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Questioned Document Examination FSCT 8310

Forensic Investigation Course

Course details

This course provides a broad overview of forensic document examination. It is intended for anyone who may have a need to interact with forensic document examiners, e.g. investigators, lawyers, corporate compliance officers, police and crime scene officers. The course will include the requirements needed to enable forensic document examiners to conduct examinations of signatures, handwriting, office printers, printing and other physical evidence relating to documents. NOTE: This course will not train students to become forensic document examiners.


  • Admission to a Forensic credential program or permission of the Program Coordinator.



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Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

Handwriting/Hand Printing Comparison

  • Describe the basis by which handwriting identifications are possible.
  • Describe the difference between a handwriting comparison and graphology.
  • Explain the significance of the difference between class and individual characteristics of handwriting (i.e., system, heredity and national influences and physical and visual perception).
  • Explain evidence of genuine handwriting and evidence of non-genuine handwriting (e.g. features of genuine handwriting influenced by age, illness, guided hand, and other outside influences as well as evidence of a spurious or simulated signature and the basic forms of disguise).
  • Explain the necessity for proper standards for comparison.
  • Distinguish between "requested" and "collected" specimen, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Explain the methods of obtaining proper specimen and submission of specimen handwriting.
  • Explain the significance of the conclusions expressed by a Questioned Document Examiner.

Means, Media and Materials Used in the Production of Documents

  • Describe types of forensic examinations which can be conducted with respect to the means, media and material used in the production of a document.
  • Explain the significance of identifying the make and model of a machine used in the production of a document.
  • Explain the basis for identification of a specific instrument in the production of a document.
  • Identify features of documents produced by various methods of production, i.e. typewriter, computer printers, photocopiers, laser printers, graphic arts, rubber stamps, etc.
  • Describe methods of taking standards from various machines.

Occurrences to Documents After Their Production

  • Identify the major areas of examination.
  • Describe the examination of documents for the presence of latent indented impressions.
  • Describe the process of ink examinations and limitations.
  • Erasures
  • Obliteration and Decipherment: Non-destructive and destructive techniques
  • Describe sequence of Strokes examination.
  • Describe physical matches of paper, matches, foil and tape.
  • Water soaked and charred documents.

Effective as of Fall 2007

Related Programs

Questioned Document Examination (FSCT 8310) is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Computing and Academic Studies

  1. Forensic Investigation (Forensic Science Option)
    Advanced Certificate Part-time
  2. Forensic Investigation (Forensic Science Option)
    Bachelor of Technology Part-time


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