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Sarah Riegel
Professor Jan Rieman
UWRT 1103
August 27, 2014
(3) The Art of Writing by Hand

(If you are interested in this idea, check out What Does Your Handwriting Say About Your
Personality?.) I also believe that handwriting is like a finger print. Yes, it is possible to forge
signatures, but each persons handwriting is a bit different from the next. Look how much more
character is contained in my handwriting with all its faults and assets than in the standard MLA
Times New Roman font. I see handwriting almost as an expression of identity; just as our homes,
cultures, and beliefs contribute to our sense of self, so does our handwriting. Physically writing
out our thoughts allows us to become more involved in our work and process of creation. Our
technology-savvy society still needs leaders who are innovative, are invested in their own work,
and have a sure sense of self. Handwriting can promote this, especially in our younger
generations.
Gwendolyn Bounds gives much evidence suggesting writing by hand should not be
down-sized in curriculum in her article How Handwriting Trains the Brain, and I agree. Being a

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sequential learner myself, I can completely understand why the sequential nature of physically
writing the shape of a letter would help children learn more effectively than just selecting the
letter on a screen. It seems to me that handwriting would lend itself more to those with more
active, visual, and sequential learning styles than typing would. Bounds also reports that there
have been studies that show the brain is more engaged when writing instead of typing, which is
why some medical professionals encourage older people to use handwriting as a tool for
maintaining cognitive facilities. Similarly, I handwrite all of my notes in class because it helps
me remember the information more than typing does. I have also found that reading over what I
have already written is a more effective method for understanding the material than reading over
my own typed text.
I will admit that a society and economy that is becoming increasingly dependent on
technology necessitates an awareness and understanding of technology from its citizens. I agree
that typing classes should be held in schools, but not at the sake of cutting out writing
curriculum. Bounds also recognizes that illegible handwriting can severely decrease the grade
given on an assignment. Just as Alfie Kohn argues that grades should be eliminated as
detrimental motivational tools, perhaps eliminating some handwritten tests for online
assessments would allow students reach their full potential without encountering reader bias. I
personally prefer typing when writing essays because it is much easier to edit and experiment
with my writing in a Word document than on hardcopy, unforgiving paper. However, I am a
more intentional writer when plotting my thoughts by hand. It is clear that both typing and
handwriting are essential to our success as a nation and as individuals. As such, I would urge all
those in curriculum planning to strive to find balance between teaching technology and physical
handwriting to our younger generations.

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Reflective Afterthought
My intentions for this piece of writing were to create an argumentative piece that was less
formal and more relatable, like something that could be posted as an article on social media to be
more widely-circulated. I accomplished this end by using more casual language to connect with
my audience, while also utilizing personal pronouns, outside sources, and some specialized
vocabulary to establish credibility. I also experimented with the way I used a picture of my own
handwriting and hyperlinks to supplement my article. This was pretty new for me, as I am more
comfortable writing formal essays. I want to continue moving into incorporating more advanced
digital composing resources and skills in my future pieces, but feel that this is a good starting
point for the rest of my exploratory writing.