Me no write gud: Where can I find a certain paper, and how can I learn to write like a grown-up? (details inside)
September 17, 2009 9:17 AM   Subscribe

Bad Pen-me-ship Filter: I'd like to find a version of college ruled paper that has the faint middle line to keep me on track with letter formation. I'd really like the college ruled because it always looks funny when I am in a management meeting writing on first grader's training paper.

I need your help to find college-ruled paper that has a faint middle line that will help me to keep my lower-case letters tame. I have trouble reading my own writing, and have used the many technique with repeating letters to change it. I can't ever seem to get a "grown-up" writing style, and write the same as I did as a child. So this might be a two parter, and I didn't find anything in previous threads that answered either.

Part 1: Do you know of a college-ruled paper that has the faint middle line as a guide that I can either buy or download the template for? Do you know how I could try to make one in Excel?

Part 2: How can I find my grown-up writing style? I still sign my name in awful big loopy cursive letters that I picked up in third grade.

Thank you so much in advance for your help. I love my mefi-friends.
posted by Draccy to Education (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'd really like the college ruled because it always looks funny when I am in a management meeting writing on first grader's training paper.

Nobody notices this. I use graph paper in meetings, and the only time anyone notices is when they need to borrow a piece.

If you're really picky, you can have pads of paper made quite inexpensively at any real print shop. They'll even print the lines in a very faded blue or gray or whatever you like, at whatever dimensions you like.

It's expensive for 2 pads, yes. But get 200 and it's almost no different than buying normal ones at the Office Depot. They last forever, after all.
posted by rokusan at 9:19 AM on September 17, 2009

I don't know of anything pre-made, but you could always check for a print-yourself template over at Printable Paper. Ah, they have penmanship templates.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:20 AM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]

I will print out paper with really dark lines, half a space off from my college-ruled, on my printer. Then I slip mine underneath, and they appear faintly through the page to guide my script. Bonus is that you can pull out pieces of the college ruled and give them to people and they'll never know you used a guide. :) Cheap, easy.
posted by mccn at 9:45 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You can also use a clipboard to clip a piece of lined, college ruled paper behind and offset by 1/2 a line from the paper you're writing on. That way you can see the middle lines through the paper, but nobody else can either while you're writing or if they look at what you wrote later.

Also, yeah, graph paper is a good idea, get 5x5 and just write across 2 squares.
posted by brainmouse at 9:48 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My favorite, favorite pads of paper are these, with graph lines on the back that are dark enough to show faintly through the front -- but that aren't visible when the paper is copied. I started using it in college and now hate to use anything else. It really, really keeps my sometimes-awful handwriting in check, and helps keep my outlines nice and clean as well. it comes in various colors -- I use the white with brown lines -- and sometimes it's hard to find, which is when I make a trip to my campus bookstore and stock up. [The company who makes it also seems to have changed a couple of times, which makes it even harder to find online.]
posted by alynnk at 9:48 AM on September 17, 2009

I can’t find any good examples online, but I remember some notebooks in France that have faint red lines going down the middle, as well as some vertical lines – sort of like a wider celled spreadsheet.
posted by Think_Long at 9:56 AM on September 17, 2009

Alllllll kinds of printable papers can be found here, penmanship guide paper in the Writing and Note-taking section.
posted by illenion at 10:31 AM on September 17, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you so much for the awesome ideas! Any thoughts on learning to write like a big boy?
posted by Draccy at 11:11 AM on September 17, 2009

For Part 2: Slate had an article this week about a columnist's attempt to improve her own handwriting and help her daughter write like a grownup with the Barchowsky method- it looked interesting, and the before/after examples suggest it might actually work.
posted by charmedimsure at 11:15 AM on September 17, 2009 [3 favorites]

Regarding handwriting - if you want to just make your handwriting more readable, the simplest (and fastest) way would be to just switch to printing. You will find it a bit slow at first, but soon you will be up to the same speed. I take notes in lectures/talks in a half-printed, half-cursive way.

But if you actually want to improve your handwriting to be more elegant/professional-looking, then the best thing would be to go back to grade school and practice your cursive writing by copying out letters, then words. I've been tutoring an 8 year-old lately, so the shapes are fresh in my mind, but if you've forgotten them, here's a page with instructions for classic cursive (capitals, lowercase). It actually works best if you follow the exact stroke orders.

After you've mastered cursive, then start thinking about how to make it your own. Perhaps you would like a more angular style - lengthen your letters, narrow the circles. When I first mastered cursive, I thought my handwriting was too girly and childish, so I purposely developed a somewhat choppy cursive for myself by not following through on the connectors after some letters, like Js or fs, and introducing a few printed bits.
posted by jb at 6:53 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

alteratives, learn calligraphy, and then your handwriting will be stunning.
posted by jb at 6:54 PM on September 17, 2009

You totally and entirely want French Ruled paper. Lots of extra little lines to make your handwriting neat.

Clairfontaine is the only maker I really know who provides these sorts of notebooks, though, and they can be a little pricey. However, the paper is really nice and I would not consider it worth the money.
posted by that girl at 6:58 PM on September 17, 2009

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