5 Evidence Based Factors That Affect Handwriting Speed

5 Evidence based factors that affect handwriting speed

Written output performance in the classroom is associated with handwriting speed.  If the child can not write with an appropriate speed it can be difficult to manage classroom assignments in a timely manner throughout the school day and during homework.

When trying to determine why a student may have slow handwriting speed you can start with these 5 evidence based factors that can affect handwriting speed:

  1. type of writing assignment – is the child free writing? near point copying? far point copying? writing from dictation?
  2. visual sequential memory – the ability to remember and recall a sequence of objects and/or events in the correct order.
  3. visual-motor integration skills – the ability to interpret visual information and respond with a motor action.
  4. upper limb speed and dexterity.
  5. poor paper positioning – (download a free hand out with proper paper positioning tips).

Handwriting Rubrics

Need to assess handwriting speed?  The Handwriting Rubrics packet has a rubric specific for handwriting speed.  Also included are rubrics for grades 2-8 that lists age appropriate letters per minute.  Find out more information.


Feder KP, Majnemer A (2007) Handwriting development, competency, and intervention. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 49(4): 312–317.

Franzsen D, Steward A (2014) Identifying the factors that contribute to hand writing problems experienced by students at a higher education institution in South Africa. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy 44(1): 3–8.

Tseng MH, Chow SMK (2000) Perceptual-motor function of school-age children with slow handwriting speed. American Journal of Occupational Therapy 54(1): 83–88.