Should Handwriting Be Slanted? [Spoiler: It Depends]

Everyone develops a unique style of handwriting early on in life. One of the most notable differences in handwriting styles is the slope of the letters. According to handwriting experts, the direction that one’s handwriting slants is one of the many indicators of personality that is embedded into each handwriting style. So should writing be slanted, and which way is better?

There is no rule regarding whether handwriting should be slanted. Handwriting slant is formed naturally, and most people haven’t been taught any particular slant. The slope of a person’s writing is thought to reflect aspects of their personality but can be affected by which hand is dominant.

Whether there is a more correct slant when writing is a matter of debate. An entire field of study known as graphology is dedicated to analyzing personality by studying handwriting style. The slant of your handwriting may be saying more about you than the words you are writing.

Should Handwriting Be Slanted?

It is fascinating to note the subtle differences in how each person forms letters. Some people create beautifully elegant lines that appear to flow across each page, while for others, writing may appear more haphazard.

When learning to write, the emphasis is on producing text that is legible. Whether it tips slightly left or right or stands straight up at precisely 90 degrees is secondary to the process. Western handwriting is often tilted to the right as it was the most practical style as the writer can see the tip of the pen, and it is less likely to get smudged.

However, there is no solid rule about which way handwriting should slant. Children are presented with the basic shapes for each letter while learning, and each interprets uniquely to develop a unique handwriting style. Handwriting neatness and the angle of the writing slant do not seem to have any relation to each other. 

Traditional cursive writing does tend to have a typical slant to the right. This allows the writer to link letters together more efficiently, especially if they are right-handed. The practical element of having enough time for the ink on the paper to dry would also have come into play as a factor that made forward-slanting writing faster.

Graphology is the analysis of handwriting to determine or reveal personality traits. The reasoning is that handwriting, which includes the degree to which the letters slant, is determined to a large extent by the writer’s personality. So, according to this theory, someone who is outgoing, optimistic, and enthusiastic is a lot more likely to have a pronounced right slant than someone shy or guarded.

Handwriting slant is, however, often related to handedness. Lefties often struggle slightly because western writing flows from left to right across the page. So as a left-handed person writes, if they want their handwriting to slant to the right, they would either need to forego pen balance or the ability to see letters as they are being formed.

What Does The Slant Of Your Handwriting Expose About You?

Since there is no set way that handwriting must be slanted, it is thought that personality plays a big part in interpreting how someone writes. Of course, the slant isn’t the only determining factor in handwriting, and graphologists look at several details, including pressure, size, spacing, and the way letters are shaped and formed on a page.

Let’s have a quick look at what handwriting experts believe the slanted-ness of your handwriting is conveying:

Left SlantPrefer your own companyPrefers to work with objects rather than peopleMay have some rebellious traits
No SlantLogical PracticalGuarded with your emotionsSolid and pragmatic in your approach
Right SlantOpen to the world around youLike to socializePlaces high value on family and friends

Of course, handwriting analysis is not a definite science, and no one can predict whether or not someone is a psychopath based solely on the slant of their writing. However, it is used in some criminal investigation settings and as a screening tool by some employers to match employee compatibility.

Can You Change The Slant Of Your Writing?

There is a really easy trick to alter the slant of your handwriting without spending hours practicing. If you feel that the slope of your writing is either too left or right, or you want to add an extra degree of slant, try turning the paper that you are writing on.

Once you have an established handwriting style, it is pretty difficult to retrain your brain and your fingers to consistently apply a new technique, but you can easily change the angle of the paper.

Think of the sheet of paper you are writing on like a clock:

  • To decrease a right-sided slant, turn your page so that the top left corner of your paper points at 10.
  • To straighten your handwriting up a bit, if it slants excessively to the left, angle the page so that the top left corner points at 2.

While trying this method, you may have to adjust the angle of the paper to suit your style and try to remain conscious of not overcompensating with your usual handwriting to counter the new position of the page.

It may take a few repeated attempts to get right, especially if there are no lines on the page to keep your writing straight. Changing the angle of the paper you are writing on can significantly change the degree of slant in your handwriting.


There is no more correct slant of handwriting, although traditionally, cursive writing tends more often tends to slope slightly to the right. This allows for better attachment of each letter to the next, and the writing flows more easily as it extends from left to right across the page.

But whether or not handwritten letters slant either left or right depends on individual style. It can also be affected by the handedness of the writer or the angle of the paper in relation to the writer and the pen.

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