The Importance of Handwriting


Most kids are heading back to school this week, which got us thinking about an “old school” subject: handwriting. While some have said that handwriting will become obsolete or a far second to typing, there are plenty of reasons to teach handwriting, and to instill the value of writing by hand as a practice that goes far beyond the simple transfer of information. Read on and you may just find one more reason to stash the Notes app and pick up a pen.  

As a maker of some of the most iconic stationery and writing implements out there, we weren’t surprised to find that BiC has a wealth of information on the benefits of writing by hand. BiC wants to bring awareness of how important writing is for brain growth. According to BiC, Handwriting 15 Minutes a day can help cognitive development, motor skills, writing skills, and comprehension by engaging these 14 abilities:   


  1. Visual Focusing 
  1. Organized Physical Movements  
  1. Spatial Perception   
  1. Hand-Eye Coordination  
  1. Motor Planning 
  1. Tactile Input  
  1. Crossing Midline  


  1. Mental Attention  
  1. Receptive Language 
  1. Inner Expressive Language  
  1. Memory Recall  
  1. Concentration with Awareness  
  1. Organization  
  1. Integration  

BiC breaks down the fundamentals of handwriting for us through grades. From Kindergarten through 2nd grade, writing can increase brain activity while also leading to better letter perception than typing or viewing text would. From 3rd grade through middle school, continuing to master handwriting fluency helps kids keep up with their brain development. This leads to better academic performance. From high school through college, writing notes is shown to help improve test performance. In adulthood and beyond, writing helps boost memory, even for those whose school days are far behind them.   

Could this be the reason so many teachers have told us to ditch the computer and take notes by hand?  As a matter of fact, yes. Writing by hand improves a person’s ability to retain new information.  

“A 2017 study in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that brain regions associated with learning are more active when people completed a task by hand, as opposed to on a keyboard. The authors of that study say writing by hand may promote “deep encoding” of new information in ways that keyboard writing does not.” 

This is because, unlike typing, handwriting is a slower process of connecting strokes on paper. You have to really think while writing, which allows you to better grasp the information.  

“When we write a letter of the alphabet, we form it component stroke by component stroke, and that process of production involves pathways in the brain that go near or through parts that manage emotion.” 

Virginia Berninger, professor emerita of education at the University of Washington.

Not only does slowing down to write allow us to absorb more information, it also allows for more elaborate word choices. Because writing gives us time to think through what we are writing, we can think of the most appropriate word for the situation, leading to better self-expression.  

Speaking of better self-expression, according to psychologist there are benefits behind personal, emotion-focused writing that help people to recognize and better understand what they are feeling.  

Taking 15-30 minutes a day writing about your feelings can benefit your physical and mental health.  

For many of us who grew up using computers to write, or have adopted it almost entirely in adulthood, writing by hand can seem slow, old-fashioned and even inefficient. Why pull out a pen and hunt down blank paper when you have a digital notepad in your pocket? But handwriting, like many things from the analog age, can provide a critical counterbalance to our plugged-in lifestyles. 

Let’s get writing again!  

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