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How to Teach My Child Cursive: Complete Instructions
May 1, 2018 by Evan-Moor | 4 Comments
Do you believe in the importance of teaching cursive handwriting?
If your school isn’t teaching your child contemporary or traditional cursive handwriting, you can teach him or her at home with just a little practice a day. Activities involving writing in cursive for kids are still seen as worthwhile endeavors. Many studies have demonstrated the importance of handwriting within children’s brain functions when learning. Often, children recall and retain more information when they write verses listening or typing.
Is there a specific method for learning how to teach cursive writing?
Cursive instruction is usually taught in the 3rd and 4th grades. At these grade levels, children are gaining solid skills in reading and writing comprehension. Before beginning lessons, observe your child’s fine motor skills. Make sure your child has mastered print handwriting and can identify each letter easily before introducing cursive letters.
Steps to Teaching Your Child Cursive Handwriting
Step 1: Introduce one cursive letter at a time
Think of your child as re-learning to write the alphabet one letter at a time. Each letter should be introduced slowly and practiced consistently before moving on to the next step.
Step 2: Begin with teaching lowercase cursive letters
Begin by teaching only the lowercase letters of the alphabet. Start with letters that are similar in form to print letters such as c, a, d, and g. You may also group letters together by formation patterns and difficulty. Begin with the simplest letters and end with the most difficult and infrequently used ones. 1. c, a, d, g 2. h, t, p, e, l, f, q 3. u, i, j, k, r, s 4. o, b, v, w 5. m, n, y, x, z
Step 3: Then teach uppercase cursive letters
Once the lowercase letters are mastered, begin pairing them with the uppercase version in this order. 1. A, C, O, U 2. V, W, X, Y, Z 3. P, R, B, H, K 4. N, M, J, F, T 5. I, D, L, G, S 6. E, Q
Step 4: Have your child copy simple sentences
After introducing and practicing upper- and lowercase letters, have your child start copying simple sentences. Be sure to observe and demonstrate how to connect letters together.
Here are a few examples from Daily Handwriting Practice: Contemporary Cursive:
A continent is a large landmass. North America is north of the equator. South America is south of the equator.
Download this free sample page from Daily Handwriting Practice: Contemporary Cursive .
Step 5: Progress to copying simple paragraphs
Copying simple and short paragraphs is the last step in learning how to write in cursive. Continual practice using many different letters is the key to mastering cursive handwriting.
Hints for Teaching Cursive:
Teaching cursive writing to kids requires constant engagement. To ensure letters are being handwritten in cursive correctly, handwriting must be demonstrated and monitored. Don’t leave children to figure out how to connect the letters. Be sure to demonstrate and monitor letter formation and practice.
Use the correct paper. Cursive is difficult to learn on regular lined student paper. Invest in dotted lined paper (the type used in kindergarten and first grade) so children have a reference when writing lower- and uppercase letters.
Allow children to move their paper diagonally so they can create the correct slant of letters.
Some children love writing and learning cursive, while others prefer to print. It is important to let your child choose the method he or she prefers. Handwriting (whether print or cursive) aids in learning and allows students to make discoveries about themselves and how they learn best.
Hidden handwriting benefits Both manuscript and cursive handwriting are important foundations in children’s development of thinking, language, and memory. Studies have repeatedly proven that writing verses typing stimulates the connections between the right and left hemispheres of the brain in areas of memory and language. In a 2014 study from The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking, students who hand wrote their notes outperformed their typing peers on conceptual questions in three separate studies.
Here’s additional research on the benefits of teaching children cursive writing: Campaign for Cursive Research What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking
Make It Fun!
- Practice letter formation on a chalkboard with a wet paintbrush.
- Write with white crayons on black construction paper.
- Create textured cursive letters: write words in glue and cover them with glitter.
Easy Methods for Teaching Handwriting If you are looking for a simple resource to teach your child cursive, check out Evan-Moor’s Daily Handwriting Practice Contemporary Cursive (available for grades K–6). Daily Handwriting Practice is available in four titles: modern manuscript, traditional manuscript, traditional cursive, and contemporary cursive. You will have ready-to-go handwriting exercises to help your child master handwriting skills in 15 minutes a day or less.
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How to Teach Cursive Writing
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Smooth, fluid strokes–that’s cursive in a nutshell.
How do you teach a child to write that way?
We have all the details on how to teach cursive writing to kids.
This article contains affiliate links to things that you might like.
Teaching Cursive Handwriting
When you picture cursive writings, you probably think of flowery calligraphy or handwritten documents like The Declaration of Independence.
But cursive has a place in today’s world as well.
Writing in cursive is faster than writing in print because you don’t lift your pen as often (less starting and stopping time).
Cursive is also easier for kids with dyslexia and dysgraphia or small motor muscle delays.
Boys tend to have neater cursive than print.
The difficulty in learning cursive is that the letters are unfamiliar.
Print letters are both read and written; cursive letters are typically only written by the child.
There is a learning curve to recognizing and recalling the shapes of learning letters.
It helps to have a cursive sample at hand for your child to continually reference.
Cursive Handwriting Practice
When teaching cursive handwriting, you need to know where to start.
Check out these ideas:
Pick a Style
Believe it or not, there are different styles of cursive.
Pick one and be consistent.
Keep a sample at hand.
Choose Pen over pencil
When introducing cursive, you may have more luck if your child writes in pen.
Pencil lead does not glide as easily as ink.
If the child makes a mistake (and she will), have her simply draw a line through the word or letter and continue.
I love Frixion erasable pens –they’re game changers!
Tilt the Paper
Cursive has a lovely slant.
This is more than decorative; it helps you see what you are writing.
To achieve this slant you need to angle the paper when you write.
Right-handed children should position the paper with the write top corner pointing up.
Left-handers should position the paper with the left top corner pointing up.
Practice Reading in Cursive
Seek out opportunities for your child to read cursive writing.
Starting in third grade, Spelling Workout workbooks give the word lists in cursive.
McGuffey’s readers offer some reading selection in cursive.
Help your child to read any words before he tries to write them.
Make It Fun
Handwriting practice can be dull, so spice it up! You can copy poems, jokes, or song lyrics.
You can use worksheets built around themes or holidays ( Check out my FREE Christmas alphabet handwriting practice sheets here . )
Use Cursive Writing Worksheets
The beauty of worksheets is that they are easier to write on than a workbook or notebook.
The paper lays flat on the table, and there are no ridges or bumps to negotiate around.
Printables are ideal; just print the page you want for the day!
Check out my Growth Mindset handwriting packets (available in both print and cursive) for easy, print-and-go cursive practice.
How to Teach Cursive Writing to Kids
Teaching cursive handwriting is not complicated.
By following these tips, your child will have lovely, flowing letters in no time!
You May Also Like:
- Christmas Alphabet Handwriting Worksheets
- Freebie Library at Mama Teaches
- Third Grade Integrated Language Arts Curriculum
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Tips for Teaching Cursive in the Classroom
- by Colleen Beck
- October 17, 2017
Amazon affiliate links may be included in this blog post. As an Amazon Influencer, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Common concerns with cursive instruction in the classroom
Tips for classroom cursive handwriting instruction, try this cursive activity in the classroom:, come on up group cursive writing activity.
More strategies to help with cursive writing instruction:
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How to Teach Cursive Writing
- Writing Printables
As homeschool moms, we teach our children so many things to give them the best education possible. Across the board, teaching cursive penmanship is a dying art. Many schools no longer teach cursive. However, it is a valuable skill that helps to build your brain and develop cognitive abilities. Cursive is also helpful for children with dyslexia and is actually easier to produce than manuscript printing. You may be wondering where to begin, though. Here is a complete guide on how to teach your child cursive writing.
Must-do Pre-Writing Activities
Like everything, teaching your child to write requires laying a solid foundation. This is where pre-writing exercises and activities come in. These help strengthen hands, increase pen control, and teach important strokes. Here are some ideas for pre-writing cursive activities:
- Pen Control Workbook
- Practice strokes and shapes in sand with your finger or a stick
- Draw in chalk on the driveway, sidewalk, or chalkboard.
- Write letters or words in cursive on large sheets of paper, have the child “trace” the letters in dots using a bingo marker
- Use Wiki Stiks or yarn to create loops, curves, and angled lines
How to Teach Cursive Strokes
Once you have completed enough pre-cursive activities that your child feels confident, it is time to start practicing strokes. Cursive writing is a series of strokes. These make up the basic form of the letters. Practicing strokes, helps children master letter formation before learning any of the letters. It also makes it easier to write fluidly once letter formation begins. The best resource I have found to demonstrate cursive strokes is this video . You can also use a tracing board that has strokes, and shapes on it for practice.
How to Teach Individual Cursive Letters and in What Order
Writing is made up of letters, so it is important to learn and master the letters one by one. Unlike manuscript printing, which is usually taught in alphabetical order, cursive letters are taught in groups. Each group has similar strokes. Generally, the groups progress from easier to more challenging strokes. Teaching the individual letters in this order will make learning cursive easier and more enjoyable.
Here are some additional resources for teaching individual letters:
- Free individual letter worksheets divided into groups
- Cursive Magnatab
- Montessori Cursive Letter Tracing Board
- Cool Cursive Flashcard Game
- Montessori Movable Alphabet
- Free Printable Alphabet Chart
- Cursive Poster and Flashcards
- Printable Bible Story Alphabet Chart
Practicing Simple Words in Cursive Penmanship
Now, your child is ready to start writing simple words. It is best to start with short words and gradually try longer ones. Remember to look back at the letter order. Choose words with simpler letters when children are first learning to combine letters into words. Use pre-made worksheets with common words or make your own . A cursive template is really useful for this, to get the examples perfect. However, do not expect perfection from your child. Mastering handwriting takes abundant practice and is something that improves with age. Young children, especially, are still building muscle control and hand/eye coordination.
Once your child has mastered short, simple words, it’s time to move on to sentences. Here are some excellent resources to get your child using his new cursive skills in various subjects.
- Draw and Write Paper
- Creation Bible Activity Pack
- Christmas Bible Activity Pack
- 100 Sentences for Summer
- Daily Writing Notebook
- Bible Verse Printables for Kids
Complete Cursive Writing Curriculum Choices
If you are looking for a ready-made curriculum to teach cursive writing to your child, here are some recommendations. A complete curriculum will offer the ease of having it done already. You should feel free to incorporate resources and items listed above to meet your child’s individual needs and increase interest.
- Handwriting without Tears Cursive workbook and kit
- Handwriting for A Reason Cursive
- IEW Cursive Knowledge
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How to Teach a Child to Write in Cursive
Last Updated: March 29, 2022
wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 13 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 61,296 times.
While cursive was once commonly used and taught in school, it has started to drop from school curriculums, so it can be difficult to make sure your child learns cursive from their teachers. Cursive is usually taught in third grade, and can help children to develop fine motor skills and write quickly. But when your child isn't learning cursive in school, what do you do? Teach them yourself, of course!  X Research source
- You can start your child on writing cursive, if you wish, but if they begin reading it first, you will be able to show them an example of what cursive typically looks like, how it's connected, and what letters are what.
- It's best to get them to try writing all of the letters, and then seeing which letters were difficult for them. Ask your child which letters were the hardest for them to write, and then help them practice.
- Be aware that your child may find another way of writing a letter, such as writing their lowercase F so the lower loop is to the left of the line. Don't chide them on this - as long as you can still tell what the letter is, it doesn't need to be corrected.
- A good sentence, when your child is comfortable with cursive, would be "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog". It contains all letters of the alphabet, making it possible for your child to try connecting all letters.
- You can also start them on simple sentences, such as introducing themselves in cursive.
- Keep in mind that they should get a chance to use both capital and lowercase letters so that they learn to connect all letters, or which letters generally don't get connected.
- Your child may learn cursive but feel that writing in print is more efficient. That's okay. Many children write in print now, and it's common for some students to write partly in cursive and partly in print, or write in a cursive-print hybrid.
- Keep in mind that your child may just not want to learn cursive now . If they tell you they don't want to learn cursive, they may just not want to learn it in this time of their life for whatever reason - many children can be stubborn about learning. Keep the option open for them and let them come to you if they want to learn it.
- If you have some of your own cursive writing, show it to your child. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 1
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://time.com/2820780/five-reasons-kids-should-still-learn-cursive-writing/
- ↑ https://www.aresearchguide.com/write-in-cursive.html
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGBpqJ3VFDQ
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0OX2_Jcy3Q
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How to Teach Cursive Writing to Your Kids & Teens
November 21, 2019 - Updated on January 4, 2023
Many educators in most states are unable to teach children cursive writing due to extensive curriculums.
A lot of parents are now starting to take that responsibility upon themselves as studies have shown that the practice of handwriting helps enhance the child’s brain functions, resulting in an easier and much efficient learning process.
Before introducing cursive lettering to children, you need to make sure that they have a pretty solid print handwriting foundation and that they’re familiar with all the English alphabet. With that confirmed, you can begin teaching cursive writing to your children using the following steps.
Cursive Writing for 2nd & 3rd Graders
Step 1: start with the basics.
For children in the 2nd and 3rd grade, you should start by introducing a single cursive letter at a time. The brain of a child at such a young age undergoes fundamental developments, and so the learning process should be taken very slowly and should be focused primarily on the child’s consistency.
Note: It’s a good idea to start with their name . They know their name well and it will excite them.
Step 2: Lowercase cursive letters
In this step, you should begin teaching your child how to write lowercase cursive letters that are similar to print letters in form. Cursive letters are divided into groups that are based on formation patterns and difficulty. Undoubtedly, you’d want to begin with the simplest group and then slowly work your way up the ladder until you reach the more difficult groups. Use the following order.
- h, t, e, p, l, f, q
- u, i, j, r, k, s
- m, n, x, y, z
Step 3: Uppercase cursive letters
After ensuring that your child is well-acquainted with lowercase cursive letters, you then carry on by pairing them with uppercase cursive letters . Keep a sheet of paper that includes the letters in cursive, in lowercase and uppercase, in front of your child’s eyes while practicing because it will help imprint the image of how the letter should look in cursive. Use the following order.
- V, W, X, Y, Z
- P. B, R, H, K
- M, N, J, F, T
- I, D, L G, S
Step 4: Cursive letters worksheets
Now that your child is familiar with cursive letters in both lowercase and uppercase, it’s time for you to grab some worksheets and start putting your child to the test.
These worksheets can be found in your local bookshop or you can download printable versions online. You can find plenty of worksheets on all styles of handwriting on www.kidzone.ws . Here’s a direct link to the cursive section.
Step 5: Copying complete sentences
At this point, your child should be familiarized with cursive letters and should be able to write in cursive with no problems. The next step is to have your youngster practice complete sentences in the same fashion.
You should be entirely attentive to your child’s writing at this stage and you should help demonstrate how cursive letters are connected together properly. Visit this link to download the required worksheets for this stage.
Cursive Writing for Teenagers
Contrary to what you might think, teaching a teenager a new style of writing can be more difficult than teaching a child as their brains tend to have already been adjusted to print handwriting and it could take them some time to get used to a new style.
Nonetheless, the same steps are to be applied in a more frequent and extensive manner, which shouldn’t take time since they’re most likely very familiar with the English alphabet.
In addition to the above-mentioned steps, you should have your teenager copying paragraphs in cursive on a daily basis until the style is mastered.
Have your teenager begin by copying simple and short paragraphs and then move on to more intricate and longer passages. Visit this link to download cursive passages worksheets, or simply have your child copy some paragraphs from any book you might have.
Tips for Teaching Cursive Writing
- Handwriting is a hands-on practice that requires your attention and participation in order to accomplish the best outcome. Make sure to demonstrate to your child how the letters are formed and connected. Don’t leave children trying to figure out how they connect the letters on their own. Remember, any child can learn how to write in any style, but without your participation, it will never come out in a presentable, cohesive fashion.
- Always keep a sheet of paper. On it, put all the letters in cursive style in front of your child. This makes it easier on them to memorize the shape of each letter. Moreover, it’s much more effective to use correct paper. Dotted line paper will provide your children with a preferable frame of reference when writing lowercase and uppercase letters . Regular lined paper is a lot harder to write on.
- Teach your child how to write diagonally on a piece of paper. Doing this helps enhance the aesthetic of the letters . And ensures that they achieve the correct slant. The term slant is simply the direction towards which the writing is tilted.
- Don’t get upset if your children choose not to pursue cursive writing. And definitely don’t try to force them into it. Some children may feel like print handwriting is more comfortable and efficient. Also, keep in mind that your child may not be interested in this writing style at this point of their life. Just keep the option available. And keep trying to garner their attention by telling them that it’s a useful style of writing to have. Show them the benefits .
Not all children learn the same way, every child is unique, and some might be very stubborn. It’s your job to remain patient and supportive of your child.
Teach your children the value of the skill you’re trying to teach them before you even begin the teaching process, this way they can enjoy learning a lot more and understand the importance of knowledge.
Related Post :
Months in Cursive [Worksheets and Tutorials for all 12]
December in Cursive [Worksheet and Printables]
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How to Teach Cursive Writing: a Homeschool Guide
Trisha Gilkerson 5 Comments This Post Contains Affiliate Links
Do you teach cursive writing to your kids?
While cursive may not be many people’s favorite school subject—it certainly isn’t mine—it sure is an important skill to learn. Someone with the ability to fluently write in cursive has a distinct advantage when it comes to note-taking and essay-writing. Cursive actually activates regions of the brain involved in working memory.
We teach cursive writing not because we love cursive but because we want our kiddos to love learning—and the ability to quick and legibly write is a good way to get there. We teach cursive not as an end in and of itself, but as a tool .
Here’s how to teach cursive writing…
7 Strategies to Teach Cursive Writing in your Homeschool
1. demonstrate letter strokes..
While this might seem like a “no duh” kind of statement, there are a lot of parents who give their kids handwriting workbooks and just expect them to figure it out . While we all think our kids are smart cookies, assuming they can figure it out could lead to lots of improperly formed letters.
When you teach cursive writing to your child, take the time to sit down and demonstrate the letter strokes to your kids. Familiarize them with how they’re formed and which way the curves and loops should be formed. Use some of these strategies when first showing them how to write the letters :
- Write them big. Big, oversized letters will be helpful for your students in visualizing how these letters should be written. They can even try writing them oversized a few times too!
- “Air write” the words. After writing the words big, have your students write the letter in the air, copying the strokes you used to write the letter.
- Use a white board. Let your students try their hand writing the letters on a write board before they move to paper. Whether it’s a large wall-mounted white board, or a small personal white board the letters will flow much more easily on a white board than on paper (I have one of these small double sided white boards for each of my kids, they come in handy for all sorts of things).
- Finger trace. Have your student trace of the letter using their finger before writing it on their own.
- Cursive Writing Wizard
- ABC Kids Cursive Writing
2. Grouped letters by stroke.
You’ve probably noticed a lot of cursive letters are formed very similarly. This comes in handy when you teach cursive writing to your kids. You’ll want to find the letters that are formed in a similar way, and present them in this order.
Most books that focus on teaching kids cursive writing present the letters in this order, but there’s a few out there that don’t, so watch out for that when choosing a book.
In Cursive Creations we present both lowercase and uppercase letters in groups. For instance, the letters “m, n, x, v, y, and z” all begin in a similar way. They begin at the baseline and form a hump at the midline, before coming back down to the baseline (see image below). Most upper and lower case letters can be grouped similarly.
3. Build on letters, don’t learn in isolation.
With cursive, it’s especially important not to learn letters in isolation. As soon as a student knows at least 2 letters, they should be combining those letters. You see, a fundamental skill your kids are learning (that they didn’t learn when printing) is how to connect their letters when forming words. They don’t have to pick their pencil up between each and every word anymore!
Continually help your student build on letters and don’t stop practicing previous letters they’ve used . With Cursive Creations we do this as soon as the second letter is learned. Students begin putting those letters together right away (see image below).
4. Practice daily, but…
Be sure your kids are getting plenty of practice with their letters. They should be practicing daily, but don’t require too much practice.
Learning cursive can be hard work! Your kids are flexing their muscle memory, fine motor skills are being taxed, and depending on their age, attention spans may still be a little short. When it comes to learning skills like this, remember slow and steady wins the race .
Consistency is the most important thing when learning cursive. Have your kiddos practice their cursive a little bit each day. They’ll be able to work up to writing longer sentences and eventually paragraphs as they become familiar with all of the letters and their muscle memory improves.
Let your children be the guide. In Cursive Creations I tell parent’s there is nothing wrong with just introducing one new letter per day, but if they’re excited and doing well introduce 2 or 3 letters a day. You can always slow down or speed up your progress as needed.
5. Don’t focus too much on neatness…at first.
Don’t stress that each of the letters must be neat and perfect when just beginning. Instead focus your attention on correct letter formation —starting the letter in the right place, looping in the correct direction, retracing correctly, etc.
Keep moving forward, teaching your student new letters even when it doesn’t all look perfect. I know this can be hard not to nitpick when letters dip above below the baseline or humps aren’t perfectly symmetrical. But don’t worry, neatness will eventually come , it doesn’t need to be the focus now. You’ll have time to work on that later!
6. Be sure to angle paper correctly!
Don’t let your kiddos keep paper or books straight in front of them. This will cause them to have a vertical script (with very few exceptions this is considered incorrect when writing cursive). Letters should be slanted up and to the right.
But what if you have a lefty? Many consider lefties difficult to teach cursive to because of this slant, but it doesn’t have to be. I have two lefties of my own, and had to learn that, for lefties, we just need to be sure we’re slanting the paper the opposite way I would (see image below).
7. Don’t be afraid to deviate from plans.
I’m a planner. I love making plans and I don’t like it when my plans get changed. And then…I started homeschooling. When you homeschool, you often learn that the saying is true: even the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry!
Maybe you planned to teach cursive writing and have completed your cursive workbook and have of all the foundation laid in 8 weeks. But your little munchkin is struggling and can’t keep up the pace you had hoped. Don’t worry, just move a little slower.
Maybe there’s something your kiddo really really wants to learn? Maybe they want to learn how to spell their name in cursive. Now worries, go ahead and skip forward and teach them. It’s always great to engage kids in what interests them! It makes the learning process more fun for them and in turn for you too.
Cursive Creations: A Beginners Guide to Handwriting
If you need a short workbook (typically takes 8-12 weeks) that walks students through exactly how to create cursive letters and connect them together, Cursive Creations: A Beginner’s Guide to Handwriting is for you.
- Coaches parents through simple writing techniques to help kids learn letter strokes
- Groups letters by stroke (not alphabetical order) in order to build muscle memory
- Emphasizes connecting letters from the very first lesson
- Offers short exercises that won’t overwhelm little hands
- Spiral bound for easy use (or digital if you prefer)
- Lengthy practice at the end, writing out the names of the books of the Bible
More Homeschool Writing Resources:
- Beginning Handwriting: Print or Cursive? What’s Best for Your Child
- 5 Tips to Help Your Left-Handed Child with Handwriting
- Helping Your Kids Know God’s Word: What’s Handwriting Got to Do With It?
- 13 Fun Outdoor Activities to Develop Handwriting Skills
- 21 Ways to Prepare Your Homeschool for Handwriting Success
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August 14, 2017 at 8:11 PM
I have what I think is probably an unusual question. We have always homeschooled and our now-12-year old was resistant to being taught handwriting when she was younger – she was making letter shapes at 4-5 but typical teaching methods didn’t work with her. She is bright and headstrong and she really didn’t want to do letter tracing (she turned it into art and drawing) but preferred to figure it out herself. Due to some chronic health issues I was suffering at the time, I had limited energy and didn’t know a way to teach her properly how to form her letters. She has decent printing now if she takes her time but no cursive – her idea of trying to imitate this has been to make curly loops on the ends of all the letter strokes which isn’t really very readable. In any case, we both now agree she should learn to write properly and she says she would like to (she wants to have pretty handwriting). We had chosen Italic writing books (though it seems very daunting to me when I consider trying to teach from them!) because I think that style of printing and writing is clear and attractive and should be easiest to master. However, since she is almost 13 most or all of the cursive writing “helps” and potential copywork I’ve seen are simply not age appropriate. We also have “Spelling You See” which might be acceptable subject matter but it’s not italic-based. I feel at a loss about what to do next to get started. If it’s too time-consuming or tedious I don’t believe we will get very far. We have a busy schedule and several more challenging topics to focus on such as the 2nd year of Lost Tools of Writing level 1, science, intro to logic and more. Do you have any suggestions on teaching cursive to older students that may help us succeed? Thank you in advance!
August 18, 2017 at 11:35 PM
I think you hit the nail on the head. Whatever you decide to do needs to be doable and easy to implement. I don’t have specific resources I can point you in the direction of for older kids because I’ve not had to look for them myself, but I know they’re out there (maybe another reader will chime in if they do know of something).
I really think something basic, that just teaches the letter strokes and begins combining letters right away and follows a lot of the strategies I laid out here is what your daughter needs. The process for learning cursive at 13 doesn’t need to be any different than how an 8 year old would learn.
September 9, 2017 at 11:56 PM
Did you find something for your daughter? If not, I highly recommend Cursive Logic. It’s straightforward and makes it so easy to learn! The lady developed the program to teach a 23 year old who wanted to write his name in cursive.
February 24, 2022 at 6:14 PM
Our kids benefitted by going through this practice book significantly through this practice book. It starts with tracing and goes all the way to practicing sentences. Plus it gives attention to all letters and not just vowels.
March 28, 2018 at 8:56 PM
Great article! I’m focusing on cursive this year — but it’s “something your kiddo really really wants to learn” focused and that means dragons!
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How to Write in Cursive
Last Updated: April 27, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff . Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,958,779 times. Learn more...
Writing in cursive is a good skill to have if you’d like to handwrite a letter, a journal entry, or an invitation. Start by improving your writing skill by making adjustments. You can then practice lowercase and uppercase letters in cursive, working your way through the alphabet. Make sure you also perfect your technique by practicing once a day and challenging yourself to write long sentences or paragraphs in cursive.
- You should not write at a desk that is too low or too high for you. Make sure you do not have to crouch or strain yourself to sit comfortably at the desk.
- You can also use pencil to write in cursive, especially if you want the option of erasing your letters and starting again. Get a B pencil with a triangular barrel, as it will be softer on the paper and easier to write with.
- If you’d prefer plain paper so you have more room to try the flowing, loose movements of cursive, you can use it. However, it may be more difficult for you to make your letters uniform without lines on the paper.
- Angling the paper will make it easier for you to slant your letters as you write. In cursive, your letters should slant up and to the right by 35 degrees.
Creating Lowercase Cursive Letters
- Once you master "a" and "c," try doing letters that follow similar strokes like “d,” “q,” and “g.”
- You can also try other letters that follow similar strokes, such as “w” and “t.”
- You can try other letters that follow similar strokes, such as “h,” “k,” “b,” “f,” and “j.”
- Once you master these letters, try letters that follow similar strokes like “v” and “x.”
Doing Uppercase Cursive Letters
- An uppercase "A" in cursive is similar to a lowercase "a" in cursive. It should touch the top and bottom lines.
- The letters “O,” “M,” and “N” in uppercase follow the same strokes as lowercase. The only difference is that the uppercase letters cover more space on the line.
- An uppercase “B” is written very differently in cursive than a lowercase “b.” You may need to practice it a few times to get it right.
- An “E” in cursive looks a lot like a backwards “3.”
Perfecting Your Technique
- Look for letter guides online. You can also ask your instructors or teachers for letter guides.
- You can also try doing a pattern of a different letter on each line of the page.
- If you find certain letters difficult, challenge yourself to do a pattern of the letter.
- You can also try writing your name in cursive, especially if it is short.
- As a fun challenge, you can try writing out sentences or phrases that you like from books, songs, or movies in cursive as part of your practice.
Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.
Things You’ll Need
- An ink pen or a pencil
- Lined or plain paper
Sample Alphabets and Practice Page
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://www.readingrockets.org/article/importance-teaching-handwriting
- ↑ https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/may/11/how-improve-your-handwriting
- ↑ http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/12/16/improve-your-cursive-handwriting/
- ↑ http://www.kidzone.ws/cursive/
- ↑ http://www.handwritingforkids.com/handwrite/cursive/animation/uppercase.htm
- ↑ https://libraryguides.centennialcollege.ca/c.php?g=712179&p=5076896
About This Article
To get started writing cursive, it helps to have the right materials. Use a pen with ink that flows smoothly, such as a felt-tip pen or a gel pen. You can also write cursive with a pencil, which will make it easier to fix mistakes as you learn. Choose writing paper with lines to help make sure that your writing comes out straight and the sizes and shapes of your letters stay consistent. If possible, get three-lined paper that has a dotted line in the middle of each set of solid lines. As you write, keep the paper tilted at a 35° angle, which will help give the letters the correct amount of slant. Keep a relaxed grip on the pen or pencil and hold it at a 45° angle relative to the paper. Practice writing the lower-case letters first, since these are the ones you’ll use the most often. You might find it helpful to use a cursive letter chart that shows the steps to write each letter. For example, when you’re writing a lower-case a on 3-lined paper, begin with an upward stroke that starts at the solid bottom line and curves up until it meets the dotted line in the middle, then goes back down slightly. Then, trace the line backwards, but this time swoop back up and around to meet the end of the first stroke. Swoop back down to make a curving “tail” that ends just before it meets the dotted line. After you’ve mastered the lower-case letters, get to know the upper-case ones. While some of them, like A, are basically bigger versions of the lower-case letters, others look completely different. For example, you’ll need to use a totally different technique to make an upper-case F from the method you use to write the lower-case version. Once you’re used to writing all the letters, it’s time to put them together. Part of what makes cursive different from print is that the letters connect, which helps the script flow smoothly while you’re writing. Practice writing connected rows of letters, then move on to writing out words and sentences in cursive. It may feel awkward at first, but with about 20 minutes of practice a day, you’ll soon be writing beautiful, flowing cursive. If you want to learn how to improve your penmanship while writing cursive, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Teaching Cursive Writing
Do you think cursive handwriting should be taught in schools? That question has many educators and parents fiercely discussing the pros and cons of cursive instruction. But the reality today is that In many classrooms, cursive handwriting has become an afterthought. Cursive handwriting has been replaced by typing on keyboards and tablets. While some states don’t require any instruction on cursive handwriting, many parents and teachers strongly believe that learning to read and write in cursive is essential for student success!
The Research Behind Cursive Writing
Growing research shows the importance of teaching cursive handwriting in the classroom. In an article published from Trends Neuroscience and Education , the effects of handwriting on functional brain development in children was researched. They found that cursive handwriting was important for letter processing in the brain. They found that only cursive handwriting stimulated brain synapses between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, something that printing letters and typing did not do. Researchers also discovered in brain scans that handwriting in cursive helped children learn their letters better and that children developed a brain that read with proficiency.
The Benefits of Learning to Write in Cursive
Fine motor skills.
In addition to the research behind cursive writing and brain development, there are some amazing benefits to learning how to write in cursive. Cursive handwriting helps children develop their fine motor skills. Cursive writing requires special hand-eye coordination while they practice making loops, swirls, and letter connections. Researchers in the article The Contribution of Handwriting and Spelling Remediation to Overcoming Dyslexia , found that the fine motor movements made with writing in cursive have been effective in helping students with Dysgraphia.
Cursive Writing Increases retention..it’s like a memory muscle
By writing down notes in cursive, students can process the content better so they can understand it and retain more information. Studies have found that students remembered information the best when they copied learning information in cursive, then when they wrote it down using standard printing or even a tech device to type up their notes.
How Do You Teach Cursive?
I truly believe cursive writing is an important part of a student’s writing journey. Here are my 5 easy steps to best support students when they’re learning how to write in cursive!
Step 1: Introduce one letter at a time
The key to introducing cursive is not overwhelming students. Try introducing just one cursive letter at a time.
Step 2: Teach correct letter formation
Your next job is to teach students how to form each cursive letter correctly. Cursive can look very different from standard printing, so be sure to model each letter carefully. Your pacing might mean it will take a few days to keep practicing one letter at a time, but don’t worry about rushing through each letter quickly.
Step 3: Begin with teaching lowercase cursive letters
This next step is super important! Cursive letters are formed in different ways from each other. I like to sequence or group letters by the type of formation they follow. For example, the lowercase letters c, o, a, d, g, and q all follow the same curves and strokes. By teaching these lowercase cursive letters in this sequence, students will be able to better learn how to form each letter correctly. Next group the cursive letters i, u, w, t, r, s, j, p. Follow with e, l, b, f, h, k. Lastly, teach letters n, m, v, y, x, z.
Step 4: Then teach uppercase cursive letters.
As mentioned above, grouping cursive letters by type of stroke and curve helps students learn how to form them correctly. When teaching uppercase letters, try these cursive sequences. Letters C, O, Q, E, L, G, letters A, M, N, S, T, F, I, J, letters P, R, B, H, K, D, followed by cursive letters U, V, W, X, Y, Z.
Step 5: Teach how to connect cursive letters
After learning how to write each individual letter correctly, students will need practice connecting those cursive letters! Your next step in teaching your students how to write in cursive is to help them learn simple letter connections. I like to break them down by sequences or groups again. Try starting them with these simple cursive connection sequences:
- co, ca, cd, cg
- oo, oa, od, og
- ao, aa, ad, ag
- iu, iw, it, ir, is ij, ip
Keep teaching simple letter combinations by following the lowercase and uppercase sequences mentioned in step 4 and step 5.
Step 6: Have your child copy simple words, sentences, and then paragraphs
After students become more fluent in connecting simple letter combinations in both uppercase and lowercase sequences, start teaching simple 2 or 3-letter words for them to begin writing in cursive. Words like on, at, is, do, go are easy to start with. Then work your way to 3-letter words such as cat, can, get, win, law, egg, not, you, are. Once they are successful in writing cursive words, give them short sentences to practice. Eventually, that will lead to being able to write full paragraphs in cursive!
If you need cursive handwriting activities for independent center practice, early finisher activity, or even as extra cursive practice at home as homework, try my FREE Cursive Handwriting practice pages. I love their versatility and use for cross-curricular learning!
If you’re looking for a complete and comprehensive cursive curriculum to help you teach your students cursive, grab the entire Cursive Handwriting Practice Book !
Cursive Handwriting Practice Book
These cursive handwriting practice activities will not only have your students improving their handwriting skills, they’ll also be learning creative expression and having tons of fun.
Cursive writing is an important part of a student’s writing journey! These cursive handwriting practice activities will not only have your students improving their handwriting skills, they’ll also be learning creative expression and having tons of fun.
If you’re looking for cursive practice pages to use with your students or children, look no further! This handwriting workbook has over 130 pages full of fun and engaging activities to help your students learn to write in cursive beautifully! This Cursive Handwriting Workbook has been used by over 12,000+ teachers all over the world and will definitely become one of your favorite resources to use for teaching cursive handwriting!
Cursive Handwriting Practice Includes:
- 26 lowercase color, trace, connect it, and write it cursive practice
- 26 uppercase color, trace, connect it, and write it cursive practice
- 7 uppercase and lowercase matching cursive letter tracing practice sheets
- 5 search and find uppercase and lowercase cursive pages
- 3 color by cursive letter practice sheets
- 26 lowercase trace and practice cursive sheets
- 26 uppercase trace and practice cursive sheets
- 3 paragraph cursive trace and practice sheets
- blank writing paper for beginner cursive learners to practice their cursive letters and words
This cursive handwriting workbook has been used by over 12,000+ teachers and parents in classrooms all over the world! See what others are saying about this cursive resource:
These cursive handwriting activities are also great for independent center practice, early finisher activity, or even as extra cursive practice at home as homework! I also love their versatility and use for homeschool learning. Your students will practice their handwriting while learning fun science facts!
Don’t wait! Grab my Cursive Handwriting Workbook and start teaching your students how to write in cursive today!
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Cursive Handwriting Practice Book
Happy cursive teaching!
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Cursive Handwriting Workbook
My NEW Cursive Handwriting Workbook is now available for purchase on Amazon! It has over 130 pages full of fun and engaging activities to help your students print cursive beautifully!
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How to Teach Cursive Writing to Kindergarten.
Cursive Writing does more than look good on paper, its trains hand eye coordination, visual learning and even stimulates other areas of the brain. Here is our guide on how to teach students to quickly and effectively cursive writing.
The teaching of cursive writing follows a set of steps that help students learn and master each skill before moving on. Practicing letter strokes, writing single letters, concentrating on lower case before upper case and then practicing words for a scaffolded program for children to learn quickly and effectively.
We will break this down into those steps below. There is a great deal of debate about the relevance of cursive writing in todays digital age, and equally as much debate in the steps to take. below is a common order and outline of how the teaching of cursive writing progresses, but it you are looking for teacher tips on how to implement these we cover this after the framework, you can click here to jump to that section.
How to Teach Your Children Cursive Handwriting.
1) Learn the letter strokes first.
This doesn’t have to be weeks of practicing before forming words or letters but some time at the beginning using strokes that appear in similar letters ill give children confidence later on when they come to both write and connect letters. Although we said not to do for to long, don’t rush your students, allow them to build up skills and confidence before moving on.
2) One letter at a time.
and make them lower case!, these are much more frequently used in writing. There is debate about the order that these should be introduced. one school of thought suggests letter that are similar to their non cursive form and the other school suggests those that have similar stokes in them to build familiarity with them. Which ever way you wish to proceed they both agree that keeping the least frequent and the most difficult to the end is a good idea. We have ordered these in the most commonly used order.
Lower case cursive teaching order
courtesy of Suryascursive
3) Now the Upper case
After your children have developed skills with the lower case letters then move onto the Upper case versions. There is again a suggested order for these as some take quite a lot of practice and effort.
Upper Case Cursive Teaching Order
4) Simple words practice
Some say moving on to sentences is the next logical step, however we feel it is quite a jump and some practice on repeated words and words that contain similar letters is a useful bridge before introducing sentences. If you do want to progress to sentence then rhyming ones is a useful way as it ticks both boxes. In our workbook we encourage the use of similar letters and practice the connecting strokes before this step though.
5) Move to simple sentences
As we highlighted above, after practicing connecting words student can progress onto similar sentences, again we suggest rhyming sentences and we have examples in our workbook to practice. This ensures they are learning a skill then immediately putting it into practice in a levelled and structured way.
6) Larger writing tasks
One sentences are looking clean and tidy, and your students have clearly developed their knowledge and skills. then setting both traceable and then free writing texts gives them chance to practice more and to tackle unknown words.
The above steps are the how to and what order guide, it doesn’t cover the teacher or parental advice you may need to make sure those steps are completed correctly. We cover that below.
Teacher Tips to Teach Cursive
- What Order to Teach Cursive writing
The tables above are not created at random, they are grouped together for a very specific reason. There are letters in cursive writing that are written in a very similar way, start points, flow, end points etc. These are presented in this order to help children practice a similar skill, but to be aware that the skill can be applied to different letters. Our workbook follows this order, although in the spirit of transparency there is certainly debate over which order is the best!
- Demonstrate Cursive Writing to your Students
Children’s are not going to be able to just write this way, the tracing and free writing pages in all workbooks will give them a start. However nothing replaces having a teacher or parent sit down and give them examples. Teachers will do this with the class and may use apps or a white board. If you are a parent you can just use A4 paper and write them bigger on there. It is of use to start off big, the idea is to work towards nice regular size writing. Going large at the beginning is not a problem its a strategy. You can play games by writing a letter in the air and having your students guess, and then they do the same. We do all these techniques with learning print letters and even in phonics instruction. So carry them on into this cursive writing as well.
- Develop Cursive Writing Skills
In phonics we try to get students blending single sounds into words as quickly as they can. This adds meaning to their learning and they can see real world use for the skills they are learning. Try to do the same with writing. Once students have learnt a group of letters, then have them make their own words from these and write them as cursive. They can even try to make it a competition and see how many words they can think of in 5 or 10 minutes. While they play, they practice connecting and writing these letters into words. We have a page or two of words and sentences into the workbook . Here they can practice after each letter group. We also have blank pages to print out and have them try on their own.
- Take your time – Cursive writing Practice
Children learn at different speeds and have different motivations. It is important to practice but there is no rush. The parallels with phonics are similar here as well. A little and often approach will work better than hours and hours. Just be sure that there is regular practice and its not done to infrequently. As with every skill students will need to repeat it till its learnt.
- Cursive Writing Resources
It is a good idea, especially for young learners, to use pencils, and softer lead pencils. They move across the paper easier and make the letters and words flow more effectively. With regards to what type of paper. It is useful to have the dotted type for practice to help children get familiar with the size of upper and lower case letters. As a top tip to know which of your students (or children) are left or right handed as this will help. It means you know at what angle and direction the paper should be. Either way don’t force the paper to be 90 degrees to the student as it is MUCH better to be angled. Right handed to the right and left handed to the left.
- Be Aware of How Children hold the Pen or Pencil
Make sure that your children are holding the pencil properly . It is difficult to write any type of letters never mind connected cursive writing if students have not been taught to properly grip a pen or pencil. The link above offers tips and advice if you are working with younger students who need some guidance.
- Resources for Cursive Writing
There are selections, including our own , all over the internet. the paid ones often have more effort put in, but if you need free hand practice you find the dotted lines to download and print. It may be just as cheap to buy a notepad like this from your local stationary store as well. We have blank printable pages at the end of our cursive workbook to help with this.
If would be useful to pick up a whiteboard to all you and your children or students to write larger letters before moving on to smaller ones. Amazon has a pretty decent one here with magnetic pens (I always lose mine)
- Ask the School What They are Doing with Cursive Writing.
This goes for more than just cursive writing, phonics and reading skills are much better retained if parents and teachers work together to help their students and children. Don’t be afraid to ask teachers for help, they will always be willing to share. Especially make sure they are using the same, or similar cursive alphabet as you so as not to confuse your children. ( there are many many styles). They can adapt to their own style and preference later.
Why Teach Cursive Writing?
Although we have a larger article on here on the reasons behind teaching cursive to students we will give you the abridged bulleted version in case you are pulling your hair out and wonder why we just don’t teach typing. (We should do that as well by the way!)
Cursive writing is a fine motor skill and is great brain training for young learners, worth on intricate tasks helps young children develop the skills required for all sort of every day tasks. Tying shoes, pulling up zips, doing up buttons, and more.
Studies have shown that learning cursive can help students write more effectively and fluidly. It also is a faster way to write and allows students to write more in a shorter time. ( in my exam based culture that is helpful). According to Montessori and psychology today
Students “wrote more words, faster, and expressed more ideas when writing essays by hand versus with a keyboard.” This study included second, fourth, and sixth graders Psychology Today
Although we are in a digital world and we communicate with text, image and even emoji there is still a place for cursive. It is still consider a better way to take notes and write letters. It is a more personal and treasured way of communicating. Even if its rarer, it should still come in handy when trying to read your doctors handwriting!
Although it may seem like a minor issue as you sit next to your 7 year old, one day they are going to be signing cheques, purchase agreements and even wedding registers. Cursive is the early stages of getting them ready to develop their own signature!
It is also a reminder of our past, and although this may seem a lesser reason, we feel that pausing and remembering how we came to be where we are in todays fast paced technological world is something to be treasured. We are not alone in thinking this.
Hi I’m Marc. A teacher of over 15 years, mostly English but dabbled in outdoor pursuits and media. Thought is was about time to sharing both what I have learnt during that time and the resources I have put together. On this site we aim to teach the theory and share our thoughts, but also go that one step further and give you access to the hard resources you need for your class or for you children. Feel free to take a look at our resources , email us on [email protected], or jump on the Facebook group to ask questions. Happy learning, teaching or playing!
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Cursive Writing Worksheets
Learn handwriting and penmanship with our cursive writing worksheets.
Our free, printable handwriting worksheets provide practice writing cursive letters, words and sentences. Benefits of handwriting practice include increased brain activation and improved performance across all academic subjects.
Handwriting individual letters & the cursive alphabet.
Practice writing mixed groups of letters .
Cursive Letter Joins
Joining two or three cursive letters.
Handwriting whole words, organized by letter.
Handwriting whole cursive sentences.
Handwriting whole cursive passages.
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How to Write in Cursive: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners
1. Familiarize Yourself with Basic Strokes
2. start with lowercase letters, 3. learn uppercase letters, 4. practice letter connections, 5. form basic words, 6. advance to longer sentences, 7. explore ligatures, 8. develop a consistent slant, 9. experiment with flourishes, 10. practice regularly.
When learning how to write in cursive, some things are worth thinking about. Cursive writing offers many advantages that extend to the mental development and intellectual growth of children. It is not only about crafting beautiful letters or elegant aesthetics but also enhances cognitive function and academic performance .
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Starting from the position of each letter to the shape of every letter, all possible detail is vital. This form of writing , of course, is a joint writing style. It was commonly used for most of human history until this modern computer age. Not only can learning how to write letters in cursive benefit your child by improving writing skills , but it is also an impressive skill to master!
“Handwriting is the imprint of self on a page.” — Dr. Rosemary Sassoon
Cursive Writing: What is it?
Writing in cursive isn’t just about forming letters; it’s a cognitive workout routine. The letters in cursive script uplift students to create a seamless flow of words in a cohesive and organized written communication form.
When young minds trace the curves and loops of cursive letters, they forge stronger connections within the brain, enhance memory recall and cognitive agility, and stimulate neural pathways in children’s minds.
“Handwriting is a spiritual design, even though it appears by means of a material instrument.” – Euclid
Why Does Cursive Writing Hold a Timeless Significance?
Today, even though digital communication and keyboard typing have taken over the world, the art of cursive writing stands as a timeless testament to the beauty, grace, and elegance of the written word.
It is also a beneficial therapy for individuals with dyslexia because its continuous personal flow of letters reduces the visual and cognitive breaks and creates a comfortable experience for those navigating the written word that can challenge dyslexic readers.
Following are a few benefits why kids should learn how to write in cursive :
“Handwriting is rooted in the spirit, even though it appears by means of bodily senses.”― Al-Nazzam
- Enhanced Cognitive Development
- Elevated Handwriting Skills
- Heightened Reading Comprehension
- Nurturing Patience and Focus
- Distinctive Personal Expression
Cursive Writing in 10 Steps: A Comprehensive Guide
Learning how to write in cursive is a journey that leads to mastery. It is a skill that holds immense value to date – a series of carefully orchestrated steps, each building upon the previous one to build a foundation of excellent penmanship.
These steps are more than mechanical motions. Let’s find out some steps of learning how to write in cursive handwriting .
To learn how to spell in cursive , the first step is to learn basic strokes. It helps to write the flow and form of each character.
- Start practicing upward lines. These lines are the backbone of many lowercase letters . For example, “l,” “b,” and “h.”
- Learn upward lines for letters like – “p,” “g,” and “j.”
- Practice concave and convex curves for letters like – “a,” “c,” and “e.”
- Learn loops. These are used in letters like – “b,” “d,” and “f” to add character.
After learning the strokes, focus on lowercase letters. It forms the majority of written words, making them automatically a crucial starting point.
- Start by practicing simpler lowercase cursive letters, as it requires minimal strokes and transitions. For example, “a,” “c,” “e,” and “l.”
- Focus on the correct formation of each letter.
- Practice forming each letter repeatedly. It helps develop muscle memory.
- Maintain consistent letter size along with proportions.
- Start forming simple words.
Then comes broadening your skills by learning uppercase cursive letters. It brings a unique dimension to cursive writing. Uppercase cursive letters often have distinct forms. For example, some letters might have loops, curls, or tails, giving them a distinctive cursive appearance.
- Practice individual uppercase cursive letters.
- Start with letters that look like their printed forms, such as “C,” “O,” “V,” and “W,” for a sense of familiarity.
- Get habituated to ligatures such as “th,” “ch,” and “sh.”
Art is not only in its strokes or letters but also in how well it is connected with one another.
Connecting the letters gives cursive writing its iconic flow and charm.
- Focus on creating smooth transitions between letters.
- Avoid disjointedness – the unintended gaps between letters that disrupt the flow.
- Start slowly by paying attention to each transition.
- As these pairs are frequently used, start with connecting “o” to “u,” “r,” to “e,” and “a” to “n,”.
The next step is to bring individual letters and letter connections together. It helps to create meaningful, and coherent compositions for forming basic words in a better way.
- Start with easy words.
- Use a mix of lowercase and uppercase cursive letters.
- Each letter should naturally flow into the next.
- Use consistent letter size, slant, and spacing.
- For a smoother execution, before writing a word, think about how you will compose it.
- Avoid abrupt changes in direction between letters to maintain an uninterrupted rhythm.
To write longer sentences, start by connecting the letters and creating basic words. Enhance your cursive writing skills by writing multiple words into coherent and expressive sentences.
- Write sentences with a clear message.
- Focus on letter size, slant, and spacing across words.
- Use punctuation marks like commas , periods, and question marks.
- Maintain a smooth and natural flow.
- Gradually find your cursive writing style. Try variations. Use letter slants, size, and connections to personalize your cursive script.
Ligatures are basically the connections between specific letter pairs seamlessly connecting each other. Some common ligatures include “th,” “ch,” “sh,” and “fi.” It adds a touch of artistry and sophistication to the cursive writing style by enhancing the aesthetic appeal.
- Pay attention to proportions while forming ligatures.
- The transition needs to be smooth and graceful.
- Choose words that naturally include the ligatures.
Consistent slant is the soul of cursive writing. It refers to the balanced angle at which letters lean onto each other. A uniform slant throughout your writing makes sure of its visual appeal and professionalism.
- Even if no one-size-fits-all is a core rule, most cursive scripts have a slight slant ranging from 45 to 60 degrees.
- Draw slant lines on a sheet of paper and use them as guides. Using it can be a valuable tool in maintaining a consistent slant.
- Be consistent. Pay attention and maintain a uniform slant across all letters.
Flourishes add flair and personality with strokes and loops that can turn ordinary words into works of art. It is a unique form of self-expression that helps infuse cursive writing with a touch of elegance and individuality.
- Start by practicing simple flourishes with small loops or curls.
- Strive for a balanced composition by avoiding overwhelming your writing with excessive or overly ornate decorations.
- Use it thoughtfully and purposefully to maintain readability and visual appeal.
- Develop a signature flourish that sets your cursive writing apart.
Like every other skill, consistent practice reinforces muscle memory and helps to master it. When you practice daily, you’ll witness the evolution of your penmanship and build a style that you can proudly call your own.
- Set aside dedicated time each day, even as little as 10-15 minutes each day, to practice.
- Develop a schedule that works for you.
- Start each practice session by revisiting the foundational strokes, lowercase and uppercase letters , and basic words.
- Practice extra to address any challenges.
Now that we have discussed steps for how to write in cursive handwriting , let’s understand a few tips to help you understand cursive writing better.
3 Cursive Writing Tips
As children embark on the enchanting journey of cursive writing, it is essential to equip them with the techniques that will nurture their penmanship prowess. Discover below a treasury of invaluable tips that will empower young learners to learn how to write in cursive gracefully.
“Handwriting is the shackle of the mind.”― Plato
1. Use Guided Worksheets
Whether you’re a beginner or looking to refine your existing skills, guided worksheets offer step-by-step guidelines for learning letter formation , connections, and overall script aesthetics.
2. Pay Attention to Spacing
Spacing is a critical aspect of cursive writing. It impacts the readability and overall visual appeal of your writing. Adequate spacing between words makes it easier for readers to separate individual words and easily understand your message by making your writing look aesthetic.
3. Seek Feedback
Striving for feedback is a great habit that directly impacts in improving your cursive writing skills. Constructive criticism from people you trust, for example, your friends, family, teachers, mentors, or even self- assessment , gives an objective overview of your writing.
3 Benefits of Learning Cursive Writing
The art of cursive writing is a specialized skill that may make writing appear elegant and lead to a more thorough understanding of history. Even though we frequently type on computers and mobile devices, learning to write in cursive has some distinctive and worthwhile benefits, particularly for young people. Let’s understand why it’s so beneficial for children to learn.
1. Writing Faster and Better
After kids have learned the principles of print handwriting, learning cursive allows them to express themselves more quickly on paper. They can concentrate on creating cohesive, readable compositions because of this efficiency, freeing up their cognitive resources.
2. Getting More Creative
Use of cursive writing is beneficial to our brains since it engages both sides of our brains – logical and creative. It improves our memory and linguistic skills, as well as helps in the generation of fresh ideas.
3. Memory Retention
Remembering things is important, and guess what? When we write in cursive, the letters flow together in a unique way, which may help us remember things better. Knowing how to write in cursive may make it easier for kids to recall what they learn.
3 Tools Required for the Perfect Penmanship
Learning cursive writing requires only a few simple tools to get started, but the benefits extend far beyond the basics. Let’s look at the fundamental tools that will help you on your cursive writing journey.
- Pencil or Pen
- Cursive Guides
The more you delve into the depths of cursive writing, you will uncover the crucial steps and values that guide young learners to refined penmanship. When you start your journey that transcends mere penmanship – each stroke, curve, and connection forms a tapestry of expression, cognitive growth, and artistic identity.
Through this comprehensive guide, you will learn the art of cursive writing, which is woven together with the threads of history, culture, and personal style. Starting from basic strokes to experimenting with intricate flourishes, each stage teaches how to write cursive letters and helps the master cursive writing with ease.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the reasons for children to learn cursive writing.
Learning how to write in cursive holds significant benefits. It helps in building cognitive skills and directly impacts reading comprehension. It engages their brain in intricate hand movements and neural connections that contribute to improved brain development and intellectual growth.
When is the appropriate age for children to begin learning cursive writing?
According to experts, the age of 7 or 8 is often a suitable time for kids to start learning cursive writing because children typically get the fine motor skills that are needed to control a pen or pencil with more precision.
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Cursive Writing Now Required to Be Taught in California Schools
Posted: October 20, 2023 | Last updated: October 20, 2023
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Oct. 13 mandating cursive writing instruction from the first through sixth grades
California students will have to go old-school when it comes to penmanship.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Oct. 13 requiring that cursive writing be taught in the state’s schools.
“This bill would require handwriting instruction for grades 1 to 6, inclusive, to include instruction in cursive or joined italics in the appropriate grade levels. To the extent that this bill would impose new duties on local educational agencies, it would constitute a state-mandated local program,” the text to Assembly Bill 446 read.
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Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva introduced the bill, which would require teachers to make sure there is cursive instruction offered from the first through sixth grade. A former elementary school teacher, she told The Sacramento Bee in September that the purpose of the legislation is to give students the ability to read and write in cursive. To illustrate her point, she said that most artifacts from history, such as letters and diaries, were written in joined italics.
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“A lot of the historical documents going back two or three decades are actually in cursive,” Quirk-Silva told the newspaper. “I went on 23andMe looking for some family records and they were all written in cursive.”
Prior to the new legislation, cursive had not been a requirement in California schools since 2010, per CBS affiliate KFMB .
“Research has shown that cursive handwriting enhances a child's brain development including memorization and improves fine motor skills,” Quirk-Silva told the outlet. “This bill ensures that the younger generation is equipped with the skills needed to navigate the demands of the world of today, and to connect with their history in the world of yesterday.”
Related: Man Who Was Illiterate Until Age 18 Becomes Cambridge University's Youngest Black Professor
The Los Angeles County Office of Education expressed support for the legislation, per SFGate , writing: “There are clear connections between the linguistic processes of reading and the motor process of handwriting, which keyboarding skills do not replicate. The mechanics of handwriting follows a sequence initiated in the brain, similar to reading — the sound is heard and processed, a letter attached and visualized, then translated into a shape on a page and produced with motor skills that reinforce the direction of lines and shapes to form letters. These letters then connect to form words and meaning is attached.”
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According to Abigail Soriano-Lentz, an English language arts curriculum coordinator for the East Side Union High School District in San Jose, California, cursive writing had not been part of the standards for a long time, ABC affiliate KABC reported, “so we have quite a chunk of teachers who have not taught it and who haven't needed to teach it and some who probably were not taught it themselves.”
Meanwhile, Oceanside Unified School District in San Diego County will be ready should there be a learning curve involving cursive writing when the new law goes into effect in January 2024.
"We have training opportunities for our teachers, Also, with this built into the curricula, there are opportunities in their teachers' manuals to gather that information," said Vicki Gravlin, executive director of curriculum instruction for Oceanside Unified, KFMB reported.
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Why TEACHING CURSIVE WRITING is a BAD IDEA Teachers on Fire
Welcome to Saturday Morning Teacher Talk, airing LIVE on YouTube every Saturday morning at 8:30 Pacific and 11:30! Join the conversation and add your comments to the broadcast. MAKING NEWS on X THIS WEEK: California's Governor Newsom just signed a bill requiring cursive writing (handwriting) to be taught to all students in grades 1-6. Here's why I think that is a terrible decision. Prodigy Education is encouraging teachers to support student out-of-school performances (sports, competitions, recitals). Here's why I think this is a dangerous precedent. TCEA shows how we can use "I noticed" to build relationships with our students (credit to FreshFromTheFourth Chey Cheney argues that we shouldn't discredit or discourage students from copying as a first strategy for finding a solution. Rolland (@RChids on X) shares suggestions for how we can reset our brains on the weekend before entering a new week. John Sowash shares some news from Google Slides: presenters can now draw and annotate directly on the Slides during presentations. CONNECT with ME On X @TeachersOnFire (https://X.com/TeachersOnFire) On Facebook @TeachersOnFire (https://www.facebook.com/TeachersOnFire/) On YouTube @Teachers On Fire (https://www.youtube.com/@teachersonfire) On LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/timwcavey/ Visit the home of Teachers on Fire at https://teachersonfire.net/. SONG TRACK CREDIT Chef Brian by Latasha Dude by Patrick Patrikios New Year by Bad Snacks Positive Fuse by French Fuse Summer in the Neighborhood by Bad Snacks Tropic Fuse by French Fuse Sunny Travel by Nico Staf Coupe by The Grand Affair Fast and Run by Nico Staf Go! By Neffex *All songs retrieved from the YouTube Audio Library at https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/teachersonfire/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/teachersonfire/support
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New Tool to Evaluate Reading Programs for ‘Knowledge-Building’
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The more children know about a subject, the easier they’ll find it to read and understand a passage about that topic. It’s a simple idea that’s backed up by research: Studies have shown that students who score higher on tests of general knowledge are also comprehend more of what they read.
Informed by these findings, some curriculum companies have organized their English/language arts series to build students’ background knowledge on a collection of topics. Now, advocates of this knowledge-building approach have released a tool, designed for states, districts, and schools to evaluate how well curricula they’re planning to adopt meet this goal—or how their current selections stack up.
The Knowledge Matters Campaign, a group that advocates for this approach to ELA instruction and has endorsed several curricula, debuted the tool on Wednesday.
The guidelines are meant to help clarify what a knowledge-building curriculum is, and is not, as the term is increasingly “being thrown around,” said Barbara Davidson, the executive director of the Knowledge Matters Campaign.
“Knowledge building” has become a buzzword in the education field recently, in part due to advocates in the “science of reading” movement, who have championed curricula that cover content-area knowledge in depth.
The Knowledge Matters Campaign’s review tool outlines eight “dimensions” of knowledge-building curricula for grades K-8, each with its own criteria. The tool doesn’t cover other components of early literacy programs, such as foundational decoding or word-reading skills. It’s designed to be used in conjunction with other review instruments.
The Knowledge Matters Review Tool's 8 Dimensions
1. Laser-like focus on what matters most for literacy 2. Communal close reading of content-rich, challenging texts 3. Systematic development of high-value academic language to support building knowledge 4. A volume of reading organized around conceptually coherent text sets to build knowledge 5. Regular discussions grounded in texts and topics to build knowledge 6. A volume of writing to build knowledge 7. Targeted supports to ensure all students have access to challenging, grade-level content 8. Ease of enacting curriculum
Unlike what’s perhaps the most popular curriculum review tool in the field, the nonprofit evaluator EdReports, the new tool doesn’t feature a numerical score or rating system for materials. Instead, the rubric offers open-ended questions.
“It’s much less important to us that there would be some sort of numeric or calculable outcome,” Davidson said. She hopes that it prompts schools and districts to have dialogue and debate about whether materials meet the criteria, and how.
“What I’m hopeful of is that this can create a conversation, and cause people to be curious,” she said.
What the research says on knowledge building
Studies do show that students with more background knowledge are better readers . But the research base is more complicated when it comes to proactively teaching background knowledge in an attempt to improve reading comprehension.
When students learn deeply about a subject in their ELA classes, they score higher on reading comprehension tests about that subject—for example, reading a lot about World War II would result in better reading comprehension on passages about World War II. But studies show that often, these subject-specific gains don’t translate to general improvements on standardized measures of reading comprehension.
Some interventions do, though.
Studies of certain knowledge-building curricula have shown student improvement on standardized tests. In a study of one such curriculum , Core Knowledge, students who were randomly selected into charter schools that used the materials scored on average 16 percentile points higher on end-of-year state tests than their peers who also applied to these schools’ lotteries, but were not selected and attended other schools.
Other research indicates that it matters how knowledge-building curricula are sequenced and presented.
In another study , researchers at Harvard University found that students performed better on standardized tests when their teachers helped them draw connections between the different units they studied—creating a flexible mental model that they could then apply to understand new topics.
The Knowledge Matters tool attends to this idea of drawing connections, with one of the eight dimensions focused on conceptual coherence of texts in a program.
How the tool is different from others in the field
The Knowledge Matters tool joins a group of instruments designed to evaluate ELA curricula—the most well-known of which is EdReports’, which evaluates ELA materials against a broader set of standards for alignment, text quality, and usability, among other factors.
The EdReports tool does include a section for knowledge building. Jamilah Hicks, EdReports’ managing director of literacy, said there were many commonalities between the organizations’ two tools.
But Sue Pimentel, a founding partner of Student Achievement Partners, a professional-development group founded by the lead writers of the Common Core State Standards, and one of the creators of the Knowledge Matters tool, said that the group’s instrument provides a way to dig deeper into how knowledge is incorporated across a curriculum.
The differences lie in the tools’ purpose: Knowledge Matters’ tool asks open-ended overarching questions, aimed at starting a conversation about how to attend to building students’ content knowledge and find out if a series is weak in one dimension, while EdReports’ numerical scores can help districts weigh the tradeoffs among different series.
The tool should be an “invitation to discernment,” Davidson said.
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Turnitin's AI writing detection available now
Turnitin launches AI detection to help educators identify when AI writing tools such as ChatGPT have been used in students’ submissions.
Academic integrity in the age of AI writing
Over the years, academic integrity has been both supported and tested by technology. Today, educators are facing a new frontier with AI writing and ChatGPT.
Here at Turnitin, we believe that AI can be a positive force that, when used responsibly, has the potential to support and enhance the learning process. We also believe that equitable access to AI tools is vital, which is why we’re working with students and educators to develop technology that can support and enhance the learning process. However, it is important to acknowledge new challenges alongside the opportunities.
We recognize that for educators, there is a pressing and immediate need to know when and where AI and AI writing tools have been used by students. This is why we are now offering AI detection capabilities for educators in our products.
Gain insights on how much of a student’s submission is authentic, human writing versus AI-generated from ChatGPT or other tools.
Robust reporting identifies AI-written text and provides information educators need to determine their next course of action. We’ve designed our solution with educators, for educators.
AI writing detection complements Turnitin’s similarity checking workflow and is integrated with your LMS, providing a seamless, familiar experience.
Turnitin’s AI writing detection capability available with Originality, helps educators identify AI-generated content in student work while safeguarding the interests of students.
Turnitin AI Innovation Lab
Welcome to the Turnitin AI Innovation Lab, a hub for new and upcoming product developments in the area of AI writing. You can follow our progress on detection initiatives for AI writing, ChatGPT, and AI-paraphrasing.
Understanding the false positive rate for sentences of our AI writing detection capability
We’d like to share more insight on our sentence level false positive rate and tips on how to use our AI writing detection metrics.
Understanding false positives within our AI writing detection capabilities
We’d like to share some insight on how our AI detection model deals with false positives and what constitutes a false positive.
Have questions? Read these FAQs on Turnitin’s AI writing detection capabilities
Helping solve the AI writing puzzle one piece at a time
AI-generated writing has transformed every aspect of our lives, including the classroom. However, identifying AI writing in students’ submissions is just one piece in the broader, complex, ever-evolving AI writing puzzle.
Teaching in the age of AI writing
As AI text generators like ChatGPT quickly evolve, our educator resources will, too. Curated and created by our team of veteran educators, our resources help educators meet these new challenges. They are built for professional learning and outline steps educators can take immediately to guide students in maintaining academic integrity when faced with AI writing tools.
A guide to help educators determine which resource is more applicable to their instructional situation: the AI misuse checklist or the AI misuse rubric.
A guide sharing strategies educators can consider to help when confronted with a false positive.
A guide sharing strategies students can consider to help when confronted with a false positive.
The Turnitin Educator Network is a space to meet, discuss and share best practices on academic integrity in the age of AI.
Learn more about AI writing in our blog
Written by experts in the field, educators, and Turnitin professionals, our blog offers resources and thought leadership in support of students, instructors, and administrators. Dive into articles on a variety of important topics, including academic integrity, assessment, and instruction in a world with artificial intelligence.
Discover the secrets of mastering AI for simple tasks with the best writing AI practices. Unlock new levels of efficiency and creativity.
Students come to our classrooms with an awareness of AI writing tools. While many students comprehend that AI writing can be misused, it’s important to define the difference between proper and improper use of tools like ChatGPT. Having a discussion about learning and the ways in which ChatGPT can help or inhibit the ways in which students absorb information can highlight the intersection of AI writing tools and academic integrity.
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Cheat GPT? Turnitin CEO Chris Caren weighs in on combating A.I. plagiarism | CNBC Squawk Box
Since the inception of AI-generated writing, educators and institutions are learning how to navigate it in the classroom. Turnitin’s CEO Chris Caren joins ‘Squawk Box’ to discuss how it is being used in the classroom and how educators can identify AI writing in student submissions.
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Schools Ban ChatGPT amid Fears of Artificial-Intelligence-Assisted Cheating
U.S. educators are debating the merits and risks of a new, free artificial intelligence tool called ChatGPT, which students are using to write passable high school essays. So far, there isn’t a reliable way to catch cheating. Matt Dibble has the story.
Some U.S. schools banning AI technology while others embrace it | NBC Nightly News
ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence program, can write college-level essays in seconds. While some school districts are banning it due to cheating concerns, NBC News’ Jacob Ward has details on why some teachers are embracing the technology.
Artificial intelligence, it seems, is taking over the world. At least that's what alarmists would have you believe . The line between fact and fiction continues to blur, and recognizing what is real versus what some bot concocted grows increasingly difficult with each passing week.
In this episode of THE Journal Insider podcast, host and THEJournal.com editor Kristal Kuykendall welcomes two former teachers who have been working on AI writing tools at Turnitin, a plagiarism-detection software used by thousands of K–12 schools and institutions of higher education.
ChatGPT, an AI-powered “large language” model, is poised to change the way high school English teachers do their jobs. With the ability to understand and respond to natural language, ChatGPT is a valuable tool for educators looking to provide personalized instruction and feedback to their students.
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Meet us in person to discuss ai writing detection.
We are attending larger and smaller events to ensure we’ll have the opportunity to discuss academic integrity in the age of AI writing with you in person. Here’s a list of events that Turnitin has already participated in, or will be participating in this year. Looking forward to seeing you there!
MBO Digitaal Conferentie, September 21-22, Ulft, Netherlands World Academic Summit, 26-28 September 2023, Sydney, Australia Campus Innovation, September 27-29, Hamburg, Germany tawiab 2023: Tagung wissenschaftliche Abschlussarbeiten und Hochschulschriften-Repositorien, September 28, Vienna, Austria ACO-TEC 2023, September 28-29, Vienna, Austria Digital Universities: MENA, 9-11 October, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, 9-12 October 2023, Chicago, USA
EDUtech Europe, October 10-12, Amsterdam, Netherlands Digital Universities: Europe, 23-25 October 2023, Barcelona, Spain THE Campus Live US, 8-9 November 2023, Los Angeles, USA SURF Onderwijsdagen, November 14-15, Den Bosch, Netherlands NCTE, 16-19 November 2023, Columbus, OH, USA THE Campus Live UK, 22-23 November 2023, UK Online Educa Berlin 2023 (OEB), November 22-24, Berlin, Germany
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What do ai chatbots really mean for students and cheating.
The launch of ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots has triggered an alarm for many educators, who worry about students using the technology to cheat by passing its writing off as their own. But two Stanford researchers say that concern is misdirected, based on their ongoing research into cheating among U.S. high school students before and after the release of ChatGPT.
“There’s been a ton of media coverage about AI making it easier and more likely for students to cheat,” said Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE). “But we haven’t seen that bear out in our data so far. And we know from our research that when students do cheat, it’s typically for reasons that have very little to do with their access to technology.”
Pope is a co-founder of Challenge Success , a school reform nonprofit affiliated with the GSE, which conducts research into the student experience, including students’ well-being and sense of belonging, academic integrity, and their engagement with learning. She is the author of Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed-Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students , and coauthor of Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids.
Victor Lee is an associate professor at the GSE whose focus includes researching and designing learning experiences for K-12 data science education and AI literacy. He is the faculty lead for the AI + Education initiative at the Stanford Accelerator for Learning and director of CRAFT (Classroom-Ready Resources about AI for Teaching), a program that provides free resources to help teach AI literacy to high school students.
Here, Lee and Pope discuss the state of cheating in U.S. schools, what research shows about why students cheat, and their recommendations for educators working to address the problem.
What do we know about how much students cheat?
Pope: We know that cheating rates have been high for a long time. At Challenge Success we’ve been running surveys and focus groups at schools for over 15 years, asking students about different aspects of their lives — the amount of sleep they get, homework pressure, extracurricular activities, family expectations, things like that — and also several questions about different forms of cheating.
For years, long before ChatGPT hit the scene, some 60 to 70 percent of students have reported engaging in at least one “cheating” behavior during the previous month. That percentage has stayed about the same or even decreased slightly in our 2023 surveys, when we added questions specific to new AI technologies, like ChatGPT, and how students are using it for school assignments.
Isn’t it possible that they’re lying about cheating?
Pope: Because these surveys are anonymous, students are surprisingly honest — especially when they know we’re doing these surveys to help improve their school experience. We often follow up our surveys with focus groups where the students tell us that those numbers seem accurate. If anything, they’re underreporting the frequency of these behaviors.
Lee: The surveys are also carefully written so they don’t ask, point-blank, “Do you cheat?” They ask about specific actions that are classified as cheating, like whether they have copied material word for word for an assignment in the past month or knowingly looked at someone else’s answer during a test. With AI, most of the fear is that the chatbot will write the paper for the student. But there isn’t evidence of an increase in that.
So AI isn’t changing how often students cheat — just the tools that they’re using?
Lee: The most prudent thing to say right now is that the data suggest, perhaps to the surprise of many people, that AI is not increasing the frequency of cheating. This may change as students become increasingly familiar with the technology, and we’ll continue to study it and see if and how this changes.
But I think it’s important to point out that, in Challenge Success’ most recent survey, students were also asked if and how they felt an AI chatbot like ChatGPT should be allowed for school-related tasks. Many said they thought it should be acceptable for “starter” purposes, like explaining a new concept or generating ideas for a paper. But the vast majority said that using a chatbot to write an entire paper should never be allowed. So this idea that students who’ve never cheated before are going to suddenly run amok and have AI write all of their papers appears unfounded.
But clearly a lot of students are cheating in the first place. Isn’t that a problem?
Pope: There are so many reasons why students cheat. They might be struggling with the material and unable to get the help they need. Maybe they have too much homework and not enough time to do it. Or maybe assignments feel like pointless busywork. Many students tell us they’re overwhelmed by the pressure to achieve — they know cheating is wrong, but they don’t want to let their family down by bringing home a low grade.
We know from our research that cheating is generally a symptom of a deeper, systemic problem. When students feel respected and valued, they’re more likely to engage in learning and act with integrity. They’re less likely to cheat when they feel a sense of belonging and connection at school, and when they find purpose and meaning in their classes. Strategies to help students feel more engaged and valued are likely to be more effective than taking a hard line on AI, especially since we know AI is here to stay and can actually be a great tool to promote deeper engagement with learning.
What would you suggest to school leaders who are concerned about students using AI chatbots?
Pope: Even before ChatGPT, we could never be sure whether kids were getting help from a parent or tutor or another source on their assignments, and this was not considered cheating. Kids in our focus groups are wondering why they can't use ChatGPT as another resource to help them write their papers — not to write the whole thing word for word, but to get the kind of help a parent or tutor would offer. We need to help students and educators find ways to discuss the ethics of using this technology and when it is and isn't useful for student learning.
Lee: There’s a lot of fear about students using this technology. Schools have considered putting significant amounts of money in AI-detection software, which studies show can be highly unreliable. Some districts have tried blocking AI chatbots from school wifi and devices, then repealed those bans because they were ineffective.
AI is not going away. Along with addressing the deeper reasons why students cheat, we need to teach students how to understand and think critically about this technology. For starters, at Stanford we’ve begun developing free resources to help teachers bring these topics into the classroom as it relates to different subject areas. We know that teachers don’t have time to introduce a whole new class, but we have been working with teachers to make sure these are activities and lessons that can fit with what they’re already covering in the time they have available.
I think of AI literacy as being akin to driver’s ed: We’ve got a powerful tool that can be a great asset, but it can also be dangerous. We want students to learn how to use it responsibly.
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College of Law
Leadership in Legal Writing
In 1989, Nancy Jones founded the Writing Center at Iowa Law. It was the first writing resource center in the country to be housed in a law school and devoted exclusively to the law school community. Jones, an influential figure in legal writing support and education, led the center for more than 30 years before retiring in 2020.
Following Jones’ retirement, Dawn Anderson (95JD, 18EdS), a longtime Legal Analysis, Writing & Research (LAWR) professor, assumed leadership. The center continues to build on its rich history as it grows to fit the needs of today’s law students.
As Anderson stepped into a leadership role at the center, she and others examined how to increase collaboration between LAWR professors and the writing center. The outcome was the hire of two new LAWR professors, expanding the dedicated writing faculty to six. The center also changed its name to the Writing and Academic Success Center to reflect its expansion and added resources.
“We realized there was a synergy between writing and academic success. In fact, writing is simply a subset of the academic skills students need to succeed. Hence, the Writing and Academic Success Center was born,” said Anderson.
The center is a centralized hub for student support. It offers one-on-one consultations with writing specialists, feedback on written work, and workshops designed to address specific writing and academic challenges that many law students face.
Recent enhancements include extended office hours, a balanced blend of online and in-person appointments, and a new Tuesday Talk About It series covering all topics related to academic success from critical reading strategies to exam prep. It also has a series of Legal Writing Shorts: bite-sized presentations on legal writing topics like organizing legal writing, presenting analysis effectively, and writing concisely. The center has also expanded the number of tutors from two to eleven, ensuring adequate assistance during peak semester periods.
In addition, the College of Law introduced a new course to support writing center tutors. Advanced Legal Writing equips students with the skills to teach writing and editing and effectively serve as peer tutors.
“Students sometimes find peer tutors less threatening, so they will go to them for help when they might not reach out to the professor,” Anderson said. “Peer tutoring can also reduce the stigma associated with asking for assistance.”
Upcoming changes to the Boyd Law Building will also help support the center, including a remodel to enhance its space overlooking the Iowa River and new technology for advanced writing workshops and writing support for upper-level students.
By the Numbers:
Additional resources and greater tutor availability have led to a steady increase in the number of appointments with the center over the past three years.
Writing Center Appointments (Totals by academic years)