5.9 Strategies for Revising and Editing

For children and teens with ADHD, this stage of the writing process (revising, proofreading, and making corrections) is the one that generally meets with the most resistance.

Revising written work involves adding or deleting information, resequencing the order of sentences and paragraphs, and choosing words that better communicate your meaning. Revision requires self-monitoring and critically evaluating one's own work, as well as the motivation to put forth the effort in rewriting subsequent drafts until complete. This is very difficult and tedious for students with ADHD or learning disabilities. For many, once they have struggled to complete the first draft, they consider their written work as done.


Editing involves proofreading for errors in grammar, mechanics, and spelling and then polishing the final product. Students with ADHD are typically very weak in editing skills because it requires focused attention to details and close self-monitoring. It is unrealistic to expect they will be able to adequately proofread for their own errors and fix them without direct help, such as teacher, parent, or peer editing or assistive technology supports.

Strategies for Helping Students with Revision

  • Encourage students to write rough drafts on every other line of the paper to make it easier to revise and edit.
  • Allow students to compose on a computer, ...

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