Attempts at understanding life
As those of you who are personally familiar with me know, I have bad handwriting, to put it lightly ;). I have had many comments from teachers, peers, younger sisters, and even strangers on how illegible my handwriting is. To spare your eyesight for a few years, I won’t post an example of my writing. Anyways, this post talks about handwriting 😛
In this technological age, writing by hand may seem obsolete, as more and more people are migrating to using technology to convey their thoughts. I personally think that typed documents look more professional and cleaner than their handwritten counterparts, although I do appreciate beautiful handwriting (I’m probably being biased here, as I almost always type my notes due to the fact that I generally can’t read my own written notes). Still, there is much research that suggests writing something longhand as opposed to typing on a computer will help improve one’s understanding and memory of the topic.
Given the chance, I use a computer to word-process my notes or essays for class instead of handwriting them for a multitude of reasons. Chief among them is, as mentioned before, that I generally cannot read what I write. With enough time, I could make my notes legible, but I like to get my work done fast. It’s also quicker for me to read and comprehend things digitally, although possibly not that well. I remember sometime last year, my teacher gave us all a bunch of questions to answer that were going to be on the test, and some of us grabbed computers to type our answers up on. As we were returning to our seats, my teacher said something along the lines of “There’s been research out there that suggests writing something out longhand will help you remember things better, but never mind, you guys can still get computers.” At the time, I didn’t think about it too much, but when we got our tests back and I saw how badly I had done in comparison to my peers that chose to hand write their answers, I was quite surprised.
It turns out that writing something allows more connections to be formed along the neural pathways. The NY Times says that “typing may be a fast and efficient alternative to longhand, but that very efficiency may diminish our ability to process new information. Not only do we learn letters better when we commit them to memory through writing, memory and learning ability in general may benefit.” A Summary of Research Presented at Handwriting in the 21st Century?An Educational Summit notes “[handwriting] increases brain activation, impacts performance across academic subjects, and provides a foundation for higher-order skills.” Maybe, instead of simply rereading my notes and study materials and mentally testing myself on topics for tests, I should try to hand write them.
Even while here I am writing about the benefits of writing, I probably won’t be the one taking advantage of them. For me, typing yields greater gains in productivity and quality of my final product, as I can see everything in front of me. I’m also more inclined to actually edit my work if I type it, as most word-processing software (how do I make “software” plural? apparently softwares isn’t a word) conveniently make up the space when I delete words, while I’ll either have a bunch of open space in my notebook or have to cram my words into a small space if I edit my hand written work. I wouldn’t want to have to read my handwriting anyways.
Thanks for reading,
Some nice sources about handwriting are listed below.