Students should not be graded on their handwriting

It is widely believed that students with good attractive handwriting are an ideal for those with bad clumsy handwriting and that extra marks should be given for good handwriting. But there are many who argue that giving extra marks on this basis will be unjust as real skill is much different from handwriting.

Created On: Jun 28, 2017 12:19 IST
Modified On: Jun 28, 2017 14:29 IST

There was a time when our elders, parents, and people belonging to the older generations used to write on paper using pens of different kinds, with ink or gel, or fountain pens. As the time progressed the writing style changed as well. The new generation is hardly using pen and paper, instead, it is using the computers to write, or I should say type.

Students graded on handwriting

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But when it is about taking notes in the class or writing exams, it is always the pen and paper which are preferred hence the handwriting of every individual is available for everyone to see. The conflict arises when people start comparing or even criticising an individual on the basis of handwriting. This comparison and ensuing criticism have led to the debate on whether handwriting should be considered a criterion to judge any student.

Handwriting should be a criterion: Handwriting is a beautiful art. It is not only about putting letters on paper but it also indicates how organised and methodical the person is.

Good handwriting is important even in this era of computer typing and talking writing tools. We should start focusing on handwriting from an early age itself; say 4 or 5 years (Preschool and Kindergarten). It will help the young hands to gather control of their motor skills and also devise their unique writing styles which will develop as they grow up thus adding to their personalities.

When we write, it creates an invisible yet very strong connection between the brain and content, thus giving us a much better and intense understanding of the matter.

A good handwriting always attracts attention and appreciation, and subconsciously helps in studies as well. Many types of research have shown that there is a constructive association between good handwriting and better academic performances. Scientists have attributed this phenomenon to the fact that writing using pen and paper enhances memory hence adding up to the remembrance which is vital at the time of tests and exams.

The impact of handwritten notes is beyond words, be it a greeting card or a letter, nothing can replace the charm of written letters. And when we write we are more dedicated and focused which lets us be as clear cut and easy as possible.

It is not possible to always carry a PC with us to every place we go and take down notes, numbers, facts, figures etc. and in a situation like this, a pocket notebook and pen are very helpful.

If we inculcate the habit of good handwriting early in our lives then it will benefit us way beyond our student lives right up to the professional lives. So if the students are given a few extra marks or grades for their exceptional handwriting it will only provide them with an advantage in the long run.

Handwriting should not be a criterion: Every person is born unique and has an independent identity so it will not be reasonable to judge all the people, especially students on the basis on just one factor, handwriting!

No doubt that anyone who has a good attractive handwriting is appreciated and liked by peers and teachers but that does not mean that the students who do not possess this quality should be sidelined or mocked at.

It is not our fault if we don’t have ‘great’ handwriting but we are made to feel bad about it. Even our teachers, friends, and parents want us to improve and write like someone else.

Bad handwriting does bring with it its own disadvantages and is very much likely to cut our marks and grades.

If I have a bad handwriting and I write a test and my teacher is not able to read it properly then certainly I will get very fewer numbers but it is not fair. It is very much possible that if type the answers or say them verbally I will secure full marks.

There are very few people who are left-handers and they find it very difficult to adjust to everyday life because every equipment in the world is made according to the convenience of right-handers, just like desks in class. It is so difficult for left-handers to use the support which is on the right side and write properly.

Many times, most talented students have a lot of thoughts racing through their minds that they write very quickly resulting in bad handwriting. What they have written might be something very special, original, and innovative. They should be encouraged and appreciated rather than being scoffed.

If some student has a medical condition that hampers their writing then how will you pass judgements on them? If they can’t hold the pen firmly then how can they write in a good way?

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