How to Improve Your Handwriting for Left-Handed People

Young child writing with her left hand.
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Children who write with their left hands discover that they need to make certain adjustments that right-handed people don't need to make. The adjustments aren't difficult, but southpaw kids need to hold the pencil and position the paper differently from kids who write with their right hands. Choose left-handed desks and left-handed spiral notebooks as a first step.

1 Paper Placement

Left-handed writers should place the paper at an angle that makes writing easier for them. Lay the paper on the table so the top of the sheet points to the right, at a slight angle -- about 20 degrees. This allows you to position your hand naturally, so you don’t need to “hook” your wrist to see what you are writing. Initially, this might seem uncomfortable, but it becomes natural with practice.

2 Posture and Pen Position

Sit with your back straight, rather than resting your head on the desk. Hold your body and pen correctly, because the movements a southpaw uses when writing are different from those for right-handed people, because you will push the pencil across the paper, rather than pulling it. Hold your pencil about an inch from the tip, resting it on the first section of your middle finger and gripping it loosely with your index finger and thumb. Keep your wrist straight and your elbow bent at a right angle to the top and bottom edges of the paper.

Pamela Martin has been writing since 1979. She has written newsletter articles and curricula-related materials. She also writes about teaching and crafts. Martin was an American Society of Newspaper Editors High School Journalism Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching in elementary education from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Arts in curriculum/instruction from the University of Missouri.