Recent IELTS Essay: Handwriting Skills for Children

Below is a recently reported essay question with some useful ideas. Read through the ideas and learn any new vocabulary.

Some people think that it is important to teach children the skill of handwriting.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Reasons in Support of Children Learning Handwriting Skills

  • handwriting is a basic tool in many subjects, for example doing tests, taking notes and writing homework.
    • poor handwriting skills or illegible writing can have negative effects on school performance
  • learning handwriting is linked to learning to spell, basic reading and grammar
    • these are basic and fundamental requirements for any school child
  • good handwriting skills should be taught at an early age to form good habits as it is essential later in life
    • in some situations it is better to write by hand rather than type
  • there is a link between cognition and writing by hand
    • children learn better when they are forced to write something by hand

Other Ideas

  •  teaching children how to touch-type would be more useful
    • being proficient in the use of modern technological devices by touch typing is essential for the future
  • focusing on handwriting which is less relevant today, is a waste of time for children
    • time could be better spent on developing other useful skills and knowledge
  • handwriting is linked to learning to spell but spell check is a function that all computers have
    • therefore less time should be spent focusing on this
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Comments

  1. Ms Liz
    im weak in enlish ,specially academic writing task 1 and 2.despite knowing all grammar.it is to much difficult for me using paasive in writing.
    can u tell me how can i improve myself as a good writer….

  2. Hi Liz,
    Could you please advise me on this essay. Can I get band 7 for it? I don’t know which area I should improve my writing, thank you so much Liz.
    It is thought by some that children should be taught to write rather than just be good at touch-typing. In my opinion, I support that idea because I believe that handwriting is very important for all literary people, especially for children even though they are living in the computer era.
    Firstly, handwriting is an essential skill for all pupils who are attending primary to high schools. This is because there are a number of areas in which the schools require them to use their handwriting ability such as taking notes, doing tests and writing homework. If the children were not able to write or wrote but poorly, they might not get the desired results regardless of their good understanding of the subjects, which in turn influence their overall performance.
    Secondly, learning something by writing it down enable most people to understand more deeply and remember longer. Take for example children who are studying mathematics. Learning math requires the learners to understand the formulas which can be complicate. If the children learnt a formula by writing it down and then analyzing each of its parts, they would be able to understand it more clearly than those who did not.
    Last but not least, handwriting is also an important skill in later life. There are many situations in reality with which people need to deal by using their handwriting skills such as writing their personal names at bank or completing a form. Those who are able to do these well when necessary are more effective than those who are not and just type all the times.
    In conclusion, children should practice writing by hand at early age because this skill enables them to study well at school and is vital in their future. Parents and teachers ought to help kindergartens and young pupils practice frequently to ensure the skill is competent to them after the first years of school life.

  3. Huyen Nguyen says:

    Hi Liz,

    For the question “to what extent do you agree or disagree”, do it really necessary to mention the “extent” in thesis statement such as “partly”, “totally”, “strongly”? Can I just state “I agree” or “I disagree” in my statement?

    • No, you can just state what your opinion is. You don’t actually need to use the words “partially” or “totally”. See my model essays on the writing task 2 page.
      All the best
      Liz

  4. Hi Liz,
    Could you please check my essay on this topic? Thank you.

    In today’s society, people are increasing likely to rely on typing words by computers to deal with daily issues. This growing trend arouses the debate on the importance of learning handwriting skill at an early age. In this essay, I will present my reasons why I strong support the view that it is significant to educate children writing by hand.
    One reason for this is that handwriting is a basic tool for study. Young students not only need to acquire academic knowledge by listening to the lectures, but also need to make notes, do homework, and take tests. Most of these should be performed by hand written. Poor handwriting could result in negative effects on the performance. For example, an illegible handwritten answer might confuse the reader and cause misunderstanding; therefore, legible work is graded more favorable than messier counterparts.
    A further reason is that there is a link between golden career opportunity and beautiful handwriting. It is socially acceptable that a person, who could manage proper handwriting skill is always welcome as a well-educated and decent one. Although this view might be biased to some extent, indeed it works commonly. For instance, job applicants with excellent hand written resume in the labor market, tend to be easier to have ideal jobs on all occasions. It is benefited from their skilled handwriting style, which enhances good impression to recruiters, so they are expected to have more opportunities to win particular positions.
    In conclusion, I agree that it is very consequential for children to learn handwriting skill, because it could help them to succeed in both academic performance and future.

    Liz, my teacher said I have actually changed the topic completely,”the question doesnt ask you the benefit of a good hand written skill”, I dont think so . In my opinion, I support the view that handwriting is important to children,so I need to present the benefits of what the children could get from hand writing.
    In addition, my teacher changed some words, for example, in the first paragraph, he used : I will argue why I strong support the view that it is …..(but some teacher said it can be “I will present my reasons,..”). In the second paragraph, he used: One ‘argument’for this is , instead of mine”one reason for this…” However, I checked another book, it is said the correct one is “one reason for this …”

    …..I am so confused…could you please help me with it?

    Thank you .

    Elsa

    • You don’t have to state in the body paragraphs “I will argue why I support…” or “I will present my opinions” because you should already have given your opinion in the introduction. The body paragraphs just explain your main points “Firstly, one reason why handwriting …”. So your writing method for body paragraphs is fine. Although it must be said that your teacher’s method is not wrong, it just isn’t vital. These are all minor differences which will not change your score one way or the other way.

      The best way to your a thesis statement for an opinion essay is “In my opinion, I agree that children should be taught …”. You don’t need to tell the examiner what the essay will do, you need to give your answer “do you agree or disagree?”.
      All the best
      Liz

      • Liz,

        Thank you so much! I feel that I could have a better sleep tonight….. I was scored 5 by my teacher so ….

        Thank you so much.

        I think your teaching method is so useful, and I want to steal some of your ideas ha ha ~ if you dont mind….

        Thanks a gain.

        Have a lovely day,

        Elsa
        from AUSTRALIA

  5. I was not paying attention, but I do see your point. As my command in English is average, I struggle with paraphrasing the question and don’t usually get a natural paraphrased sentence. I re-phrased the question while avoiding using the paraphrased sentence that you suggested (to improve my self).

    According to some people, Handwriting is an essential skill to be taught to children.In my opinion, I completely agree that children should be taught to master the handwriting skills.

    Hand writng is a crucial skill that is immensely helpful in studies. Even though computers are used in different capacities in today’s world, they are not entirely utilized for studies. Students are still expected to take handwritten notes when necessary and most exams are still hand written. In fact, clear hand writing is a prerequisite to do well in exams. Furthermore, being able to write well will help when taking notes of lectures or classroom subjects , later in student life. Also, it is common for some people to understand complicated theories or sentences , when re-written by hand.

    Secondly , learning hand writing helps develop certain brain processes of a child. It is proven by leading scientists that hand writing improves a child’s fine motoring skills. To explain further, the brain controls how the fingers and hands perform sensitive tasks such as writing or drawing based on vision and it is proven that that hand writing helps improve such brain related coordinating processes. It is also said that handwriting helps cognitive processes in a child and improves a child’s patience.

    In the present world dominated by computers many people believe that teaching handwriting to children is a meaningless effort and that skills such as touch typing are more important. However in my opinion, hand writing is a very important skill for children to master.

    • I meant to say that I Now see your point. As my command in english is not that great, I do struggle to come up with a naturally paraphrased sentenced and in this instance ,got it completely wrong.

      • Sorry Liz, I typed above comments mistakenly, as new comments even though it’s related to a previous question. I have now re-entered this in the appropriate thread.

  6. Hi Liz ,

    Following is my response to the essay topic.

    I’m not at all happy with it and have seen areas that seriously needs improving. However, I would really appreciate if you could please have a look at it and let me know your thoughts.

    I read a few of your ideas before starting to write, however , this was written in 40 mins.

    here goes….

    It is believed by some people that teaching children to master handwriting is a meaningless effort in today’s world which is totally dominated by computers. In my opinion, I completely agree that children should be trained to master hand writing as early as possible.

    Hand writng is a crucial skill that is immensely helpful in studies. Eventhough computers are used in different capacities in today’s world, they are not entirely utilised for studies. Students are still expected to take handwritten notes when necessary and most exams are still hand written. Furthermore, clear hand writing is a prerequisite to do well in exams.
    Therefore, it benefits a child to learn and master writing skills at a young age. Being able to write well will also help when taking notes of lectures or classroom subjects , later in student life. Also, it is common for some people to understand complicated theories or sentences , when re-written by hand.

    Secondly , learning hand writing helps develop certain brain processes of a child. It is proven by leading scientists that hand writing improves a child’s fine motoring skills. To explain further, the brain controls how the fingers and hands perform sensitive tasks such as writing or drawing based on vision and it is proven that that hand writing helps improve such brain related coordinating processes. Handwriting also helps cognitive processes in a child. Handwriting also improves childs patience.

    In the present world dominated by computers many people believe that teaching handwriting to children is a meaningless effort and that skills such as touch typing are more important. However in my opinion, hand writing is a very important skill for children to master.

    • Yes, there are a few problems with this.

      Introduction: You’ve completely changed the essay question and written that people believe handwriting is “meaningless” and then you say you “agree” but in fact you don’t agree with the view you just gave. So confusing. Your background statement must paraphrase the essay question – not change it. “It is commonly thought that handwriting skills are essential for children to learn. In my opinion, I agree…” – now it makes sense.

      The other major problem is linking. You are either repeating linking or using inappropriate linking. You’re also repeating ideas. I’ve just made a few changes to your first body paragraph:

      “Hand writing is a crucial skill that is immensely helpful in studies. Even though computers are used in different capacities in today’s world, they are not entirely utilised for studies. Students are still expected to take handwritten notes when necessary and most exams are still hand written. In fact, clear hand writing is a prerequisite to do well in exams. Furthermore, being able to write well will also help when taking notes of lectures or classroom subjects , later in student life. Also, it is common for some people to understand complicated theories or sentences , when re-written by hand.”

      You’ve actually used the linking device “also” three times. Twice is was incredibly repetitive: “Handwriting also helps cognitive processes in a child. Handwriting also improves a child’s patience.”

      You need to review how to write an introduction properly. At no time should you confuse the reader in the introduction. Also make sure you are spending time planning your ideas before you write – I mean plan the supporting ideas too so that it is organised and thought out. Then review linking devices to ensure you are using the right ones.
      All the best
      Liz

      • Thanks a lot for taking time to evaluate my essay Liz and I’m sorry to trouble you over and over. My mother tongue is not English and to make matters worse , I have not seriously written anything by hand for a long while…. hence, I’m finding it really hard to write the ideas that form in my head. I feel I have improved after writing essays after essays but I’m looking for serious inspiration to motivate my self.

        I have made a few changes to the essay , and I did mean to disagree with the statement in my T.statement , but failed to do so in the rush. I do plan my essay as much as I can, by brainstorming ideas then by grouping the ideas into 2 -3 possible paras, with a topic sentence each. However, I seem to over explain. I also fear that I do not explain my ideas enough.
        ” clear hand writing is a prerequisite to do well in exams.Therefore, it benefits a child to learn and master writing skills at a young age” is written as a result of such fears.

        I re-wrote the essay as you suggested. Would you be able to give it another look?I’m really sorry to bother.

        It is believed by some people that teaching children to master handwriting is a meaningless effort in today’s world which is totally dominated by computers. In my opinion, I completely disagree with the above statement and believe that children should be trained to master hand writing as early as possible.

        Hand writng is a crucial skill that is immensely helpful in studies. Even though computers are used in different capacities in today’s world, they are not entirely utilized for studies. Students are still expected to take handwritten notes when necessary and most exams are still hand written. In fact, clear hand writing is a prerequisite to do well in exams. Furthermore, being able to write well will help when taking notes of lectures or classroom subjects , later in student life. Also, it is common for some people to understand complicated theories or sentences , when re-written by hand.

        Secondly , learning hand writing helps develop certain brain processes of a child. It is proven by leading scientists that hand writing improves a child’s fine motoring skills. To explain further, the brain controls how the fingers and hands perform sensitive tasks such as writing or drawing based on vision and it is proven that that hand writing helps improve such brain related coordinating processes. It is also said that handwriting helps cognitive processes in a child and improves a child’s patience.

        In the present world dominated by computers many people believe that teaching handwriting to children is a meaningless effort and that skills such as touch typing are more important. However in my opinion, hand writing is a very important skill for children to master.

        • The main problem is that you haven’t paraphrased the essay question – you’ve changed it. The essay question does not say it is “meaningless” to learn handwriting skills. It says that it is important to learn handwriting. You must not change the essay question in your background statement. So your statement It is believed it is meaningless” is completely wrong. Look again at the essay question and write it again with the same meaning.
          Liz

          • Oops .. did not publish this in the correct thread sorry.

            I Now see your point. As my command in english is not that great, I do struggle to come up with a naturally paraphrased sentenced and in this instance ,got it completely wrong.

            According to some people, Handwriting is an essential skill to be taught to children.In my opinion, I completely agree that children should be taught to master handwriting skills as It is beneficial to the child.

            Hand writing is a crucial skill that is immensely helpful in studies. Even though computers are used in different capacities in today’s world, they are not entirely utilized for studies. Students are still expected to take handwritten notes when necessary and most exams are still hand written. In fact, clear hand writing is a prerequisite to do well in exams. Furthermore, being able to write well will help when taking notes of lectures or classroom subjects , later in student life. Also, it is common for some people to understand complicated theories or sentences , when re-written by hand.

            Secondly , learning hand writing helps develop certain brain processes of a child. It is proven by leading scientists that hand writing improves a child’s fine motoring skills. To explain further, the brain controls how the fingers and hands perform sensitive tasks such as writing or drawing based on vision and it is proven that that hand writing helps improve such brain related coordinating processes. It is also said that handwriting helps cognitive processes in a child and improves a child’s patience.

            In the present world dominated by computers many people believe that teaching handwriting to children is a meaningless effort and that skills such as touch typing are more important. However in my opinion, hand writing is a very important skill for children to master.

  7. Cristianne Del Valle says:

    Hi Liz,

    This is my answer for this WT2 question. If you have the time can you pls grade my writing? I will take my IELTS on March 14. And I am desperate to have a grade of 7 in all subtests!!!

    There are many skills that a child should learn. One of these is handwriting. And I agree that it is essential to practice handwriting at an early stage.

    Education plays a huge part in a person’s life. Many say that it is the only fortune an individual can have throughout his life that nobody can steal. Part of this learning is the skill in handwriting. As early as four years old, children are taught in school how to write their full name, age and trace the alphabeth letters. Moreover, it is at such time a child is the best to teach. Because pre-shoolers do this out of innocence and do their best to develop such skill. Furthermore, as a kid grows and practice handwriting techniques, he is able to do creative things such giving sweet cards to his parents with drawings in it. Also, at an early age, children will appreciate writing poems, essays or even short stories they imagine in their creative minds. Thus, it is important to teach children handwriting so they can be nurtured and bring out the talent as they age.

    Even so, a child can be a jounalist someday. One can impact lives by writing sensible stories such as news from around the world. Another this is that, one can be a blogger, to write about the new trends in fashion, food and travels. They will be able to apply what they learned at a very young age as they become older. Moreover, their handwriting skills can go far as they have imagined. A child can be a famous author. Hence, to be able to write novels that could touch many people from different places.

    Therefore, it is very important that handwriting skill be taught at an early age as this can bring the child to a better future adn be able to write many inspiring words to inspire many lives.

    • Cristianne Del Valle says:

      Hello Liz,

      Thank you so much for your feedback. I will do some more practice and my best to remember your instructions!

      I will post more of my answers and I hope my writing will improve eventually.

  8. Hi Liz,

    Thanks for the good work you provide for us.

    Please, i’d like to know more about writting task 1 and task 2 of the general trainning exam. if u dont mind, can you put up some writting samples for it? it will be fine.

    I’d also like to know, between the Academic and General training exam, which is more easier to pass?
    Thanks for reading.

    • Hi,

      Here’s a link to the lessons I have put on writing task 1 for the GT paper: http://ieltsliz.com/tag/letter/. I will put more lessons up over time. For the writing task 2 of the GT paper, it is basically the same as the academic paper. The only difference is that the essay questions are often slightly easier. So all the lessons on writing task 1 are the same for the GT and academic paper.

      The general training paper has an easier reading paper and the writing is also easier because task 1 is a simple letter, which is very formulaic, and the essay is only slightly easier. The speaking and listening are the same. However, it if you are applying for universities, they will not accept the GT paper. You choice will depend on your aims which you must check.

      All the best
      Liz

  9. Thanks Danny – I’ve transferred it to the post exam questions page for all students to find 🙂
    Hope you get good results 🙂
    Liz

  10. Hi thank you very much . It is very clear now .

  11. Kawther Tolba says:

    thank you Miss Liz for your concern and reply to all questions

  12. Hi please answer my quastion regarding the essay and if you can add more tips for writing task2 thank you

    • Hi,

      Check my response to your question. Yes, I’ll make more tips for task 2 writing but it will take time.
      All the best
      Liz

  13. I think Sahar meant with ‘both’ as can she write both agreement and disagreement with question statement?

    All the best,
    Anas

  14. Dear Ms Liz, Actually “write my opinion only or both” means that we have to elaborate only one side or both side. I mean to answer agree or disagree questions we need to stick only with agree or disagree throughout the essay or one para for agree another for disagree. thank you

  15. I mean that agree and disagree thank you

  16. Eyad (john) says:

    I used to use it in all my essays without giving attention to the statement background, by now , I surely understand it more.Thank you so mucb Ms Liz.

  17. Thank you Liz,
    You’re all IELTS tips are very helpful . I’m getting better than before.

  18. Eyad (john) says:

    Ms Liz ,
    Can I develop my essay based on this introduction :
    It is true that improving the writing ability of children is necessary in their life.
    While I agree that it is vital to teach kids how to use their handwriting effectively, I also think that they should learn typing on their computers , too.

    • Hi,

      For an introduction, you need a background statement which paraphrases the statement in the essay title – so you can’t write “it is true …” because it isn’t. You need to start with “It is often believed that …” or something similar. Your thesis statement is clear with a good opinion given. However, please remember that the word “kids” is not academic. You need to use “children”.
      Regards
      Liz

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