The Habits of Handwriting

Handwriting Analysis

Characteristics of Handwriting

A person's handwriting and writing technique can tell forensic experts more about that person than most people would think. Handwriting shows unique qualities and characteristics that help distinguish one person's handwriting from another. The 12 types of handwriting characteristics include: line quality, spacing, size consistency, continuous, connecting letters, letters complete, cursive and printed letters, pen pressure, slant, line habits.

The Three classes of handwriting: letter form, line form, and formatting.

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting."-Ralph Waldo Emerson

12 Individual Characteristics of Handwriting

As seen in pages 280-282 of the book, there are 12 main handwriting characteristics that QDE look at in order to make accurate assumptions about evidence. They are:

-Line Quality (do the letters flow or are they shaky?)

-Spacing (are letters equally spaced or crowded?)

-Size Consistency (is the ratio of height to width consistent?)

-Continuous (is the writing continuous or does the writer lift the pen?)

-Connecting Letters (are capitals and lower-case letters connected and continuous?)

-Letters Compete (are letters completely formed? or, is a part of the letter missing?)

-Cursive and printed letters (are there printed letters, cursive letters, or both?)

-Pen Pressure (is pressure equal when applied to upward and downward strokes?)

-Slant (left, right, or variable?)

-Line Habits (is the text on the line, above the line, or below the line?)

In Conclusion..

The goal of forensic handwriting analysis is to find answers to questions about certain suspicious evidence (letters, ransom notes, etc) and determine the authenticity as well as the author. In order to become a good QDE, you must identify the 12 characteristics of handwriting as well as the three classes of handwriting. If you keep a sharp eye, you might catch a criminal and have it "in writing." :)