WVMS Voice

The Student News Site of Welsh Valley Middle School

WVMS Voice

WVMS Voice

Why is Handwriting Still Not Graded?


Many times when writing assignments by hand, students tend to make their handwriting sloppy or quick to finish the assignment faster. When the handwriting is so messy that the writing is illegible, should points be deducted on the assignment? My answer is yes.

Messy handwriting may prove difficult for teachers to understand. When the words are small, too scratchy, or overall illegible, how would the teacher be able to understand and grade the assignment? To add on, teachers tend to give higher grades on assignments when the handwriting is neater. A study by American Educational Research Journal showed the teachers gave higher grades to the students with neater handwriting, no matter if the quality of the writing was the same. Therefore, teachers take into account the quality of the penmanship just as much as the quality of the actual work.

Another study published by Bar Ilan University found legible pen-written essays scored nearly 17% higher than messier essays of the same quality. Notice that Bar Ilan University only counted legible essays, if they counted illegible, I would say that the percentage would increase. A percentage that high can make all the difference from a pass to a fail. This problem would be easily solved with cleaner and more consistent handwriting. Not only is handwriting important in school, but also when applying for a job. The Indeed Career Guide says that neater and clean handwriting on a cover letter is memorable to an employer and can put you ahead of others wishing for that position.

The quality of the writing is very important in any assignment, but the penmanship is a close competitor. When writing fast, everybody is bound to make mistakes and errors in their writing, but a teacher should be able to read an essay or assignment without having to worry about a student’s words or handwriting. Having neat and legible handwriting would make the grading process so much easier for teachers, so when they are confronted with a student’s assignment with illegible handwriting, they should be able to deduct points or even fail a student. The student can then redo the assignment, with the same words, but with much better penmanship so that the teacher can then give them a fair grade.

With the right amount of effort we would be able to make assignments look cleaner, neater, and overall easier to read. The only way we can make this change is for teachers to start adding to an assignments rubric the quality of the students handwriting.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All WVMS Voice Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • M

    Mrs. BartholomewMay 16, 2024 at 9:28 am

    Great article, Eva! It’s very on point with recent studies that show a correlation between handwriting and brain power.