Freewrite, Trace or Type… Which is Better?

Maria Konnikova wrote, “Not every expert is persuaded that the long-term benefits of handwriting are as significant as all that.” I personally believe that handwriting has more benefit to a person than typing. My statistics professor only gives us an online format for notes, but instead of typing them like the majority of the class I handwrite them. I download them onto my Surface and write out all the key points addressed, even if it is already typed out for us. When it comes time for a test I pull out those notes and a notebook and begin to rewrite the notes word for word. Ever since I was learning how to spell this has been the best way for me to learn. So, Konnikova has not necessarily persuaded me into believing that handwriting is significant, but she has helped enforce my belief. When she provided quotes by Dehaene where he stated, “There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation in your brain”, it reinforced that our brain has to think and process more information when writing. The more one’s brain is stimulated the more likely they are to remember it (based on knowledge from previous classes taken), thus handwriting appears to be the better option. Then she mentions a study done, by Dr. James, where children who had to write letter free form had a more engaged brain than those who did not. Again, reinforcing the concept that the more one writes on their own, the more likely to activate their brain in a way that will reinforce what they want or needs to know. Overall, I do not plan on changing my habits based off of this article as I handwrite my notes, but I may try writing them in cursive (like the end of the article suggest, it may activate a different part of the brain) to see if it helps enforce what I am learning more than writing in print twice.

Now, I am about to write a research paper about the effectiveness of handwriting in learning. This will most likely be a source within that paper. It is from the “New York Times” which is a source that is trying to make money from users, but they try to establish ethos with their readers and tend to vet their information thoroughly before publishing. Thus, it leads me to believe it is still a valid source to use in a general information source. This article was written just about two years ago so, it is definitely current enough to also keep its validity. Konnikova also quotes several established and professional people within the piece with validated studies which adds to the credibility of herself and the piece. Her hyperlinks also send us directly to those sources making it easy for the reader to validate all of the information she is providing us with. This piece also seems to encourage the use of handwriting; something I need to keep in mind while using it. Most of the information provided gives me a basic knowledge to help explain the context to a reader, which is always an extremely helpful piece of any paper. This is a nice source and I cannot wait to use it.


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