Writing a College Term Paper With Attention Deficit Disorder


Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) can impair your attentiveness when you try to do tasks that require concentration, like doing schoolwork. When you're in college, you can't afford to let your ADD get in the way of getting good grades and earning your degree. You may not be able to cure your ADD, but you can manage its symptoms so you'll be able to write a college term paper.

1 Organization

Take an organized approach to writing your paper. ADD can cause your thoughts to be scattered. Making an outline and using it to flesh out the paper in an organized fashion can help keep those thoughts on track. If you have to do research, do it first and print out all of the resources you will be using. Note in your outline where each of your resources will fit.

2 Timeframe

Create a realistic timeframe for writing your paper based on the outline you prepared. Decide how many writing sessions you will need to complete the paper. Don't try to write the whole paper in just one sitting. If you try to focus for too long a period of time, your ADD symptoms will intrude. It's better to set up several shorter writing sessions than one or two long ones.

3 Environment

Set up a distraction-free environment in which you can work on your term paper without things that might divert your attention. One of the main symptoms of ADD is difficulty maintaining concentration. Where there are other things around you, it's easier to let your concentration wander. Choose a room with blank walls and no windows. It should be furnished sparsely, with just a table and desk. If you don't have this type of room in your home or dormitory, you may be able to use a room on campus or in the library. Going to an offsite environment has other advantages. It takes you away from unexpected distractions such as phone calls or knocks on your door.

4 Assistance

When you are done with your paper, ask a fellow student or family member to proofread it. Although they can look for spelling, grammar and other mechanical errors, ask them primarily to evaluate its flow. Is it coherent and organized, or does it jump around? Does it cover the main points thoroughly, or does it leave questions? Use their feedback to make improvements before handing the paper in to your professor.

Based in Kissimmee, Fla., Barb Nefer is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. She is a mental health counselor, finance coach and travel agency owner. Her work has appeared in such magazines as "The Writer" and "Grit" and she authored the book, "So You Want to Be a Counselor."