I'm doing a persuasive research paper on ADHD. I need a few good ideas to start the paper and do my thesis. 

Expert Answers
kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is no shortage of material readily available on the Internet on the diagnosis and treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), including good primary source material as well as academic or scholarly studies.  In fact, the question of whether ADHD is being properly diagnosed or, rather, is being misapplied or abused as an easy answer to the question of why so many children, especially boys, are unruly or seemingly incapable of focusing on a task, particularly in the class room, is a valid topic for a research paper.  Some parents and others believe that too many children are now being categorized as ADHD is a convenient means of justifying the use of prescription medications to sedate or chemically alter the behavior of children who might otherwise simply be “too energetic.”  There is no question that boys are “wired” differently than girls; having spent hundreds of hours in elementary schools observing and working with both, this educator can attest to the visible distinction between the behavioral patterns of the two genders at early ages, both in the classroom and in the cafeteria and on the playground.  Boys, in general, are more physically active and less able to “sit still” at a desk than are girls of the same age group.  Whether that means they are ADHD, however, is an entirely other matter.  Many, though, are being categorized as ADHD and are being subjected to treatments for that condition.  A thesis focusing on that subject would be both feasible and worthwhile, as would a thesis focusing on treatment options, such as the question of whether medications are being properly or overly prescribed and administered. 

Linked below are websites for the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, both of which provide definitions and voluminous usable data on ADHD that should be used in any research project on this subject.  The CDC site in particular will be very helpful in attaining data and linking to additional articles on the subject of ADHD.  A good article to consult is “Are Stimulants Overprescribed?:  Treatment of  ADHD in Four U.S. Communities, at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890856709665278”  Many of these articles may only be available in abstract form or require payment for access; in such cases, it is recommended that the student visit a library, preferably a university library, to attain a hard copy.  Simply by typing in the phrase “diagnosis and treatment of ADHD,” however, will provide many useful links to this topic. 

wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

How about a different tack:  Argue the benefits of ADHD!  There must be something creative, fast-thinking, out-of-the-box magic about the condition; maybe it can be controlled in such a way that when it benefits the creative process, you could "go off your meds" and let it do some magic.  There is much sound literature on the artist's dilemma of choosing creativity and social disruption vs. no creativity and social acceptance.  See John Olive's play "Standing on my Knees" for example, or the new TV show "Black Box."  Sometimes the best essays are the ones that persuade the reader to rethink automatic reaction.

rachellopez | Student

I don't know much about ADHD but my mom told me about an article she was linked to in an email. It was about how different things we are putting in our bodies can cause certain reactions. In this case it was the dye we consume in our food. This girl's parents did an experiment about how the dye had caused behavioral changes in their child and the doctors had assumed it was ADHD. They proved that the dye was what was causing her issues and when she stopped having it she didn't have that problem. 

I thought this was interesting and maybe you could argue in your paper about hyperactivity being mistaken for ADHD or the common causes and how it could be resolved without medication. I'm afraid that we don't have the link to the article anymore, but I'm sure there's a lot online about it. 

mmlitten2 | Student

Have you seen the new commercial for Vyvanse, featuring Adam Levine? In your paper you could talk about how the media is persuading the public to use certain types of medication because celebrities are using the same medicine.

What are you trying to persuade your audience to believe?