Confused About Forensics?

Are YOU confused about the word “forensic”? If so, I would like to help clarify.

While I could get into a bunch of lingo that would further confuse you, I decided to keep it simple. But first, we need to define the word “forensic”:

  • application of scientific methods and techniques to aid in criminal investigation
  • scientific techniques used in connection with other tools for the detection of a criminal act.

In the two above definitions you will see two repeated words: scientific and criminal.        That is because the word “forensic” is a descriptive umbrella term of a speciality or specific discipline of the actual career.

For example, many photographers only take photos of landscapes. Many are travel photographers. So most of society understands and instantly assumes that a “forensic photographer” usually takes pictures of crime scenes or similar.

Another example is the account. Many accountants work in Fortune 500 companies, sitting at a desk 8 AM – 5 PM. Some work at the Internal Revenue Service day in and day out. So it makes sense that most of society understands and instantly assumes that a “forensic accountant” is looking for some type of “money crime”.

So while the word “forensic” may confuse you, what confuses me is that most of society hears the phrase “Forensic Handwriting Analysis” and instantly assume that the analyst works only on forgeries or questioned documents.


There are handwriting analysts who are hobbyists. Maybe they analyze their friends for fun. Nothing more, just a fun little social tool.

Other analysts have taken a lot of training and specialize in personality profiling. That’s me; I grew up in the industry and started learning at age 11.

Still other analysts will study the solving of forgeries or questioned documents. That’s me too. To me, this is very boring so I tend to favor the “personality” part of it.

Where the analyst falls under the umbrella is as good as his commitment, training & credentials. Just like any other profession that has a “forensic” specialty.

Finally, if you are a visual person, you will like these…

Imagine “Forensic” (just the word) being an umbrella with all the other disciplines under that umbrella. You could even think of the word “Forensic” like the main tree trunk and all the other disciplines as its branches.

There are more disciplines than this but I think you get the picture (pun intended).

I sure hope this helps clarify.

Please share to help spread the knowledge.