Handwriting better than typing for notes

Given the choice of typing or handwriting notes, students choose a method that is most suitable for them. There are advantages and disadvantages to both choices, but handwriting notes is shown to help students better retain information rather than typing.

“I handwrite my notes because I feel like actually having to spell it out helps me remember,” junior Nora Rusher said.

Taking time to write notes is important for remembering keywords and information of a lesson being taught.

However, when the notes for a lesson are longer than usual, students experience hand cramps which make it difficult to keep up with writing. Falling behind, it is more difficult to retain information as students are rushing to write down what they need to know before the teacher moves on to the next set of information.

On the other hand, the disadvantages do not outnumber the advantages of handwriting notes. An article explaining the advantages of handwriting notes by Feng Gooi said, “The deeper processing makes you comprehend the material more easily. It requires greater focus and leads to notes that are more focused.” The more focused students are, the easier it is to grasp an understanding of the material.

As for typed notes, there are advantages of typing notes that students partake in to help better retain information. Organization and cleanliness are the two important advantages of typing notes. Having to keep track of papers with notes on them isn’t as easy as pulling up a file with all the notes you need.

“I handwrite most of mine, but I feel that I better retain information from typed notes,” said freshman McKenzie Elett.

The organization and cleanliness of typed notes aids in retaining information because the notes are more legible and easier to reach when it comes time to study for an upcoming quiz or test.

The downsides, however, are what make typing notes inferior to handwriting notes.

“Because students are just typing down everything lectures say, studies show that they process it less deeply. There is lower retention on information and a more shallow grasp on conceptual learning,” said Feng Gooi. Although students are able to type quickly, they won’t retain as much information as they would if they were handwriting notes.

Another downside includes distractions and the constant need to check social media. As the level of impatience grows, the level of focus decreases. Checking Instagram, Snapchat or E-mail takes the student’s attention away from the lesson which in return causes the student to struggle when retaining information from that lesson.

Distractions are not a concern when it comes to handwriting notes because the only necessities needed are a pencil and a notebook. The student’s focus is increased which helps the student retain the lesson’s information with ease.