“You will use cursive for the rest of your life”

And other lies they told us….

When we were younger, there were a variety of writing-related “rules” that were common in many, if not all, elementary schools. Most of them, we took up with great assault–whether or not we wanted to is a different story. However, as I was thinking earlier today, it seems that many of those silly little rules simply do not matter any more. Some of them are as follows:

1) You will write in cursive until you die. Not writing in cursive will result in a failing grade; until the end of time….. Now I don’t know about you guys, but if I wrote in cursive for one of my classes at the University (given that we are actually writing anything at all and not just emailing or submitting over ctools), I am almost positive that I would receive a zero. This is not because teachers dislike cursive (although I wouldn’t know; who ever asks professors’ opinions?), but rather, my cursive has become so unreadable that I dont think they would even have the patience to grade it.

2) The five paragraph rule holds true for anything you will ever write, ever. Ok. We have all written A LOT over the past couple years. We are also relatively good at it, enjoy it, think we have a future in writing, etc. That being said, just how many papers have you guys written in the past semester with the five paragraph form? A five-page essay simply will not fit into five paragraphs. Nor will it be a strong paper with only three arguments. As college writers, we develop a thesis, devote each paragraph to a topic, and don’t worry about how many paragraphs it takes.

3) Using I is bad. I am in a creative writing class where writing about I is KEY to a strong, reflective, yet meaningful piece. I am in a Communications course where our professor asks that we use I to signify when our beliefs begin and those of the other sources end. In our writing class, we had an assignment titles “WHY I WRITE.” No universal rule exists on using I. Different audiences and different disciplines have different expectations, so ask. I am assuming the old rule on’t always hold true.


Myths of childhood writing, DEBUNKED.

2 thoughts to ““You will use cursive for the rest of your life””

  1. Literally everything you said here is so true. Especially the cursive…I remember in second grade when we learned cursive thinking that I was so cool because ALL adults used it. And the five paragraph essay scared me to death, but is really so much easier than what we do now. And using ‘I’ — my teachers made it seem like using I in an essay was like swearing but I actually use it sometimes.

  2. The cursive thing is hilarious. I thought it was such a pain when we learned it, but I was terrified of not being able to communicate without it- it seemed like that’s how the outside world talked to each other. Who knows- maybe our children won’t even learn cursive.

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