Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum & Instruction

First Advisor

Garreth Zalud


Only limited research has been completed that examines the impact of teaching outlining on improving ADHD students’ writing skills and perceptions about writing. An abundance of research demonstrates high school students with ADHD struggle with writing and organization skills. This study investigated the impact of using the POW + TREE outlining strategy on high school students with ADHD preparing a composition and how using this strategy impacted a high school student with ADHD’s perception of writing. To answer the first research question, high school students with ADHD were given the task to write an Opinion Story without the use of an outline. The stories were then scored by three English teachers using a rubric. After teaching the students the POW + TREE outlining strategy, students were given the task to write a second Opinion Story with the use if the outline strategy. The stories were graded by the same three English teachers, using the same rubric as the first story. A researcher-created survey was used to for the second research question, identifying how the outlining strategy impacted the student’s perceptions of writing. Results indicated that the use of the POW + TREE outlining strategy improved the student’s attention to detail, grammar/mechanics/spelling, organization, and word choice in their writing. All three participants raised their composite scores after using the outlining strategy. The area that lacked improvement in their stories were the goal/thesis. The research and practices that were shared were proven consistent with the results. Participants reported that the POW + TREE outline strategy was easy to use and aided them in the process of writing an opinion story when they took the Survey on Writing Perceptions. One participant felt neutral about many aspects of the outline strategy, although stated in the open-ended question that the outlining strategy helped them write more and made the process more enjoyable. This study showed that outlining strategies, especially the POW + TREE outline strategy had an overall positive impact on the writing and writing perceptions of high school students with ADHD and helped aid in improving a high school student with ADHD’s writing.

Subject Categories

Secondary Education | Special Education and Teaching


ADHD, Language Arts, Opinion Writing, Outlining, POW+TREE, Writing Perceptions

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.