I cannot write in a straight line unless I have lined paper to help guide me along the page. However sometimes the task calls for plain paper where no such lines are in place (i.e. a poster or some such).
I usually write with a ball point pen. However, in the case of a poster, I use felt tip pen which is more susceptible to smudging if rubbed too much / too soon!
How can I make sure that I am writing in a straight line without using lined paper?
I have tried placing a ruler along the page but this messes up my handwriting and it looks a bit weird so I would rather try a new method.
There a several options to create an invisible line to help you write:
Draw thin lines with a pencil and erase them afterwards. If you work with a soft pencil and without much force, the lines are easily erasable and you won`t mark the sheet.
If you are working on a poster, you could also provide a line with the help of a beamer/over head projector or some fancy laser liner. It should work best if you are left handed, since you otherwise cover the line with your arm/hand. Here is an example.
Also, you can work at the edge of a table or by placing a ruler under the paper. You will notice directly if you are not on the line. But it will be not beneficial for your style.
As far as I know there isn't really a hack to write in a straight line, but there are a couple of tips that can help you practice:
I don't know how you write, but I was taught to turn the paper at an angle when writing. If you also do so, you can try adjusting the angle as soon as you notice your lines being not straight or not parallel.
If your unlined paper is thin enough (otherwise you could use a light box), put lined paper behind it and use it as a guide.
When writing the first line, look at the top edge of the paper and use it as a guide. Then use the previous line as a guide for the next one.
Fold the paper twice in length (pictures here) and use the created fold-areas as guides. Write your first line and notice if your handwriting is going up or down. Try to write the second line more straight, practice!
I could also imagine, curved writing occurs, because we don't move our elbow (enough). Try moving the paper instead of your arm as you write a line.
Always try to look at the whole page from a distance, rather than focusing on the words and letters. Your neck will thank you later.
You could get a ruler or yard stick (depending on what size your project is) and tape it's sides down. Then you could slide the paper (or poster board or whatever) under the ruler/yard stick and use it like a pseudo-line to help keep your writing straight.
Obtain or make lined paper with extremely thick lines - if necessary you can make the black line as thick as a line of writing, and leave gap below it of the same height. If you put that underneath your plain paper the lines should show through.
Since 5th grade I have been able to freakishly write cursive in a straight line on plain paper.
Freakishly is a term I heard from a lady commenting on my writing.
My teacher in 5th grade explained to me to write with my arm and not wrist. meaning keep your wrist straight, do not bend it when writing. Practice does make a lot of difference as well.
I would suggest buying a colored A4(or whatever size you need) paper to use as guides instead of using a ruler like you tried. By making the colored paper perpendicular to your working paper you can use a replace guide/mask to the lower limit of your line. you can slowly move the colored paper down as you write more lines making sure your colored paper is perpendicular and you are moving down approximately the same amount each time you start a new line.