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How To Write A Cursive Lowercase z | Science Trends
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How To Write A Cursive Lowercase z

Have you ever wondered how to write a cursive lowercase “z”? Below you’ll learn some interesting facts about cursive, as well as how to write a cursive lowercase “z”.

How To Write A Cursive Lowercase Z

Photo: Photo: Roberto94, URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sv-cursive-small-letter-z.jpg, Public Domain

You can write a cursive lowercase “z” by picking a point that originates about a quarter of the way above the line you are writing. Draw an arc that goes up and to the right, hitting the halfway point of the writing margin above you and then moving back downwards. You’ll then draw a small loop coming off of this arc and heading to the left where it will then loop back up and around before following a path down below the bottom of the line you are writing on. This line will continue downwards for aways and make a tight turn to the left, where it will then head back up and to the right. You’ll finish by drawing the tail of the “z” flowing off and to the right as it moves back above the bottom of the writing line.

Facts About Cursive Writing

The typical rationale for learning how to write in cursive is that writing cursive makes writing easier and faster. When one is writing in print, one needs to lift their writing implement many more times as compared to writing in cursive, thanks to cursive’s joints in-between letters. Cursive letters have a flowing format that enables quick and more efficient writing. In general, cursive letters are joined together, though there are certain variations of cursive that can include more spaces in-between letters. Cursive is frequently referred to as longhand or script, in addition to cursive.  Looped cursive, ligature cursive, and italic cursive are all different subtypes of cursive.

Ligature cursive is a subtype of cursive which where an individual rarely has to lift their writing tool at all, thanks to connections between the ends and beginnings of letters. Italic cursive is different from standard cursive in that it features very few looped joints, with no joint existing between the letters Y, J, Q, and G in italic cursive. Italic cursive was used primarily during the Renaissance in Italy, which is where the term italic cursive originates. Be aware that this is different from italic characters in typed fonts, with that version of italic meaning that the letters are slanted. The standard cursive that most people are aware of is called looped cursive, and it has both ascenders and descenders which have their own special loops that join together letters.

Photo: By Edward C. Mills – Questioned documents by Osborn, Albert Sherman 1910, Chapter XI Systems of Writing and Questioned Documents, page 178, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54886243

The term cursive is thought to be derived from the word “corsivo”, a medieval Latin word meaning “running” or ” to run”. While the form of cursive that is used in America today has existed since the time of the American colonies, different types of connected letter systems have existed all throughout history. Some Roman forms of writing used a connected script, and connected script also featured prominently in Arabic writing. In Western Europe during the mid-17th century, cursive saw an emergence as a new form of writing, becoming the new standard for writing the English language over the course of the next century.

Just as print has different standards for writing, such as different fonts and standardizations, cursive also has different standardized versions. The D’Nealian script is the most commonly used type of cursive script in the United States today. The Palmer method is an older method of teaching cursive, and it was adapted to create the current style of cursive instruction. Originally developed by the schoolteacher Donald Thurber in 1978, the goal of the D’Nelian cursive instruction style is to facilitate the learning of both cursive and print by making transitions between the two easier.

According to Thurber previous cursive instruction methods made learning cursive difficult for children, with major changes between how print was taught and how cursive was taught. The D’Nealian script may or may not actually facilitate easier cursive instruction, as a research review conducted by Stephen Graham found that there was little to no evidence that the D’Nealian script made a substantive difference in children’s writing.

Is Learning/Teaching Cursive Still Necessary?

The use of cursive has been constantly affected by innovations in technology throughout history. The invention of the ballpoint pen was one of the major technological disruptions that led to a decline in cursive handwriting. One of the primary reasons for using cursive was that it made writing with ink quills easier, as one wouldn’t have to lift their quill as often to dip the quill. As ballpoint pens became cheaper and easier to produce, and more reliable, the necessity of writing in cursive began to decline. Later inventions, such as the typewriter, keyboard, and the computer pushed the decline of cursive even further.

Throughout the 50s and early 60s, schools across the United States adopted new ways to teach cursive to students. Nowadays, many argue that teaching cursive is a waste of instruction time and that cursive is an unnecessary skill considering how much communication is done through digital formats. Many teachers, educational analysts, and school districts have found cursive to be a dying art, on the way out in modern society. Back in 2007, it was found that although around 90% of third-graders and half of second graders had been taught cursive, only around 15% of students who took the SAT wrote their answers down in cursive. The proliferation of digital communication throughout the early 2000s and 2010s has had substantial effects on the teaching of cursive, with states like Hawaii and Indiana choosing to no longer mandate cursive instruction within their school curriculums. Instead, these states have pushed keyboard proficiency as a replacement for cursive.

Many important historical documents are written in cursive, and one argument for the preservation of cursive in school curriculums is that inability to read cursive would make it difficult for future historians to understand or interpret the documents in their original form, “untranslated” into print. For this reason, although cursive may be dying out in school districts across the US, many historians and teachers have argued we shouldn’t be so quick to let go of cursive. However, while historians may have uses for learning cursive, it is argued that teaching cursive to the vast majority of students in the 21st century is of little utility.

Many school districts are reducing their investment in the study of cursive, and since 2010, 45 different states have adopted the common core standards of education. The common core standards of education leave cursive instruction up to individual states, rather than mandating cursive. Many states have chosen to do away with cursive instruction. Cursive instruction has been on a slow but steady decline, according to a report done by the Miami-Dade public school system. According to the report, investments in cursive instruction has been declining little by little since the 1970s, at least within US schools. That said, countries such as Finland have also chosen to withdraw cursive handwriting from their school curriculums.

Are There Benefits To Writing In Cursive?

Though cursive may have declined in popularity throughout the years, many school boards, parents, and teachers have argued that cursive should be kept in school curriculums, saying that learning cursive helps students develop legible, clear, handwriting in general. Beyond helping students develop their handwriting skills, it is argued that using cursive assists students in writing faster and reading better, as well as enhancing their understanding of the material they come into contact with. Indeed, there are some studies which examined the performance of students who take notes on laptops or tablets compared to students to take notes by hand, and these studies have seemingly found that students who take notes by hand have better comprehension and recall of the material overall.

However, it is possible that simply writing the material down, in any format, is what improves recall and comprehension. In other words, it could be that it is the act of physically writing something down with your hand, rather than writing in cursive that is responsible for the increased performance.

There are numerous arguments against keeping cursive in school curriculums across the United States. It is frequently argued that there is little evidence that cursive actually enhances understanding of the material, and reports of the benefits of cursive could simply be an instance of confirmation bias – an instance of attributing motor skill benefits or cognitive benefits to cursive, simply because cursive looks better and people want it to have associated cognitive benefits as well. It has also been argued that studies which have purported to find benefits associated with cursive have been either misrepresented and or misinterpreted, with the benefits of teaching cursive not as clear as its proponents claim.

Photo: Photo: AndrewBuck, URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cursive.svg. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International, 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

That said, some evidence really does seem to suggest that teaching cursive could help students read and write better, particularly in the case of students who have disabilities. Students with conditions such as dyslexia could benefit from learning cursive, as it may help them manage their condition.

Your personal feelings about the validity of cursive instruction aside, if your goal is to get better in cursive, there’s only one way to do this. You’ll get better at writing cursive by practicing. For this reason, you’ll want to procure yourself a list of cursive letters, then go through these letters one by one, practicing them until you are proficient in each of them. Soon, you’ll be able to easily join the cursive letters together and recall what each of the various letters looks like, both uppercase and lowercase.

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About The Author

Daniel obtained his BS and is pursuing a Master's degree in the science of Human-Computer Interaction. He hopes to work on projects which bridge the sciences and humanities. His background in education and training is diverse including education in computer science, communication theory, psychology, and philosophy. He aims to create content that educates, persuades, entertains and inspires.