Student Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a student writing a research paper about handwriting analysis, many of your questions have probably been asked before. Browse through the most popular questions below.

(Many of the answers you see here were generously provided by students certified through our Certification Home Study Course.)

From: Kristi Sickels
Subject: graphology report

Dear Sir or Madame;

I am writing a report on handwriting analysis for my tenth grade English project at Brockport High School in New York. I was wondering if you could answer a few questions Ihave about graphology. Nothing so animates writing as someone telling what he or she thinks in his or her own words.

The questions are as follows:
(Questions Answered by Graduate Student Sharron McKeever)


1. What is the most common reason people come to you to get their handwriting analyzed?

Self-interest and self-improvement seem to be the most popular reasons. Understanding why we act the way we act and feel the way we feel about things, can be very revealing about how to change things we don't like about ourselves.

2. What was the most interesting reason a person asked you to analyze some writing?

I analyzed all the brothers and sisters and their spouses at a 50th Wedding anniversary celebration. These people had known each other for 45 to 70 years. And still they found out things about each other they had missed in their personalities. It was very interesting to see previously strained relationships grow more accepting of each other. A lot of tension was released between the in-laws.

3. What is the most interesting handwriting you've seen and what did it reveal about the writer?

That is like asking who's the prettiest girl in the beauty pageant. A stroke that is rarely seen, that I have only found once in the past year is the physically aggressive stroke. The outlet for this aggression might be competitive sports or the bloke might just haul off and deck somebody. (Which he admitted to doing once when he got mad.)

4. How does one become a graphologist?

Study, study, study, practice, practice, practice. Repetition of correctly learned strokes that correspond to personality traits. Courses are offered around the world, and with the use of the Internet one can access several experts. This site which you addressed offers a wide array of levels of proficiency. Depending on whether one wants to be the hit of the party, or have a career in handwriting analysis.

5. How long does it take to become a graphologist?

The term graphologist may be a proprietary term, yet to be determined in a court of law. So I prefer to use the generic term handwriting analyst. It also is more clearly understood by the general public. As to the length of time it requires, it would depend solely on the person getting certified and where they get their education. There is no state licensing requirement at this time. When you are comfortable with the knowledge you have gained and show enough proficiency to get people to take you seriously. Then you are on your way to becoming a handwriting analyst.

6. What are the most important elements looked for in a sample of handwriting and what do they reveal about the writer?

The pressure of the pen on the paper, and the slant of the writing will reveal how one deals with emotions, both theirs and others. The pressure indicates the intensity or depth of emotion, and the slant reveals the outlay of emotion. (ie. Do they cry at sad movies?)

Thank you very much for taking your time to answer these few short questions. Promptness in your reply would be deeply appreciated.

Kristin Sickels

To: Kristi Sickels
From: Ricky Jackson
Subject: Handwriting

Hi Kristin,

My name is Ricky Jackson and I'm one of Bart Baggett's graduate certified students. You asked some very good questions (see above) and I'll try to answer them for you.

Question 1:
Curiosity; inquiring minds just want to know.

Question 2:
Prospective marriage. The guy wanted to know if his future bride was an axe murderer or something.

Question 3:
The most interesting one was one I did only a few weeks ago. A lady came into our store and signed to pick up company's goods. I noticed her handwriting was really strange so I asked her "What is your name?" She replied "Terrie". When I commented on her handwriting it started some conversation about it and I told her that I was a certified graphoanalyist and that I would like her to write the sentence "My life was forever changed the moment I got off the boat in Denmark." She wrote the sentence for me and I almost choked! I warned her that I was very frank and honest about my findings and that I would just tell it like it is. She gave me the nod on that so I just told her "It appears that you have a real problem with your mother and that you were physically and mentally abused, probably as a child but you still suffer greatly from it. She almost broke down right there. She told me that she has sisters but that her mother had always treated her different from them. "She used to tell me that she wished I had never been born and that I was never wanted." Her mother also used to put her in a closet and refuse to let her eat meals.

I told her that I normally charge $75 for a comprehensive analysis but because she was such a unique and interesting case that I would do hers for free if she would write me a full page on unlined paper. She agreed and brought it by later that afternoon. I did a seven page typed analysis on her and had her come in a few weeks later to pick it up. I skimmed over it with her, instructing her to just read it at her leisure and that I had included some grapho therapy to help her. There was something else that I saw but I was really hesitant about telling her.

She sat out front reading the pages with her husband. After about five minutes I just couldn't stand it any longer; I had to tell her what I was holding back. I went out to her car and she rolled down the window. "Terrie, I just have to tell you something else that I saw in your handwriting. Now this is not something written in stone but there is a significant body of evidence to warrant me telling you this. Your writing indicates that you have an injury, infection or illness right here (motioning to my left chest area)." She dropped her chin and looked at her husband, who was also gasping. She told me that just a few weeks ago she had come down with pneumonia and had to go to the hospital. They did a chest x-ray and found that she had a "spot" on her upper left lung - exactly where I had indicated.

Question 4:
This is easy; just send Bart your credit card number and order the level of study you want to achieve. You can start out with just learning it without getting certified and can later take the certification course as an upgrade or just go straight for the certification goal.

Question 5:
It took me about six months but I have a business and had to hit the books mainly on Saturdays and at night The course was extremely interesting and that made motivation easy. The materials are not hard and offer the opportunity to learn ourselves and others in an intimate way - very fast.

Question 6:
This depends on what you are looking for. There are very few "bad" traits; a person may be stubborn, bad tempered and full of ego but in his job those traits may be desirable. The only ones I consider inherently bad are low self-esteem, procrastination and *very* sloppy writing (indicates mental deficiency). There are so many things that can be told by a persons handwriting that it's impossible to do it justice here.

I hope I've helped you with your report and wish you much success if you decide to pursue this fascinating study.

Ricky Jackson

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Dear Sir or Madame:

I am writing a piece of course work on the subject of handwriting and analysis for my Sociology G.C.S.E. at Hellsdon High School in Norwich, England. I was wondering if you would so be kind as to answer a few questions that I have about graphology.

Yours sincerely,
Christopher Reynolds


This is a brief response to your question regarding handwriting analysis.
(Answers by David Riffey)

1. Is graphology a proven scientific method of determining what a person is really like?

Yes, handwriting analysis (also known as scientific graphology) has been studied for hundreds of years. The first book published on the subject was in 1662 by Camillo Baldo. As such, handwriting analysis predates psychology. Handwriting is really "brain writing". It is a neurological feedback showing up unconsciously in the handwriting. In fact, many handwriting analysts have psychologists who submit samples of their patients' writing. They get a quick understanding of the person's personality and fears. This might take months of expensive analysis for the psychologist to learn this.

2. What sort of people come to you to have their handwriting analyzed?

Uses of handwriting analysis include educational entertainment at parties. Many corporations use it to screen job applicants to find the right person for a particular job. Lawyers use it to select jurors in order to find people who are logical or people who can be swayed by feelings.

The OJ Simpson prosecutors used one of my teachers to select logical people who go by the facts of the case. Of course the other side had those people dismissed because they wanted to use emotion to win the case.

3. Can a person's character really be altered by changing their handwriting?

Yes, this is called Grapho Therapy. Since handwriting is a neurological feedback loop, by altering a trait that might be "troubling" a person can change that part of the personality. This should only be done under the supervision of a Graphotherapist. Bart Baggett, my teacher, met a waitress one morning and did her handwriting. The lady had a low t-bar, meaning she had low-self esteem. A person with low t-bars fears failure and change. They set their goals with low risk and stay in unhealthy and unhappy situations far too long. Bart advised her to raise her t-bars and she would change her life. Years later, Bart ran into the same lady. She had lost weight and improved her life totally. She said the only thing she did was raise her t-bars.

4. What effect does the way people were taught to write in school have on their personalities?

The best example is the way we are taught to write m's and n's. In America we are taught the "Palmer Method". Rounded m's & n's indicate a person who learns in a slow cumulative fashion. They will start at page 1 and slowly build an understanding of the subject matter. By contrast, students in Germany are traditionally taught to make m's with needlepoint tops. This indicates quick thinking -- people who size up situations instantly -- curious, impatient, and intelligent. As a result, Germany has more scientists per capita than any other country.

5. Is there a reason for everyone being taught to write in the same way?

Yes, basically that is the way the teachers were taught to teach. In America, the "Palmer Method" is the standard script displayed in every elementary classroom. The writing is pretty, but the traits passed on are not always the happiest.

6. If people were to write exactly how they were taught in school, would they behave similar or in any way the same as one another?

Yes, you may be aware that our modern education system is a result of the industrial revolution. During this period of time, it was necessary to have workers that will sit obediently at their assigned task. So a person with round m's -- someone who is methodical and patient -- is the kind of worker you want to develop in school.

7. If a person writes exactly as they were taught in school, what might that person be like?

Whenever you find someone who writes the same as they were taught, you know they have not changed much since when they were kids. They are very conservative and nice. Like a 3rd grade teacher. That's not a bad thing, we need sweet conservative people in the world. However, that kind of person may not be suited in a fast paced job like an emergency room.

8. What factors can effect a person's handwriting?

Out of approximately 120 known traits only 10 per cent change with mood. If someone has a fight with his or her spouse, temper may show up where it does not normally. Now, there are a few things that cannot be determined by handwriting. You can't tell gender, handedness (right or left) or race. Changes in personality will show in the handwriting. Often techniques such as NLP or hypnosis which can allow rapid change will result in marked changes in handwriting traits.

9. Are there any other uses for handwriting analysis other than for personal improvement or curiosity?

Certainly! It's great for checking out a possible romantic relationship before it's too late and you are married to someone who is jealous or paranoid. It's is a great way to gain instant rapport with another person. People love to talk about their favorite subject:  themselves.

David Riffey
Certified Handwriting Expert

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