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Handwriting Analysis Worksheet Name - Franklin College.pdf


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									                         Handwriting Analysis Worksheet

Click on Document #1 from the list of documents provided. It should take you
to a truTV site entitled Literary Forensics. You are going to read through that
document, and you are going to answer the questions on this worksheet that
pertain to that website. Your answers must be in complete sentences.

1. The beginning of the article talks about the Jack the Ripper case from the 1800’s?
What role did handwriting analysis play in that case? Did they find the person who
was Jack the Ripper?
“The handwriting was compared to known samples from Maybrick, but opinions were divided. A
handwriting analyst who had been a forensic document examiner for the Chicago police believed
that there was no match between Maybrick's writing and that found in the diary. However, some
experts contended that the writing on Maybrick's will was actually forged, which invalidated it as a
sample for comparison, and his signature on a license was considered too brief to be a fair
sample. There were no other examples of his handwriting that could serve the purpose, so no
conclusions were drawn from handwriting analysis.”

It is not conclusive that Maybrick was Jack the Ripper, and experts still are not sure who
committed the murders.

2. What is the most common procedure for questioned documents in court cases?
“Handwriting analysis is the most common procedure for questioned documents in a court case,
so let's look at how it's done.”

Now click on page two of the Literary Forensics Document.

3. Handwriting is distinct and personal. (Look in first paragraph of page two).

4. What do handwriting experts study? What is expected to be the same for people
when they are writing different items?
“Handwriting experts study the variations in writing samples to try to determine if two (or more)
different documents were written by the same person and thereby to identify the known author of
one sample with the known author of a similar one. The same odd characteristics — ways of
spelling a word, the particular slant or spacing, or manner of forming certain letters — are
expected to show up across samples by the same person, and they're evident even when the person
may be trying to conceal his or her identity.”
5. What is a “standard?” Why is it important?
“A known specimen written by an identified person is called the "standard" or "exemplar," and it
should be as similar as possible to the questioned writing, specifically containing similar words or
letter combinations.”

Answers will vary about why it is important.

6. What are the four primary factors for handwriting analysis?

“The primary factors for analysis are divided into four categories:

      1. Form — refers to the elements that comprise the shape of the letters, proportion,
         slant, angles, lines, retracing, connections, and curves
      2. Line Quality — refers to the results from the type of writing instrument used, and the
         pressure exerted, along with the flow and continuity of the script
      3. Arrangement — involves the spacing, alignment, formatting, and distinctive
      4. Content — this is the spelling, phrasing, punctuation, and grammar”

7. What problem can occur with handwriting analysis?
“Problems can occur when the writing has been deliberately disguised, such as in threatening or
taunting letters. However, the form may change, but the type of words used and the sources that
have influenced phrasing remain the same.”

8. What is the procedure for someone asked to give handwriting examples?

“If someone is asked to provide handwriting samples, the procedure is to sit him or her at a table
where there will be no distraction, keeping in mind the following:

      1. The subject ought not to be shown the questioned document
      2. The subject is not to be told how to spell certain words or use certain punctuation
      3. The subject should use materials similar to those of the document
      4. The dictated text should match some parts of the document
      5. The dictation should be repeated at least three times
      6. The subject should be asked to sign the text
      7. Make sure an objective witness observes the procedure”

9. Now pick one of the documents from pages 3-6, and analyze how handwriting
analysis was used in those cases. Include specific details. Your answer should be in
paragraph format.
Answers will vary depending on choice of document.
Now you need to pull up Document #2. You are going to use this document to
compare your teacher’s known handwriting to the letter left at the scene.

10. Compare the two documents. What differences are there in the two documents,
and what similarities are there? Note two differences and two similarities? Also, talk
about choice of words (Do both documents have similar word usage?).
Answers will vary.

11. What method did you use to compare the two documents? Which of your senses
did you use to compare the two documents?
Answers will vary.

12. Was your teacher’s note forged?
There should be evidence that the note was forged. Remind students to site evidence in this

Now you are ready for the presentation part of the WebQuest. Find your other
group members, and start working on the presentation. Have Fun!

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