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29 May 2023

What are Running Letters? – History, Types, Origins, and Important

Running letters is a style of writing generally written by joining the letters of a word together. It is continuously looped and connected, which makes the writing go quickly. Cursive also makes it look more elegant and beautiful. While formal cursive is written only by joining letters, the casual style of cursive writing uses both joining, and pen lifts, meaning the writing instrument is occasionally lifted while writing.

The term Running is derived from the Latin term curare, which means “to run” or “to flow.” This style of writing is called “Running” because the letters flow together and seem to run into each other.

History of Running Letters

It believes that back in the 600s, the Roman first used writing to communicate and keep stock of items of trade. This form of writing safe clearly showed the cursive style flowing into one another. Emperor Charlemagne, the ruler at the time, appreciated this form of the neat, balanced script over its French and Lombardi counterparts

Although Emperor Charlemagne wanted one standard script in all the regions, it was not until six years after his death in 820 CE that this style of running fine-tun under the leadership of Alcuin of York (England), the monks at Aachen (Germany), and the Abbey of St. Martin at the end of the 8th century and became a standardized, predominant script. Called Carolingian Miniscule, it has the following characteristics:

  • Highly functional
  • Easy to read
  • Separated words
  • Inclusion of lower-case letters
  • Contained punctuation

With the inclusion of punctuation, this time marks the introduction to the formal study of grammar and mechanics.

Types of Running Letters

Types of Running Letters

The following are the numerous types of cursive:


Ligature is a type of cursive writing that connects the letters using lines. The main objective of the ligature cursive style is not to lift the writing instrument while writing.

Looped Cursive

As the name suggests, this cursive depends heavily on looping the letters. The loop of one terminating letter loops into another note and continues henceforth.

Cursive Italic

Thanks to the 15th-century Italian Renaissance, this style of cursive became popular. It derives from chancery cursive or the Italic hand. The letters denote a clear slant on the right with looped and non-looped letters.

Running Letters Handwriting Styles

The following are some Running handwriting styles:


In 1891, Charles Zane and Elmer Closer came up with the Zaner-Bloser method. This method was taught for decades in educational institutions and use in businesses. This was a go-to method for book publishers of those times. The Zaner-Bloser printing style (straight up and down) was quite different from the Zaner-Bloser cursive style, which slants. Even today, many schools have started teaching cursive to their students using this method.

The Origins of Running Letters Handwriting

The Origins of Running Letters Handwriting

Running handwriting, also known as join-up handwriting or script handwriting, first develope in the 17th Century. Running was known as ‘fair hand’ and consider appropriate for essential letters and documents. Before the emergence of the typewriter, cursive writing letters were the prefer method of writing for professionals, e.g., lawyers and doctors.

The origins of Running handwriting closely link to the quill. Back when people did not have pencils or pens to write with, the most common method of writing was with a quill. As quills are significantly more fragile and easily broken than the writing utensils we have today, cursive writing was invented to overcome their limitations.

Rules of Running Letters

  • All similar letters should be the same tallness.
  • All small letters should start at the top.
  • Good handwriting form by a pattern of ovals and parallel lines.
  • Capital letters in cursive handwriting should usually be less advanced than the rest.
  • All down strokes of letters should be parallel.

Is Running Letters Writing Important?

Many benefits make teaching running handwriting important in primary education. Forming letters with the hand using a pen or pencil is cognitively more effective when learning how to develop letters correctly. Learning to form letters by hand creates a connection with the movement of the hand to the visual response of seeing the note on the page. But why is learning cursive writing by hand particularly important?

Help letter mix-ups: Many letters can understand when your students first learn letter formation. These include ‘p,’ ‘q,’ ‘b’ and,’ which can miswrite backwards or upside down. By encouraging your students to join their letters, this mistake can reduce.

Is There an Order For Teaching Running Letters Writing?

While there isn’t a specific order for teaching cursive writing that you should stick to, there are a couple of tips and tricks that handwriting experts suggest. Children will generally begin to learn the basics of running handwriting at age seven, so approximately Year 1 or 2. It will take a little bit of time to perfect, but they should be able to write in cursive independently at around age nine.

Children will always learn to write lower-case running letters before upper-case. A general running writing order of learning might look like this:

  • c, a, d, g, q
  • i, t, p, you, w, j
  • e, l, f, h
  • k, r, s
  • b, o, v
  • m, n, y, x, z

This running writing order has support from research from teaching and handwriting experts and has bases on many factors.

Should You Teach Running Letters Writing?

Running can be a fun and helpful tool when it comes to handwriting. Not only does beautiful cursive handwriting make your work look neater, but it also can help you write faster and more efficiently! In the upcoming, your child may need to scribble down all the lecture notes they can, and cursive handwriting will help.

Joined-up handwriting develops motor skills and pen control. These need manual dexterity. You can also recognise letters quicker by learning to run. When you teach cursive handwriting, you’re practising important muscle movements.


Running is a script style in which all the letters in a word connect. It’s also known as script or longhand. When the third-grade students literary ran writing, they were happy to find that they could write entire words without exciting their pencils from the paper.

Running originates from the past participle of the Latin word curare, which means “to run.” In a cursive script, the letters all run into one additional, and the hand runs across the page, never lifting between letters.

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