The Importance of Handwriting

With the advent of highly computerised classrooms, this is a common question posed by students. “Why do I need to write anything by hand? Why does it matter if my handwriting is neat? Can’t I just type everything?”

The answer to why handwriting still deserves in modern education is twofold.

Firstly, developing a handwriting style is a personal art. It gives a student the opportunity to differentiate their work more than a simple choice between Arial and Times New Roman ever could. Moreover, by putting in the effort to hone one’s handwriting skills, a student learns about the importance of presentation and first impressions. Even before reading a piece of work, teachers and peers, as well as examiners, are more likely to approach a neatly paragraphed and easily legible composition in a favourable way.

Moreover, the act of handwriting itself has numerous cognitive benefits. It helps with long-term memory retention. By drawing out the transfer of information from brain to page, as well as the stronger mental links that letters on a page form than those hastily typed on a screen, students are able to improve their ability to retain information and form connections between topics. Of course, this does not mean that an entirely handwritten workflow is necessary, as digital tools have their own advantages, but finding a way to incorporate handwriting into one’s studies is definitely not an opportunity to miss. To illustrate this, one of our favourite activities, which is particularly useful for revision, is to draw colourful mind-maps and illustrations linking everything we have learnt together in a memorable way.

by Nathaniel Hunt, British Tutors, 2021