Does anyone have tips on good ways of writing horizontally across the blackboard?

I notice whenever I write across the blackboard, the line will have a slightly downward slope of 15 degrees and it is quite visible from afar. It sort of looks like the bottom left half blackboard of this picture.

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Does anyone have any tips of writing across the board as horizontally as possible? My board is about 10 meters wide divided in two halves.

  • 9
    Just practice... Seriously, it is something that most people need to practice a lot to do it decently
    – Greg
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 1:41
  • 1
    Laser line level? (Not really a serious suggestion.)
    – tonysdg
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 1:54
  • @tonysdg commercialize it. Laser guided blackboard
    – Fraïssé
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 2:06
  • @MachineLearningisnotGod: I unfortunately have the business acumen of a particularly-dim hamster ;-) Feel free to make your fortune if you wish!
    – tonysdg
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 2:11
  • Just don't let some self-proclaimed handwriting experts tell you that you are lacking self-confidence because of the downward slope.
    – Ian
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 13:49

1 Answer 1

  • Writing works different on different heights, so train writing at different heights. For me it is easiest to write horizontally if the baseline is about the height of my mouth. Writing at the height of my stomach or my chest is almost impossible and I need much more care and it takes much longer. If you have to write at that heights, you could also squat down, but be aware that the things you write down there may be too low for some people in the audience.
  • If you can move the blackboard up and down, move the blackboard such that the line you write is on your favorite height.
  • Do not stand still and stretch your arm more and more, but move your whole body along as you write.
  • Related to the previous point: Use short lines. Two halves at a ten meter blackboard still make five meter long lines. Depending on the size of your writing, this may still be too long.
  • Try to get good chalk. I prefer chalk that slides over the board more easily. (The people over at mathoverflow have something to say about this, see here and here).
  • Try to adjust your font such that it helps you to stay on the line. Writing cursive for text (not equations) may work, but I think cursive needs more care on the blackboard.
  • If you practice, try to find a blackboard that has lines, a grid or crosses that help you stay in line.
  • +1 for writing at mouth height! Higher works as well, but anything lower is just terrible. And keep the lines short, 2.5m is absolutely enough! (Easier for you to write and much easier for the students to read.) An addition maybe, I'd like to keep one eye on the upper limit of the board, to check if I'm still parallel. Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 21:16

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