The Authenticity of Writing by Hand

The Authenticity of Writing by Hand


In Elementary school, the bulk of our assignments were handwritten. Numerous “CDWs” and book reports were written in our young and messy handwriting. An assignment being typed was reserved for those of the utmost importance, maybe only happening once or twice a year. In middle school, we transitioned to far more digital assignments. While we did enjoy this more, we noticed that our hands would cramp when having to write things manually and we dreaded assignments that weren’t typed. As a high schooler who only writes things by hand for the occasional free response question in an AP class, we have done a lot of reflecting on the lack of writing by hand that is done now. We feel that there is authenticity in writing by hand that is lost digitally. 

    When typing on a computer, you are given several suggestions of alternate words to use, or ways to finish your sentence. Though these can be helpful tools, they can also lose the integrity of the writer’s voice. In our experience, when writing by hand we can think through our words better and create writing that is more thorough and tends to better reflect our thoughts. Computers also tend to encourage the use of AI to cheat or limit the amount of work it takes to create something. Many feel that grammar help online is useful, we agree, but only to an extent. Without years of practicing your grammar without the help of an online tool, you lose those basic skills. Many of these grammatical errors could also be prevented by writing by hand, as typos don’t exist on paper. Handwriting notes is also more practical as online you are typically limited to only making bullet point lists. On paper, you can explore various note-taking methods such as concept maps, diagrams, and drawings. We believe that a person’s handwriting is unique to them and serves as an important part of their legacy. Nearly all of our historical documents are handwritten, preserving a part of past generations. Losing handwritten work also loses an important piece of the person who created it. Though it is unrealistic to say that nothing should be done digitally, an effort should be made to preserve the practice of writing by hand. 

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