BEST IELTS General Reading Test 430

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 430

IELTS General Reading Test

Forensic Handwriting Analysis

The forensic science discipline of handwriting examination and analysis initially surfaced as evidence in courts in around 1868, when a forged will was exposed. Over at least the last 150 years, many published scientific studies have focused on the individuality and reproducibility of handwriting for use in a forensic setting. The discipline primarily relies upon a trained handwriting examiner assessing the similarities of known and unknown samples in order to generate a conclusion. Handwriting is a complex motor skill that is created by a combination of sensory, neurological, and physiological impulses. Factors such as visual perception and acuity, comprehension of form, central nervous system pathways, and the anatomy of the hand and arm all combine to produce the desired output.

Most people learn to write by copying letter formations from a copybook at a young age. The ability to reproduce these varies from one person to the next and is based on each writer’s perception of the shape and his or her ability to reproduce it. The act of handwriting is mastered through practice and repetition. Once this occurs, writers focus on the subject matter rather than the physical act of writing and deviate from the copybook forms, interjecting their own individualities. The writing becomes a pattern of the subconscious, and habits, which are repeated from one piece of writing to the next.

IELTS General Reading Test

The comparison and evaluation of these individual features or habits enable forensic document examiners to identify or exclude, if possible, a known writer as the source for any questioned writing. Lay people may recognise the handwriting of an individual and differentiate between individuals to some degree; however, they observe only the gross features of the handwriting, such as letter formation, size, or slope of the handwriting. Lay people typically do not consider the subtleties in the writing that may differentiate it from other very similar writing. In contrast, document examiners analyse and can differentiate both the gross features and the less conspicuous elements in writing.

Handwriting features that examiners evaluate include pen pressure, pen lifts, the spacing between words and letters, the position of the writing on the baseline (the position of the character in relation to the ruled or imaginary line), height relationships, beginning and ending strokes, and line quality. A writer’s identity cannot be established through an individual feature in the writing. Rather, identity is established through a combination of the significant features between the writings, with no significant differences.

IELTS General Reading Test

Not all handwriting is identifiable. For example, when a person traces another individual’s signature, that person imitates the writing habits of the original signer, and therefore, the imitator’s own handwriting characteristics are not manifested in the tracing. The forensic document examiner would be able to identify the writing as a tracing and associate the writing back to the model signature, if available, but would not be able to identify the writing with the person who traced the signature.

No one person writes exactly the same way, even within several repetitions of writings. This is known as natural variation, or intra-writer variation. Human beings are not capable of machinelike precision and repetition. As a result of the neuromuscular process, this variation in style is expected. Variation is an integral part of an individual’s writing. It describes the changes and deviations, often minute, that are found in repeated samples of one person’s writing. More specifically, variation refers to the different ways that a writer makes each letter or character.

IELTS General Reading Test

This variation is normal and serves as an added factor to personalise and individualise writing. Handwriting examination is a sub-set of the forensic science discipline of questioned documents. Forensic document examiners conduct scientific examinations, comparisons, and analyses of documents in order to establish genuineness or non-genuineness, to reveal alterations, additions, or deletions, identify or eliminate persons as the source of handwriting, identify or eliminate the source of machine produced documents, typewriting, or other impression marks, or relative evidence, and preserve and/or restore legibility.

Forensic document examiners help lawyers by examining and offering written opinions on a variety of disputed document problems including: wills, deeds, medical records, income tax records, time sheets, contracts, loan agreements, election petitions, checks, and anonymous letters. Each analysis begins with an independent examination of the questioned and then the known writing using proper lighting and magnification to determine if the writing is original writing, for example ink on paper, and whether it exhibits the characteristics of freely and naturally prepared writing.

IELTS General Reading Test

Some of the characteristics of naturally prepared writing include consistent slant and size, thickening and thinning of the lines as the writing instrument changes direction, and tapered beginning and ending strokes that occur once the writing instrument comes into contact with or leaves the paper. Additionally, each body of writing is examined to assess internal consistency, comparability, and variation. The most suitable text for comparison is natural writing, void of any attempt to disguise and/or distort the writing; however, any writing can be of value for comparison.

As a discipline, forensic document examination has been consistently accepted in the judiciary in spite of court challenges. Published papers demonstrate the validity of the expertise and support the principle of handwriting individuality. Published criteria ensure consistency in methodology and document examiners in both public and private laboratories use these standards. Ongoing research continues to support the forensic document examination community in strengthening the scientific foundation for forensic handwriting analysis.

IELTS General Reading Test

Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.

14. The earliest use of forensic handwriting analysis was in uncovering a ___________.

15. Learning handwriting involves engaging a variety of physical elements in ___________.

16. Developing handwriting is usually done by repeatedly reproducing ___________.

17. Starting to produce handwriting depends on an individual’s ___________ of an image and how it is duplicated.

18. The ___________ of someone’s handwriting emerge once mastery of the basic mechanics is achieved.

IELTS General Reading Test

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer of the text? In boxes 19 – 22 on your answer sheet write:

YES – if the statement agrees with the writer’s views

NO – if the statement doesn’t agree with the writer’s views

NOT GIVEN – if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

19. Untrained individuals can recognise some of the important elements in forensic handwriting analysis.

20. There is often a single different element that reveals who produced a piece of writing.

21. Forensic handwriting experts have compiled lists of commonly occurring examples of intra-writer variation.

22. Forensic handwriting analysis has been used in cases of people’s work punctuality.

IELTS General Reading Test

Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each answer.

23. What can be an indication of original writing?

24. What is the best type of text that can be used as a basis for handwriting analysis?

25. What has been done to dispute the use of handwriting analysis in legal settings?

26. What do published standards create with regards to the procedures of document examiners?

IELTS General Reading Test

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BEST IELTS General Reading Test 430

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IELTS General Reading Test

14. FORGED WILL

15. COMBINATION

16. LETTER FORMATIONS

17. PERCEPTION

18. INDIVIDUALITIES

19. YES

20. NO

21. NOT GIVEN

22. YES

23. INK (ON PAPER)

24. NATURAL WRITING

25. COURT CHALLENGES

26. CONSISTENCY (IN METHODOLOGY)

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