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While people often choose to write notes and documents using word processing programs, sometimes you'll need to write notes and letters freehand on a piece of paper. Some experts even analyze handwritten notes to determine a person's personality. It's fairly simple to follow the lines on ruled paper, but if you're trying to write on plain, unlined copy or printing paper, it's a little more difficult to keep your words straight on the page.

Use a Ruler

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One simple way to write properly on a sheet of unlined paper is to use a standard desktop ruler. Line the left side of the ruler up with the left edge of the paper and position it where you want to start writing on the page. Leave the ruler in place and use it as a guide to keep your line straight. When you're done writing the line, measure 1/2 to 1 inch below that line and place a tiny mark there with a pencil. Then line up the ruler again and use it as a guide to write your second line. Continue doing this all the way down the unlined page. You'll have to go back over your written lines to add the bottom half of letters that need to go below the line -- like the letters "y" and "g."

Place Lined Paper Underneath

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If you must write your note on unlined paper, use a sheet of lined paper as a guide to keep your writing straight. Pull out a piece of lined paper from a composition book or your three-ring binder. Choose from wide or college ruled that has a thinner line height. Place the lined paper underneath the printing paper and line up the edges. Turn on a lamp so that you can see the lines clearly under the top page. Use the lines you see under the unlined paper to follow a straight path while you write.

Use the First Line as a Guideline

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As another alternative, you can take special care to write the very first line of your note as straight as possible, then use it as a guideline. Take your time and write the first line as close to the very top of the page as possible so that you can follow the top edge of the paper as a guide. If possible, write on a dark-colored table so that you can clearly see the top edge of the light-colored paper as you write. After you finish writing the first line on the unlined paper, you'll find it easier to write the rest of your note almost perfectly straight across the page.