.

Should You Teach Cursive Writing?

Teaching cursive writing offers numerous benefits, making it a valuable skill for children. Beautiful cursive enhances neatness and writing speed, which is crucial for jotting down lecture notes efficiently.

Cursive fosters motor skills, pen control, and letter recognition while refining manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Introducing cursive early facilitates easier skill absorption, aiding overall education.

Cursive isn’t limited to English; it’s a tool across disciplines. Encouraging cursive empowers children to express themselves uniquely, fostering individual handwriting styles. Embrace the art of cursive for its practicality and personal touch in communication and self-expression.

When considering all the enriching benefits of learning cursive, it’s also worth noting that these skills extend beyond education settings. Partnering with a Business Book Writing can bring that vision to life for those looking to further reinforce this skill, or perhaps even publish their cursive practice materials. Such services can assist in creating customized practice books to preserve the art of cursive writing.

Cursive writing is integral to human culture and history with varied practical, intellectual, and aesthetic benefits. While technology continues to evolve and mechanical typing replaces handwriting, nothing can beat the charm, individuality, and personal touch of a well-scripted cursive note.

Becoming proficient in cursive involves more than mastering strokes and connections—it promotes cognitive growth and fosters a feeling of artistic individuality.

Though technology’s impact is immense, particularly with tools like AI writing generators for creating custom learning resources, the significance of cursive doesn’t dwindle. Using AI for studying cursive can be an advantage, but the essence of the skill lies in personal dedication and practice.

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How to Write in Cursive

Last Updated: February 20, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was reviewed by Tami Claytor . Tami Claytor is an Etiquette Coach, Image Consultant, and the Owner of Always Appropriate Image and Etiquette Consulting in New York, New York. With over 20 years of experience, Tami specializes in teaching etiquette classes to individuals, students, companies, and community organizations. Tami has spent decades studying cultures through her extensive travels across five continents and has created cultural diversity workshops to promote social justice and cross-cultural awareness. She holds a BA in Economics with a concentration in International Relations from Clark University. Tami studied at the Ophelia DeVore School of Charm and the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she earned her Image Consultant Certification. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,041,784 times.

Writing in cursive is a good skill to have if you’d like to handwrite a letter, a journal entry, or an invitation. Start by improving your writing skill by making adjustments. You can then practice lowercase and uppercase letters in cursive, working your way through the alphabet. Make sure you also perfect your technique by practicing once a day and challenging yourself to write long sentences or paragraphs in cursive.

Starting Off

Step 1 Sit on a chair at a desk.

  • You should not write at a desk that is too low or too high for you. Make sure you do not have to crouch or strain yourself to sit comfortably at the desk.

Step 2 Use an ink pen that has a felt tip.

  • You can also use pencil to write in cursive, especially if you want the option of erasing your letters and starting again. Get a B pencil with a triangular barrel, as it will be softer on the paper and easier to write with.

Step 3 Write on lined paper so your letters are the same size and shape.

  • If you’d prefer plain paper so you have more room to try the flowing, loose movements of cursive, you can use it. However, it may be more difficult for you to make your letters uniform without lines on the paper.

Step 4 Place the paper at an angle.

  • Angling the paper will make it easier for you to slant your letters as you write. In cursive, your letters should slant up and to the right by 35 degrees.

Step 5 Use your non-writing hand to move the paper up as you write.

Creating Lowercase Cursive Letters

Step 1 Practice “a.

  • Once you master "a" and "c," try doing letters that follow similar strokes like “d,” “q,” and “g.”

Step 3 Try “i.

  • You can also try other letters that follow similar strokes, such as “w” and “t.”

Step 5 Do “e.

  • You can try other letters that follow similar strokes, such as “h,” “k,” “b,” “f,” and “j.”

Step 7 Practice “n.

  • Once you master these letters, try letters that follow similar strokes like “v” and “x.”

Doing Uppercase Cursive Letters

Step 1 Try

  • An uppercase "A" in cursive is similar to a lowercase "a" in cursive. It should touch the top and bottom lines.

Step 2 Try “O.”

  • The letters “O,” “M,” and “N” in uppercase follow the same strokes as lowercase. The only difference is that the uppercase letters cover more space on the line.

Step 3 Practice “B.”

  • An uppercase “B” is written very differently in cursive than a lowercase “b.” You may need to practice it a few times to get it right.

Step 4 Do “E.”

  • An “E” in cursive looks a lot like a backwards “3.”

Step 5 Practice

Perfecting Your Technique

Step 1 Use letter guides.

  • Look for letter guides online. You can also ask your instructors or teachers for letter guides.

Step 2 Practice one letter by making a linked pattern.

  • You can also try doing a pattern of a different letter on each line of the page.
  • If you find certain letters difficult, challenge yourself to do a pattern of the letter.

Step 3 Join up your letters to form words.

  • You can also try writing your name in cursive, especially if it is short.

Step 4 Practice writing cursive 20 minutes a day.

  • As a fun challenge, you can try writing out sentences or phrases that you like from books, songs, or movies in cursive as part of your practice.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Brush pens are often used for cursive lettering to achieve swooping, calligraphy-style lettering. However, you should stick to normal pens when starting out so you don't over-complicate things. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you're really struggling with a certain letter, adapt it slightly to work for you. If you're stuck on a lowercase "b," for example, alter the form slightly to look more like a printed "b." Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

Tips from our Readers

  • Practice with phrases that use nearly every letter of the alphabet, like "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," "The five boxing wizards jump quickly," or "Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow."
  • Try using cursive instead of print in your everyday life. For example, take notes in cursive during class or write your grocery list in cursive.

biography in cursive writing

Things You’ll Need

  • An ink pen or a pencil
  • Lined or plain paper

Sample Alphabets and Practice Page

biography in cursive writing

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Improve Your Cursive

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About This Article

Tami Claytor

To get started writing cursive, it helps to have the right materials. Use a pen with ink that flows smoothly, such as a felt-tip pen or a gel pen. You can also write cursive with a pencil, which will make it easier to fix mistakes as you learn. Choose writing paper with lines to help make sure that your writing comes out straight and the sizes and shapes of your letters stay consistent. If possible, get three-lined paper that has a dotted line in the middle of each set of solid lines. As you write, keep the paper tilted at a 35° angle, which will help give the letters the correct amount of slant. Keep a relaxed grip on the pen or pencil and hold it at a 45° angle relative to the paper. Practice writing the lower-case letters first, since these are the ones you’ll use the most often. You might find it helpful to use a cursive letter chart that shows the steps to write each letter. For example, when you’re writing a lower-case a on 3-lined paper, begin with an upward stroke that starts at the solid bottom line and curves up until it meets the dotted line in the middle, then goes back down slightly. Then, trace the line backwards, but this time swoop back up and around to meet the end of the first stroke. Swoop back down to make a curving “tail” that ends just before it meets the dotted line. After you’ve mastered the lower-case letters, get to know the upper-case ones. While some of them, like A, are basically bigger versions of the lower-case letters, others look completely different. For example, you’ll need to use a totally different technique to make an upper-case F from the method you use to write the lower-case version. Once you’re used to writing all the letters, it’s time to put them together. Part of what makes cursive different from print is that the letters connect, which helps the script flow smoothly while you’re writing. Practice writing connected rows of letters, then move on to writing out words and sentences in cursive. It may feel awkward at first, but with about 20 minutes of practice a day, you’ll soon be writing beautiful, flowing cursive. If you want to learn how to improve your penmanship while writing cursive, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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biography in cursive writing

A Brief History of Cursive Writing

Since letters have been invented, people have looked for ways to write them more swiftly. Scribes writing on clay tablets developed a more fluid form of writing that served as an early cursive in Mesopotamia.

The cursive writing we recognize today started developing in Europe the 16 th century. Connecting letters with loops and tails seemed to grow increasingly more uniform across languages as education became more available to the citizens of those nations. Instruction was made more simply by the invention of textbooks printed using a special copper plate. Students could trace the preprinted letters with their quill pens. The resulting form of writing was simply referred to as copperplate.

For a great example of copperplate writing, look no further than the U.S. Constitution.

Copperplate served as both a simple, functional script and as something that could be made to look fancy for special ceremonial papers. As literacy was far from universal, and the need for legible handwriting was great, copperplate writing was considered something of an art form to be seriously studied. Reading and writing was no small task in the 17 th , 18 th and 19 th centuries. Penmanship was critical.

The many forms of cursive writing in the centuries to follow evolved out of copperplate. Around 1840, a man named Platt Rogers Spencer believed it was important to make handwriting a true art form unlike those attempts that preceded him. A master craftsman in the art of handwriting Mr. Spencer developed his own variation of cursive that required dedicated training and skill to master its swirls and embellishments. The Spencerian method became the official writing style of government and corporate documents from around 1850 to 1925. Whole schools and textbooks were developed to teach this writing style around the country. The need for the super-flexible nibs most vintage pen collectors refer to today as “wet noodles” were essential for the modulating lines of Spencerian script that grew from extra fine to double and triple broad to accentuate a circle and add weight to the elements of each letter’s formation.

Today you can still see great examples of Spencerian script in classic century-old American brands such as Ford’s and Coca-Cola’s logos.

As elegant and beautiful as Spencerian script was, it was also time consuming and difficult to master. American business in the 19 th century moved at a surprisingly fast clip by even today’s standards, and the Spencer method of writing was too slow for the needs of offices around the country. To keep up with the newly invented typewriter, secretaries, stenographers and many other white-collar workers needed a faster way to write.

In 1888, Austin Norman Palmer came to the rescue with his own method of writing. What became known as the Palmer Method caught on quickly for its legibility and ease of use. Most of the cursive writing we learned in school is, or was, based on the Palmer method.

Although Palmer method textbooks ceased publication in 1980, the very similar Zaner-Bloser method of cursive writing remains popular to this day. Developed in 1891, the Zaner-Bloser school realized the value in becoming a powerhouse in textbook publication for their handwriting and remain one of the top sources of handwriting instruction in schools across the country to this day.

In 1978, the D’Nealian handwriting method tried to breakdown the Palmer method into simpler steps to teach little kids how to write in cursive. It too remains popular, although my quick imperfect research into this piece seems to have found that the Zaner-Bloser method seems to dominate what is left of the industry to teach our youngsters how to write in cursive.

For much more detailed information about the history of handwriting and to learn how to master copperplate, Spencerian script, the Palmer Method and other forms of handwriting, visit The International Association of Master Penmen, Engravers and Teachers of Handwriting. The IAMPETH is an incredible resource for all of your handwriting needs.

Click here to be linked to their website:

Coming soon: Quick Tips for Taking Your Handwriting to the Next Level

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What is Calligraphy? Logo

What is calligraphy

Unveiling the Art of Beautiful Writing

biography in cursive writing

Cursive Calligraphy Introduction: Elegant Writing

Cursive Calligraphy Introduction

Table of Contents

Cursive Calligraphy Introduction: Master the Art of Elegant Writing Today!

Cursive Calligraphy Introduction! Welcome to the captivating world of cursive calligraphy, where elegant writing takes center stage. In this article, we will explore the art of transforming handwriting into a beautiful form of expression. Whether you are a beginner or seeking to refine your cursive skills, this guide will provide you with the essential knowledge to write in this graceful style.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cursive calligraphy is a form of elegant writing that can elevate your handwritten expressions.
  • Mastering cursive script requires an understanding of the basics, such as stroke flow and letter connections.
  • Improving your cursive handwriting involves techniques like consistent letter slant and finding your optimal writing speed.
  • Choosing the right tools, including pens with good ink flow and understanding pen pressure, is crucial for achieving beautiful cursive script.
  • Regular practice and the use of practice sheets and exercises are essential for mastering cursive calligraphy.

The Basics of Cursive Script

In order to master the art of cursive calligraphy, it is essential to have a solid understanding of the basics of cursive script. Cursive writing is characterized by its flowing strokes and the seamless connection of letters. By understanding the fundamentals, such as stroke flow and letter connections, you can achieve a more elegant and cohesive cursive script.

When writing in cursive, the flow of strokes is crucial. Each letter is formed by a series of deliberate strokes that create a rhythmic and graceful script. It is important to practice the correct stroke flow for each letter to maintain consistency and improve your cursive writing skills.

The connection between letters is another key aspect of cursive script. Unlike print handwriting, where letters are often written separately, cursive writing requires letters to be connected, resulting in a continuous and fluid script. Learning how to connect each letter smoothly and naturally is essential for creating a coherent cursive script.

By mastering the basics of cursive script, including stroke flow and letter connections, you can lay a strong foundation for developing your cursive calligraphy skills. In the next section, we will explore the cursive calligraphy alphabet, focusing on the formation of lowercase letters.

Table: Cursive Script Basics

Cursive calligraphy alphabet: lowercase letters.

Cursive letter a

Mastering the art of cursive calligraphy begins with learning the lowercase letters. By understanding the formation of each letter, you can develop a fluid and elegant cursive script. Let’s explore the cursive calligraphy alphabet for lowercase letters to enhance your writing skills.

The key to mastering cursive letter formation lies in practicing the basic strokes and understanding the proper technique for each letter. With lowercase cursive letters, you’ll notice that many of them begin with an upward stroke. This creates the signature slant and graceful flow that cursive calligraphy is known for.

When writing in cursive, maintain a consistent letter slant , ensuring that each letter leans slightly to the right. This creates a visually appealing and cohesive script. Remember to give each letter enough space to breathe, allowing for clear distinction between letters.

Below is a table showcasing the cursive calligraphy alphabet for lowercase letters, along with the correct stroke order and direction for each letter. Practice writing these letters repeatedly to develop muscle memory and refine your cursive skills.

Continue practicing the remaining lowercase letters of the cursive calligraphy alphabet, such as e, f, g, and so on. With consistent practice and attention to detail, you’ll soon be able to write in cursive with confidence and elegance.

Cursive Calligraphy Alphabet: Uppercase Letters

Cursive script writing in uppercase

In cursive calligraphy, uppercase letters have their own unique flair and elegance. Mastering the formation of these uppercase letters will allow you to create stunning and sophisticated cursive script. Let’s explore the uppercase cursive calligraphy alphabet and learn how to write each letter with precision and style.

Uppercase Letter Formation

When writing uppercase letters in cursive, it’s important to pay attention to their distinct characteristics. Each letter has its own unique strokes and connections, which contribute to the overall aesthetics of your cursive script. Here is a guide to help you master the formation of uppercase cursive letters:

Continue practicing the formation of each uppercase letter, paying attention to the flow and connections between strokes. With time and practice, you will develop a confident and consistent style in your uppercase cursive calligraphy.

Remember to maintain a consistent slant and spacing between letters to ensure a harmonious appearance. Now that you have learned the formation of uppercase letters, you are one step closer to mastering the art of cursive calligraphy.

Tips for Improving Your Cursive Handwriting

If you’re looking to enhance the aesthetic quality of your cursive handwriting, here are some tips and techniques to help you improve:

  • Find your optimal writing speed: Experiment with different writing speeds to find the pace that allows you to maintain consistency and control. Writing too fast can lead to sloppy letterforms, while writing too slowly can result in stiff and unnatural strokes.
  • Use guidelines: To achieve consistent letter slant and spacing, consider using guidelines as a reference. Whether you’re using lined paper or creating your own guidelines, they can help guide the height and width of your letters for a more uniform cursive script.
  • Rotate your paper: Rotating your paper slightly can provide a more comfortable wrist position and improve the flow of your cursive writing. Experiment with different angles to find the one that works best for you.
  • Practice letter connectio

Choosing the Right Tools for Cursive Calligraphy

When it comes to cursive calligraphy, choosing the right tools is essential for achieving beautiful and elegant results. The right pen can make a significant difference in the flow and appearance of your cursive script. Here, we’ll explore different types of pens that are suitable for cursive writing and discuss the importance of ink flow and pen pressure.

One of the most popular choices for cursive calligraphy pens is the fountain pen. It provides a smooth and consistent ink flow, allowing for precise and graceful strokes. The fine nib of a fountain pen is ideal for creating thin and delicate lines, while a broader nib can add flair and variation to your cursive script. Experiment with different nib sizes to find the pen that suits your writing style.

In addition to fountain pens , there are also brush pens specifically designed for cursive calligraphy. These pens have a flexible tip that mimics the brush strokes of traditional calligraphy brushes. Brush pens allow for greater control and versatility, allowing you to create both fine and bold lines in your cursive script. They are a popular choice for those looking to achieve a more expressive and dynamic style of cursive calligraphy.

When using any type of pen for cursive calligraphy, it’s important to consider pen pressure. Applying the right amount of pressure can greatly affect the appearance of your script. Lighter pressure creates thinner and lighter strokes, while heavier pressure produces thicker and darker lines. Experiment with different levels of pen pressure to add depth and contrast to your cursive calligraphy.

Table: Comparison of Cursive Calligraphy Pens

Ultimately, the choice of pen for cursive calligraphy is a personal preference. Each pen type offers its own unique features and characteristics, allowing you to explore different styles and techniques in your cursive writing. Experimentation is key to finding the pen that feels most comfortable in your hand and produces the desired effect in your cursive calligraphy.

Mastering Cursive Calligraphy: Practice Sheets and Exercises

Cursive Practice Sheets

Practicing regularly is essential for mastering cursive calligraphy. To help you develop and refine your cursive skills, we have created a variety of practice sheets and exercises. These resources will guide you through drills for individual letters as well as full cursive alphabets, allowing you to enhance your letter formation, stroke flow, and overall consistency.

Our cursive practice sheets contain guided lines and examples, providing a foundation for practicing each letter of the alphabet. By following the strokes and guidelines, you can train your hand and eye coordination, gradually improving the fluidity of your cursive script.

In addition to practice sheets, we offer cursive handwriting drills that target specific areas of improvement. These drills focus on common challenges such as letter slant, spacing, and connecting letters smoothly. By dedicating time to these exercises, you can address specific areas of weakness and enhance the overall quality of your cursive writing.

Remember, consistency and regular practice are key to mastering cursive calligraphy. Use these practice sheets and exercises to refine your skills and unlock the beauty of elegant cursive writing.

Exploring Elegant Cursive Styles

When it comes to cursive calligraphy, there are various elegant styles that you can explore to add a touch of sophistication to your writing. Two popular styles are traditional cursive calligraphy and italic cursive calligraphy .

Traditional cursive calligraphy is characterized by its flowing, rounded letters with subtle flourishes. This style exudes a classic and timeless elegance, making it a popular choice for formal invitations, certificates, and other important documents.

Italic cursive calligraphy , on the other hand, combines the slanted letterforms of italic handwriting with the fluidity of cursive script. This style is often used for artistic purposes, such as decorative lettering, quotes, and personal projects. Italic cursive calligraphy allows for more variation in letterforms and encourages creative experimentation.

To incorporate these elegant cursive styles into your writing, practice the letterforms with a focus on maintaining consistency in spacing, slant, and overall shape. Experiment with different pen nibs and ink colors to further enhance the visual appeal of your cursive script. Whether you choose to embrace the traditional elegance of cursive calligraphy or explore the artistic possibilities of italic cursive, these styles are sure to elevate your writing to new heights.

Applying Cursive Calligraphy in Art and Design

One of the most captivating aspects of cursive calligraphy is its versatility in art and design. Whether you’re a professional artist or a hobbyist, incorporating cursive script into your creations can enhance their visual appeal and evoke a sense of elegance. From hand-lettered artwork to digital designs, cursive calligraphy adds a touch of sophistication. Let’s explore how cursive calligraphy can be applied in various art and design projects.

Hand-Lettered Artwork

Cursive calligraphy lends itself beautifully to hand-lettered artwork. Whether you’re creating personalized quotes, wedding invitations, or wall art, cursive script can elevate the overall aesthetic. With its graceful curves and flowing strokes, cursive calligraphy allows you to express your creativity and add a unique touch to your artwork. From delicate flourishes to bold lettering, the possibilities are endless.

Digital Design

In the digital age, cursive calligraphy has found a new platform for expression. From designing logos to crafting social media graphics, cursive script can bring a sense of elegance to your digital designs. Whether you’re creating a website or designing an advertisement, incorporating cursive calligraphy can help capture attention and convey a message of sophistication. With the right typography and layout, cursive script can enhance the overall visual impact of your digital creations.

Cursive Lettering Art

Lettering enthusiasts and calligraphers often explore different styles of cursive script to create stunning lettering art. From modern calligraphy with a twist to traditional copperplate script, cursive lettering art showcases the beauty of hand-drawn letters. Whether you’re creating artwork for journals, greeting cards, or illustrations, experimenting with cursive calligraphy styles can add depth and character to your lettering compositions.

Whether you’re an artist, designer, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of cursive calligraphy, incorporating this elegant writing style in your art and design projects can add a touch of sophistication. From hand-lettered artwork to digital designs and cursive lettering art , cursive calligraphy offers endless possibilities for creative expression. Explore different applications and let the graceful curves and flowing strokes of cursive script enhance your art and design endeavors.

Cursive Calligraphy for Special Occasions

When it comes to special occasions, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication can make all the difference. Cursive calligraphy is the perfect choice for invitations, greeting cards, and wedding designs, creating a beautiful and personalized touch. Whether you’re planning a wedding, a birthday celebration, or sending a heartfelt message, cursive script adds a unique charm to your special moments.

For invitations, cursive calligraphy brings a sense of refinement and style. The flowing lines and graceful curves of cursive script create an enchanting invitation design that sets the tone for your event. Whether it’s a formal black-tie affair or a whimsical garden party, cursive calligraphy adds a touch of class and elegance to your invitation suite.

Greeting cards are another occasion where cursive script shines. Whether you’re expressing your love and gratitude or sending a heartfelt message, cursive calligraphy adds a personal and artistic touch to your words. From birthdays and anniversaries to holidays and special occasions, the delicate strokes of cursive letters convey warmth and sincerity.

“Cursive calligraphy adds a touch of elegance and charm to any special occasion. It’s a timeless art form that beautifully complements the sentiment behind invitations, greeting cards, and wedding designs.” – Calligraphy expert

When it comes to weddings, cursive calligraphy takes center stage. From the save-the-dates to the wedding vows, cursive script creates a romantic and sophisticated atmosphere. Whether you choose to have your wedding invitations hand-lettered or opt for printed calligraphy fonts , cursive script sets the tone for your big day.

So, whether it’s an intimate gathering or a grand celebration, consider incorporating cursive calligraphy into your special occasions. From invitations to greeting cards and everything in between, let the art of cursive script add a touch of elegance and beauty to your cherished moments.

Conclusion – Cursive Calligraphy Introduction

In conclusion, cursive calligraphy offers a world of possibilities for personal projects. Whether you’re creating handmade cards, writing personal letters, or adding a special touch to your journaling, cursive calligraphy adds elegance and style to your work. By incorporating the techniques and tips discussed in this article, you can take your cursive handwriting to the next level.

If you’re looking to further enhance your cursive calligraphy skills, consider attending cursive calligraphy workshops . These workshops provide valuable hands-on experience and guidance from experienced calligraphers. You’ll have the opportunity to practice different cursive styles, learn advanced techniques, and receive personalized feedback to help you refine your craft.

For those who prefer self-paced learning, there are also a wealth of cursive calligraphy tutorials available online. These tutorials offer step-by-step instructions, practice exercises, and helpful tips to help you improve your cursive handwriting at your own pace. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced calligrapher, these tutorials can be a valuable resource on your cursive calligraphy journey.

So, unleash your creativity and explore the world of cursive calligraphy. Whether you’re embarking on a personal project or looking to enhance your artistic skills, cursive calligraphy is a beautiful and versatile art form that will elevate your writing and bring your ideas to life.

FAQ – Cursive Calligraphy Introduction

What is cursive calligraphy.

Cursive calligraphy is a form of elegant writing that transforms handwriting into a beautiful script. It emphasizes the flow of strokes and the art of connecting letters to create a cohesive and fluid script.

What are the basics of cursive script?

The basics of cursive script include understanding the fundamental strokes, the flow of strokes in cursive writing, and the importance of connecting letters to achieve a cohesive and fluid cursive script.

How do I write lowercase cursive calligraphy letters?

Writing lowercase cursive letters involves learning the formation of each letter. It is important to practice writing them to enhance your cursive skills.

How do I write uppercase cursive calligraphy letters?

Writing uppercase cursive letters involves learning the formation of each letter and emphasizing the unique characteristics of uppercase cursive script.

How can I improve my cursive handwriting?

To improve your cursive handwriting, you can try finding your optimal writing speed, using guidelines and rotating your paper, and practicing regularly to enhance the aesthetic quality of your cursive script.

What tools should I use for cursive calligraphy?

Selecting the right tools is essential for achieving beautiful cursive calligraphy. You can use different types of pens suitable for cursive writing, pay attention to ink flow, and understand how pen pressure can affect the appearance of your cursive script.

How can I practice cursive calligraphy?

Practicing regularly is key to mastering cursive calligraphy. You can use practice sheets and exercises to help you develop your cursive skills, including drills for individual letters and full cursive alphabets.

What are some elegant cursive styles?

There are various elegant cursive styles , such as traditional cursive calligraphy and italic cursive calligraphy . Each style has unique characteristics that can be incorporated into your cursive writing.

How can I apply cursive calligraphy in art and design?

Cursive calligraphy can be applied in various art and design projects, including art, lettering, digital design, and branding. It adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to these mediums.

How can I use cursive calligraphy for special occasions?

Cursive calligraphy is perfect for adding elegance to special occasions. You can incorporate it into invitation designs, greeting cards, and wedding calligraphy to create a personalized and stunning touch.

Where can I find additional resources for cursive calligraphy?

To further explore cursive calligraphy, you can find additional resources such as cursive calligraphy workshops and tutorials. These resources can provide in-depth guidance and support for your cursive journey.

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Related posts:

  • Introduction to Copperplate: Elegance in Writing
  • Cursive Calligraphy Styles: Unleash Creativity and Self-Expression
  • Introduction to Italic Script: Classic Elegance Unveiled

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Hi, I'm Jay, the author behind What is Calligraphy. As an avid calligraphy enthusiast, I've dedicated this website to share my passion and knowledge with all things calligraphy. With a deep love for the art form, I aim to provide a comprehensive platform where beginners and experienced calligraphers can explore and learn. Through informative articles, step-by-step tutorials, and helpful resources, I'm here to help you embark on your calligraphy journey. Whether you're curious to know the history, different styles, or the tools needed, this site has got you covered. Join me as we dive into the enchanting world of calligraphy and unlock your own creative potential.

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The Twisted History of Cursive Writing

From Word Genius

Unlike the current classes of young scholars, you probably learned cursive writing around third grade. Maybe you were excited to decipher all those loopy letters and add some formality to your writing. Maybe you dreaded every second of practicing on that awful lined paper. Either way, you probably asked yourself,  why am I doing this?

Who invented cursive handwriting? After thousands of years, it’s impressive that cursive has survived despite our reliance on digital writing and its removal from most modern curriculums. The important question: Is cursive still relevant today?

Who Invented Cursive?

As with many thousands-of-years-old practices, cursive writing was more of a collective effort than something we can attribute to one person. It goes as far back as the  Roman Empire , after written language first developed. Square capitals were used on inscriptions on buildings and monuments (some of which are still standing), but cursive (or script) was used for daily writing.

Scripts and styles have changed since the fifth century. In the eighth century, monks created the  Carolingian script  — the earliest form of standardized cursive that others built upon. 

Carolingian Script

While beautiful, this fancy calligraphy just wasn’t practical for everyday writing. A teacher named  Platt Rogers Spencer  developed a new form of penmanship around the mid-1800s. He came up with the name “chirythmography,” from the Greek words for “timed hand writing.” He used a metronome for writers to keep pace with his elliptical letters, which he claimed were inspired by nature. The “Spencerian” method was taught in schools for the latter half of the 19th century.

Quick-working clerks and telegraph operators translating Morse code into script found the Spencer cursive still too time consuming. Next up: Austin Palmer and the  Palmer Method . His idea was to make cursive writing more practical and lose the fancy flourishes from the Renaissance days. This form of script was very popular in the early 20th century and can probably be seen in old letters from your great and great-great grandparents. 

palmer method cursive

The Zaner-Bloser cursive and the later D’Nealian cursive are the simple scripts that were taught in grade school for the second half of the 20th century.

Does Anyone Still Use Cursive?

Cursive writing has been used less and less since the 1980s. Quite simply, since computers became the new big thing, people don’t write as much by hand. Grade schools teach computer skills instead of penmanship. So is there still a use for cursive? Absolutely!

Handwriting helps us remember. This goes for all handwriting, not just cursive. The  Wall Street Journal  says that actively forming letters with pen and paper reinforces language concepts and helps the brain remember. It’s a lot more effective than just reading and memorizing, especially for kids. That’s why so many teachers stress taking notes by hand — they know that many students who put pen to paper tend to remember concepts better.

And no matter how many digital devices you have, you’ll need to use writing utensils at some point. Maybe you need to scribble a note or mark something in a book. Maybe your phone died, and you can’t type an appointment into your calendar. Technology is good, but it’s not omnipotent. Instead of sloppy chicken-scratch, take some pride in your penmanship. Start reviving the lost art of cursive today.

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Teaching Cursive!

Teaching Cursive!

     This Method Works

biography in cursive writing

Author Biography

biography in cursive writing

After thirty-six years teaching elementary students Linda Corson wanted to share her highly successful method of teaching cursive writing. This book is the culmination of techniques that evolved over those years.  Students left class with penmanship that carried them through higher education and on to successful careers.  Concerned with the plight of cursive writing, she volunteer tutors at Bend, Oregon elementary schools, holds workshops on her method and helps her homeschooling grandchildren.

biography in cursive writing

Is it time to retire cursive writing?

D o you remember the good old days when our parents encouraged us to learn the English alphabet? Well, you might be too young to recall when you first learnt your ABCs, but we're fairly certain you remember being taught cursive writing as a kid.

Now, if you're someone to whom calligraphy comes naturally, you might not relate to this, but if you think that joining dots to write a letter was as easy as it sounds, let us tell you, for some it wasn't the case.

How did cursive writing come into being?

Before we get into that, here's what it means: 

  • Cursive writing is a style of handwriting where letters are joined together in a flowing manner. 
  • It's often characterised by loops and curves in the alphabet, allowing for faster and more efficient writing compared to printing each letter separately.

'Here since 6000 BC'

  • Cursive writing is not a new concept; it has been around us for more than a while now. 
  • If we look at the history of it, this form of penmanship dates back to 6000 BC and is thought to have originated in ancient China, where characters were carved into animal bones and tortoise shells.
  • With time, this writing form reached other parts of the world, including the West, where initially, calligraphy was adopted by Christian churches to copy and reproduce Biblical texts.

Calligraphy in India

  • India, with its multitude of languages numbering more than 700, poses a challenge in pinpointing the exact origins of calligraphy. 
  • However, it evolved due to ruling dynasties and the influence of foreign invasions, including the British.
  • It soon became a part of Indian schools, where children aged from 4 to 7 years were taught how to craft the letters of the English alphabet.
  • Cut to the 2020s:  The craze for calligraphy declined, with the invasion of digital media and the pandemic, as every industry around the globe started shifting online, including schools and their curriculum. 
  • This further pushed calligraphy penmanship out of the picture, with the keyboard becoming the priority, and fewer and fewer schools teaching their kids to write.

What prompts schools to still teach it?

Today, very few Indian schools still push their kids to learn calligraphy. Birla Open Minds International School in Walkeshwar, Mumbai is one such school. 

"In an era dominated by digital communication, the art of cursive writing might seem like a relic of the past. However, contrary to popular belief, we recognise its importance and continue to teach it to our students," says Manju Mehta, their principal. 

When asked why she thinks so, Manju tells India Today that beyond aesthetics, calligraphy aids cognitive development and fine motor skills. 

Educator Jennifer Lerner, from Birla, adds, "Cursive stimulates brain synapses [point of contact between neurones], which are absent in printing and typing."

Mehta agrees and lists a few benefits of learning cursive writing. Let us break it down for you: 

  • Calligraphy fosters fine motor skills, creativity, and patience.
  • It also connects kids to cultural traditions and teaches the value of craft skills.
  • "Calligraphy is not just about writing beautifully; it's about precision, control, and attention to detail — all valuable skills applicable beyond the realm of pen and paper," says Mehta. 
  • According to her, mastering calligraphy also boosts confidence and self-expression, as children take pride in creating something visually stunning with their own hands.

"In a society inundated with digital content, calligraphy stands out as a tangible, personal expression," Manju adds. 

However, not every school shares the same thought process.

'We prioritise teaching skills that are essential in the modern world'

Saloni Verma, co-founder and chairperson of Sunshine Preschool and Corporate Creches, Gurugram, says that while cursive was once a staple of education, its relevance has diminished in today's digital age.

"With the prevalence of computers and smartphones, most written communication now happens electronically. The necessity for handwritten documents in cursive has significantly decreased, making it more of a novelty than a practical skill," says Saloni. 

Saloni also adds that due to the curriculum and limited classroom time, they prioritise teaching skills that are deemed 'essential for success in the modern world'. 

"Cursive writing, while valuable from a historical and cultural perspective, doesn't rank as high in terms of practicality compared to other subjects. For some students, particularly those with learning disabilities or motor skill difficulties, cursive writing can be challenging and frustrating," says Saloni. 

Data also shows that the prevalence of learning disabilities (LD) in India's school-going population is estimated to be between 10–12%. 

"In today's society, typing skills are arguably more important than cursive writing. Proficiency in typing is crucial for academic and professional success, as most written work is now completed on computers. By dedicating more time to typing instruction, we better prepare our students for the demands of the modern workplace," Saloni adds. 

What do experts have to say?

Experts appear to be divided on this. 

Dipra Agarwal, a counselling psychologist at Allen Career Institute, Bangalore, explains that even though learning cursive has benefits (as we told you), not all students learn in the same way or at the same pace. 

"It may prove to be a disadvantage for those with certain learning disabilities or motor difficulties. If forced to learn cursive writing, it could lead to frustration and feelings of inadequacy, lowering their confidence or self-esteem," says Agarwal. 

However, according to Aamish Dhingra, a mental health coach and founder of Cocoweave International Coaching, early education must include teaching cursive writing. 

Dhingra also says that research conducted has shown that the brain is more engaged with cursive writing than it is with other forms of writing.  

"Incredible as it may sound, for young people who are still forming their psychological and physical character, learning cursive is crucial. These skills help form stronger neural connections and activate the brain during critical development," says Aamish. 

According to him, while typing on keyboards can be convenient, it does not have the same physiology as handwriting. 

"Writing in cursive alone helps to hone focus and attention, which are necessary for everyday life," Aamish adds.

'It should be an option'

The ultimate solution to this dilemma, according to Dipra, is finding a balance between the potential benefits and drawbacks of learning calligraphy and students' individual needs and preferences.

"It could be offered as an option alongside, which will help them develop skills in a way that best suits their learning styles and goals," says Dipra. 

Do you still remember how to write cursive?

Is it time to retire cursive writing?

Give Me History

Why Was Cursive Writing Invented?

By: Author The Editors of Give Me History

Posted on Published: January 22, 2023  - Last updated: January 25, 2023

Why Was Cursive Writing Invented?

Cursive writing is a style of penmanship in which the letters are written in a flowing manner, connecting together in a continuous stroke. 

The word “cursive” comes from the Latin word “ cursivus ” [1] , which means running. This handwriting style is used to make the text look more elegant and to make it easier to write quickly. Each letter is joined to the next, and it was invented to write words and sentences quickly and efficiently .

This is in contrast to block letters and printing, where each letter is written separately, not connected to the next.

In this article, we’ll discuss why and when cursive writing was invented, along with the twisted history of this writing style.

Why Was Cursive Writing Invented? Infographic.

When Was Cursive Writing Invented?

Cursive writing was invented by the ancient Egyptians, who used it to write hieroglyphics on papyrus scrolls [2] . The ancient Romans also used a cursive form of writing, called cursive Latin [3] , in the 1st to 3rd century BC.

Interestingly, it included the initial variations of lowercase letters and sometimes even flowed like modern cursive by the 5th century AD [4] .

In the Middle Ages , cursive script writing was further developed and refined and became the standard form of handwriting in Europe. At that time , it was known as “running hand” [5] .

It was started by Niccolo Niccoli [6] , an Italian Renaissance humanist, in the 15th century. There are many historical documents written by him in cursive that are still preserved. His scripts evolved with time and became what we now know as italics.

In the early days of cursive writing, each letter was often written in a separate and distinct manner, with little or no connection between them. Over time, the letters were gradually joined together to form a more cohesive and flowing writing style.

The Palmer Method of Business Writing.

This was especially true in the 18th and 19th centuries when the Spencerian [7] and Palmer [8] methods of cursive writing were developed. These methods emphasized the beauty and elegance of this writing style and were widely taught in schools.

The main reason cursive handwriting was invented was to make writing faster and more efficient. In the days before the widespread use of computers and other modern writing technologies, people had to rely on pens or pencils to write by hand.

Writing in cursive allowed people to write more quickly and easily because the letters flowed together, allowing the hand to move smoothly across the page. This was particularly useful for people who had to write a lot, such as scribes, clerks, and other professionals.

Another reason cursive writing was invented was for aesthetic reasons. It makes scripts more visually appealing than print writing because the letters flow together in a way that creates a more elegant and graceful appearance.

This is why cursive is still used in some contexts today, such as in fancy invitations or other formal documents.

Benefits of Cursive Writing

The following are some of the advantages that cursive writing brings to the table.

Improved Handwriting Speed

Because the letters are connected in a cursive method of writing, the pen (or pencil) can move more quickly across the paper, resulting in faster writing.

Improved Legibility

Cursive letters are generally more distinct and easier to read than printed letters, especially when written in smaller sizes. This can make cursive writing more legible than printing, particularly for longer pieces of text.

Enhanced Creativity and Self-Expression

Some people find that cursive writing allows them to be more creative and expressive with their writing. The flowing nature of the letters can make it easier to add flourishes and personal touches to one’s writing.

Improved Cognitive Development

In addition to its practical and aesthetic advantages, cursive writing is also thought to have cognitive benefits. Some studies have suggested that writing in cursive can improve children’s fine motor skills and even help with reading and spelling [9] .

Improved Fine Motor Skills

Learning to write and read cursive requires the use of fine motor skills [10] , such as finger control. Regular practice of these skills can help improve hand-eye coordination and dexterity.

Better Memory Retention

Studies have shown that students who learn to write in cursive have better memory retention and recall than those who only learn to print [11] . This may be because the brain processes cursive writing differently than it does printed text, leading to better encoding and retrieval of information.

A Look Into the Future – Will It Remain Relevant?

It is difficult to predict the future of cursive writing with certainty. In recent years, there has been a decline in its use in schools, as many educational systems have shifted towards teaching typing and keyboard skills instead.

Woman in White Long Sleeved Shirt Holding a Pen Writing on a Paper.

Some people believe that cursive writing still has value and importance, particularly for developing fine motor skills and improving handwriting. So, it’s possible that it may continue to be taught in some schools.

But as technology continues to advance, the use of cursive writing may decline even further. Most students now use computers, tablets, and smartphones for communication and writing; these devices do not require students to learn cursive techniques. 

So modern-day students don’t necessarily need to learn how to write cursive forms.

This may make cursive writing less relevant for some people, and it is possible that it may become a largely unused skill in the future. However, it’s still not possible to say anything with certainty, and we’ll need to wait and see what the future unfolds.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, cursive writing was originally invented to make writing faster and more efficient. It has been a valuable skill for many years, but its use has declined in recent times due to the increasing prevalence of technology.

While some people believe that cursive writing still has value and importance, it is difficult to predict its future with certainty. Although it’s possible that some schools continue to teach it, it seems that it may become a less commonly used skill.

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Cursive Text Generator (𝓬𝓸𝓹𝔂 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓹𝓪𝓼𝓽𝓮)

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  1. Teach Cursive with Academic Vocabulary Words ( Biography )

    biography in cursive writing

  2. Teach Cursive with Academic Vocabulary Words ( Biography )

    biography in cursive writing

  3. 'Biography' Writing in cursive handwriting

    biography in cursive writing

  4. How to write cursive writing

    biography in cursive writing

  5. Improve Cursive Writing

    biography in cursive writing

  6. Cycle 1 Cursive Handwriting Sheets: PDF Download

    biography in cursive writing


  1. A cursive writing ✍️|writing practice|@LearnWithAffo

  2. Short Essay writing on Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam in English || Biography of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

  3. Learn how to Sign the Name Hubert Stylishly in Cursive Writing

  4. Learn how to Sign the Name Liv Stylishly in Cursive Writing

  5. Cursive writing || English cursive writing

  6. Robert


  1. What ever happened to cursive writing?

    The efficient writing style once thrived in U.S. businesses and schools, but researchers fret that today's lack of cursive literacy may have a surprising impact on history—and ourselves.

  2. The Spectrum

    A writing form taught in school that is no longer used outside of school is clearly an antiquated and vestigial technique. These views on cursive are shared amongst the student body. "Cursive is outdated. It's unnecessary because of the technological advancements we have today like printers and computers," says Frida Illescas22, who ...

  3. A Brief History of Penmanship on National Handwriting Day

    In the mid-1800s an abolitionist and bookkeeper named Platt Rogers Spencer attempted to democratize American penmanship by formulating a cursive writing system, known as the Spencerian method and ...

  4. Mastering Calligraphy: How to Write in Cursive Script

    Step 3. Now let's try the "R" in cursive. Start with your pen tip on the top line. Make a downward stroke to the bottom line, arcing slightly to the left and ending in a fancy curl. Then lift up your pen and place it on the dashed line. Make a curved stroke up and around clockwise toward the top line.

  5. Cursive Writing: What Is It & How To Learn Cursive

    Introduction. Cursive writing is a style of handwriting where all the letters in a word are joined, giving the penmanship a flowing, often elegant, appearance. One can trace its origins back to Roman times. At its core, this writing is a skill blending aesthetics and efficiency - it helps write faster and adds a visual appeal to the written text.

  6. Cursive

    Descriptions. Cursive is a style of penmanship in which the symbols of the language are written in a conjoined and/or flowing manner, generally for the purpose of making writing faster. This writing style is distinct from "print-script" using block letters, in which the letters of a word are unconnected and in Roman/Gothic letterform rather than joined-up script.

  7. How to Outline a Biography: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

    Download Article. 1. Mention the person's name, birth date, and place of birth. Start by including key biographical details like the person's full name and their birth date. You can also provide the person's place of birth, especially if it will give readers context for the rest of the biography.

  8. How to Write in Cursive (with Pictures)

    8. Do "m." To write "m" in cursive, follow the steps for "n," but on the downward curve, draw another upward and downward curve. Then, add a short swoop just above the bottom line. Once you master these letters, try letters that follow similar strokes like "v" and "x.".

  9. Cursive

    cursive, style of handwriting distinguished by rounded shapes in a word and, frequently, connection of characters. Cursive style allows the pen to flow in continuous strokes, accelerating the handwriting speed of a practiced hand. Though modern cursive is often associated with languages that use the Latin alphabet, including English, Spanish ...

  10. A Brief History of Cursive Writing

    Reading and writing was no small task in the 17 th, 18 th and 19 th centuries. Penmanship was critical. The many forms of cursive writing in the centuries to follow evolved out of copperplate. Around 1840, a man named Platt Rogers Spencer believed it was important to make handwriting a true art form unlike those attempts that preceded him.

  11. What students lost since cursive writing was cut from the Common ...

    It is a fact that in 2010, the U.S. government officially removed cursive from the required Common Core Standards for K-12 education. And frankly, with laptops and tablets replacing paper, the ...

  12. Cursive Writing

    Cursive is a style of writing that has joined letters written with the help of loops. The main objective is to write without lifting the writing instrument, such as a pen or a pencil. It helps in ...

  13. Cursive Calligraphy Introduction: Elegant Writing

    In addition to practice sheets, we offer cursive handwriting drills that target specific areas of improvement. These drills focus on common challenges such as letter slant, spacing, and connecting letters smoothly. By dedicating time to these exercises, you can address specific areas of weakness and enhance the overall quality of your cursive ...

  14. Cursive Writing

    Cursive writing typically becomes part of a school's curriculum at the second or third grade levels (when students are aged seven to nine). In addition to planning the timing of cursive ...

  15. How to Write a Biography: 6 Tips for Writing Biographical Texts

    See why leading organizations rely on MasterClass for learning & development. Biographies are how we learn information about another human being's life. Whether you want to start writing a biography about a famous person, historical figure, or an influential family member, it's important to know all the elements that make a biography worth ...

  16. The Twisted History of Cursive Writing : Hallard Press, LLC

    A teacher named Platt Rogers Spencer developed a new form of penmanship around the mid-1800s. He came up with the name "chirythmography," from the Greek words for "timed hand writing.". He used a metronome for writers to keep pace with his elliptical letters, which he claimed were inspired by nature. The "Spencerian" method was ...

  17. Biography

    Author Biography. After thirty-six years teaching elementary students Linda Corson wanted to share her highly successful method of teaching cursive writing. This book is the culmination of techniques that evolved over those years. Students left class with penmanship that carried them through higher education and on to successful careers ...

  18. Ibn Muqlah

    Ibn Muqlah (born 886, Baghdad [now in Iraq]—died 940, Baghdad) was one of the foremost calligraphers of the ʿAbbāsid Age (750-1258), reputed inventor of the first cursive style of Arabic lettering, the naskhī script, which replaced the angular Kūfic as the standard of Islamic calligraphy.In the naskhī script, Ibn Muqlah introduced the rounded forms and curved lines that in later ...

  19. Results for Cursive Handwriting Practice biographies

    Browse Cursive Handwriting Practice biographies resources on Teachers Pay Teachers, a marketplace trusted by millions of teachers for original educational resources.

  20. Cursive Text Generator

    It's super simple to use our cursive generator tool. Just follow these steps: First, start typing some text in the input box above. Next, choose from one of the 8 fonts by selecting different boxes at the top of the page. Finally, you can save or view your text so you can take it with you. You can also take a screenshot or try to copy and paste.

  21. How to Write a Biography: 5 Steps to a Captivating Story

    Writing a biography can feel overwhelming. Break it down into manageable chunks: Outline: Start with your outline. Focus on one section at a time. Daily Writing: Pick a specific event, anecdote, or period of your subject's life each day. Weekly Themes: Each week, concentrate on a broader theme or chapter. This gives you direction and helps ...

  22. Is it time to retire cursive writing?

    Cursive writing is a style of handwriting where letters are joined together in a flowing manner and is often characterised by loops and curves.

  23. Why Was Cursive Writing Invented?

    Cursive writing was invented by the ancient Egyptians, who used it to write hieroglyphics on papyrus scrolls [2]. The ancient Romans also used a cursive form of writing, called cursive Latin [3], in the 1st to 3rd century BC. Interestingly, it included the initial variations of lowercase letters and sometimes even flowed like modern cursive by ...

  24. Cursive Text Generator (𝓬𝓸𝓹𝔂 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓹𝓪𝓼𝓽𝓮) ― LingoJam

    Cursive Text Generator. Send. This is a simple online tool that converts regular text into cursive letter symbols. The conversion is done in real-time and in your browser using JavaScript. I also made another translator which converts your text into all sorts of fancy styles: "fancy text generator". And another one that generates italic text.

  25. Biography writing worksheet

    The emphasis is on researching and planning the essay, prior to writing the text. Classmate: Worksheet #1. Barack Obama: Worksheet #2. Lionel Messi: Worksheet #3. Taylor Swift: Worksheet #4.