Are you looking to learn how to perfectly write a cursive uppercase Q? This article will walk you through writing a cursive Q and address some facts about cursive in general.

There are multiple ways of writing in cursive Q depending on the font style, however, the following are the two most common ways of writing a cursive Q.

ADVERTISEMENT

How To Write A Cursive Q

The easiest way to write a cursive Q is to pick a point about a quarter way up from the line you are writing on and draw a semicircle that arcs up and to the right before coming back down. Now extend the downwards stroke to the very bottom of the line you are writing on and then bring the line left a little way, towards where you started the letter at. Quickly arc this line back towards the right, making a small loop that crosses the downwards stroke of the Q and finish by making a tail that heads to the right.

Another way of writing cursive Q is to start at the top line and draw a line heading down and to the left and then almost (but not quite) joining the line with itself after descending to the baseline and heading back up. Instead, the upwards stroke will curve down and to the left, just shy of the starting position. A second stroke will be made just above the bottom-center of this incomplete oval, and the tail will be created by pulling the second line slightly to the left, up, and then back right and down.

History Of Cursive

Photo: kyasarin via Pixabay, CC0

Print is the type of letters do you are reading right now, and in contrast cursive, frequently called script or longhand, features letters that are linked together. The advantage of linking letters together, and the usual argument for writing in cursive, is that it makes writing quicker and easier. Since the letters are joined together, they have more of a flow compared to print letters. The fact that they are joined means that you don’t have to lift your writing tool as often and as a result, the act of writing is much quicker. There are some types of cursive that do include more spaces or lists in between letters, but most forms of cursive have letters which are linked together. Looped cursive, ligature cursive, and italic cursive are all different forms of cursive.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ligature cursive is a form of cursive that has the ends of letters and the beginning of letters joined together with lines, even between words, and as a result the user of ligature cursive really has to pick up their writing implement at all. Ligatures see some common use in typefaces, but with the exception of ligature cursive handwriting rarely uses ligature. Another form of cursive is italic cursive, which has only a few joins. There are no joins between the letters Q, Y, J, and G, while a few other joins are permitted though typically discouraged. The term italic in this instance does not refer to the typeface being slanted, instead, the term originates with the fact that this type of cursive was used to write by citizens of Renaissance Italy. Finally, the last type of cursive is looped cursive. Looped cursive is the standard form of cursive, and when most people envision cursive they are envisioning looped cursive. Looped cursive has specific descenders and ascenders that bridge letters together along with unique loops.

It is thought that the word cursive purchasing comes from a Latin word meaning “running” or “to run”, the word “corsivo”. Various societies throughout history have utilized some type of connected letter writing. As an example, Arabic writing systems have used some form of connected script, and Roman writing systems did as well. The cursive that we use today probably developed in Western Europe during the 16th seven sugary to mid-17th century. Although cursive wasn’t widespread in use at this point, various forms of cursive were probably invented during this time span. Around the mid-17th century, cursive use spread across the countries in the British Empire, and the second half of the 17th century, as well as the 18th century, saw cursive become standardized and even more popular in the British Empire. The type of cursive that is used by the United States can be traced back to the days of the American colonies, and it hasn’t changed very much since the days of the 19th century in the United States.

The type of cursive used in the United States today is the D’Nealian script which was developed by a primary school teacher named Donald Thurber in 1978. This script was derived from the Palmer method, another method of cursive handwriting instruction. According to Thurber, he developed the script because the Palmer method and other methods of teaching children to write made transitioning to cursive difficult, and his goal was to create a system which made learning both cursive and print easier to learn. It isn’t clear if the D’Nealian script style and instructional method has actually made learning cursive easier, as a 1993 research review conducted by Steve Graham failed to find any evidence that the use of the instruction style actually made a difference in the development of children’s writing over the long-term.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cursive Is Changing

In recent years, the usage of cursive has experienced a decline. This decline was driven in large part by the increasing availability and adoption of digital methods of communication, but this is the first time that cursive has experienced a decline in usage. Cursive has constantly been affected by the development of new technology, even the invention of the ballpoint pen affected how often cursive was used. One of the primary reasons cursive was adopted in the first place was that when cursive was created writing was done with quills and ink. Cursive writing made writing with quills easier because of the fact that the letters are joined together and one didn’t have to lift their quill and redip it in ink as often thanks to these joins. Yet as ballpoint pens became more ubiquitous and more reliable, the necessity writing in cursive began to decline. The decline of cursive would continue with the development of the typewriter, and then later the keyboard and computer.

Photo: amandajtruscott via Pixabay, CC0

Indeed, in the 21st century, many argue that cursive is a dying art and that it is an unnecessary skill to teach schoolchildren, a waste of valuable instruction time. States like Indiana and Hawaii, though they once mandated instruction in cursive, have dropped cursive requirements from states curriculums although the decision is left up to individual schools. Many of the schools are choosing instead to focus on teaching keyboard proficiency. Even during the first decade of the 2000s, only about 15% of students wrote their answers to their SATs in cursive, despite the fact that around 2007 approximately half of all second graders and 90% of third-graders received instruction in cursive. Instruction in cursive has continued to decrease in the intervening years.

Since the beginning of the decade, over 40 different states in the US have adopted the common core education standards. These standards leave the teaching of cursive up to the individual states, and many of these states have chosen to forego teaching cursive. A report done by the Miami-Dade public school system finds that since the 1970s, the number of schools spending time on cursive instruction has declined. This decline is can even be seen in other countries such as Finland.

Although cursive instruction has dropped off in the 21st century, cursive is still argued for by many historians and teachers. Arguments in favor of teaching cursive include the argument that many important historical documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, are written in cursive and those future historians will not be able to read these documents in their original form if they aren’t instructed in cursive. Opponents of teaching cursive argue that while historians may have uses for cursive, for the average person in the 21st century learning cursive is an unnecessary investment.

Photo: ludi via pixabay, CC0

Arguments for keeping cursive in school curriculums include the argument that cursive helps children develop legible, clear handwriting in general, and that it doesn’t merely let students write faster, but the system and actually enhances their language skills and assists them in understanding the material they encounter. As evidence, some studies have compared students who take notes by hand to those who take notes using a laptop or these days. The results of these studies find that students who take notes by hand have better recall of the material as well as improved comprehension.

Counterarguments state that it isn’t clear writing in cursive is what is responsible for the improves recall and comprehension, rather it is possible that the act of writing something in a physical format improves understanding, no matter if it is written in print or cursive. The attribution of the perceived benefits of material comprehension and improve motor skills could be an instance of confirmation bias, it is argued, benefits attributed to cursive simply because cursive looks better.

Other arguments against keeping cursive in schools say that many studies which have claimed to find associations between writing cursive and better understanding or recall of material have been either misinterpreted or misrepresented. This said, there does seem to be some evidence that students with disabilities, particularly dyslexia, could benefit from learning cursive as it may strengthen their ability to read and write and treat their condition.

If you wish to get better at writing cursive, the only way to do so is by practicing, regardless of how you feel about whether or not cursive is a valid use of school instruction. You should start out by getting a list of both lowercase and uppercase cursive letters and practicing every letter one by one until you are proficient in writing all them and can join the full letters together quickly and easily.

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.