What Is A Problem And Solution Essay

Start by thinking about things that bother you or problems that you find irritating. If you've thought, "I know how this could be done better!" you have a great idea for your paper.

Step One: Think about groups that you belong to and problems that those groups have. Make a list of groups you belong to like:

  • School
  • Hometown community
  • Clubs
  • Sports teams
  • Hobby groups
  • People groups (teenagers, high school students, college students, family, males, females, race, culture, or language group)

Step Two: Make a list of problems you have encountered in some of these groups. Sometimes, there is a plan for a solution but it isn't working, or maybe the plan isn't being enforced. The problem doesn't have to be a big one, but it has to be something you can convince other people needs to be and can be solved, or at least made better.

Step Three: Once you have your topic, you might want to go through the exercises in my problem solution guide to get ready to write.

Organization

A Problem-Solution Essay discusses a problem, and then provides a plan for its solution.  We often use this type of essay when we what to persuade others that we have a better idea, or a better plan.

The block method of organization:

Paragraph 1:

  • Hook
  • Connecting Information
  • Thesis Statement

Paragraph 2: Reasons why the problem is real

Paragraph 3: Solution(s) for the problem: individual levels

Paragraph 4: Solution(s) for the problem: community levels

Paragraph 5: Conclusion


Thesis Statement

The problem-solution thesis statement can be one sentence or two.  Whether it is one or two sentence, it needs to clearly state what the problem is, and then the possible solutions.

Look at the example below.  The sentence in blue states the problem, and the sentence in red references to possible solutions.

  • Excessive noise from traffic poses health risks to people of all ages. Researchers have developed two possible solutions to protect people and still preserve the flow of traffic.

Body Paragraphs

The first body paragraph describes the problem in such a way that the reader is convinced that the problem needs solving.  Then the following paragraphs explain the solution(s) to the problem persuading the readers that the solutions are the best. Optional: You can include with a rebuttal to counter objections.

See Compound and Complex Sentences and Cohesion and Coherence for paragraph development.

Conclusion

The conclusion restates the thesis statements. It should be done in such a way as to emphasize the solutions. The closing statement should leave a call to action – challenging the readers to do something about the problem.

Remember, no new information in the conclusion.


Using a Chart

When you write about a problem and its solutions, you can use a problem-solution chart to develop your ideas.  Include why it is a problem and possible solutions for the problem.

Download:Problem-solution-chart


Suggested Outline

Introduction

  1. The hook – use an interesting fact, or a quote, or even a rhetorical question
  2. Connecting information – briefly introduce the problem
  3. Thesis statement  – state the problem, why it’s a problem, refer to a proposed solution for the problem

Body Paragraph: 1

  1. Write a topic sentence that defines the problem
    1. Describe what the problem is
    2. Provide examples and reasons that show why the problem is important
    3. Show how the problem affects our lives

Body Paragraph: 2

  1. Write a topic sentence that defines the solution: individual level
    1. Explain why this solution is good
    2. Provide steps on how the solution can be implemented
    3. Show how the solution solves the problem

Body Paragraph: 3

  1. Write a topic sentence that defines the solution: community level
    1. Explain why this solution is good
    2. Provide steps on how the solution can be implemented
    3. Show how the solution solves the problem

Conclusion

  1. Restate the thesis statement
  2. Summarize main points
  3. Connect solution to our lives
  4. Final thought

Research Your Topic

  1. Research your topic at the library or online
    1. Keep your main idea clear in mind
    2. Find supporting details in books, magazines, or journals
  2. Takes notes on key points
    1. Use 3×5 cards to record facts or quotations you might use
    2. Make sure to add correct citations for future reference

Planning your Thesis Statement

  1. Write a draft for your Thesis Statement.  Your statement should clearly explain the problem and refer to the solutions.  Refer to your freewriting and problem-solution essay chart.
  2. Have a friend check your Thesis Statement for clarity.

Development

Writers often use cause and effect transitions when explaining problem. Below is a list of some helpful transitions to show how one action can affect another.

CausesEffects
because ofthus
due toas a result
as a result oftherefore
in view ofconsequently
sinceas a consequent
seeing thatso

Revising Check List

Use the following questions to check your essay.

  1. Does the essay have a hook in the introduction? Is it effective?
  2. Does the first paragraph introduce the main idea (thesis)? Does the thesis state clearly the problem and refer to possible solutions?
  3. Does the essay use a point-by-point or blocking pattern?
  4. Identify language that is vague.
  5. Does the essay use a variety of sentence structures; simple, compound, complex, compound-complex?
  6. Is the essay organized clearly using transitions to build cohesion?
  7. Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence that describes the main idea of the paragraph?
  8. Do the sentences in each paragraph support the topic sentence of the paragraph?
  9. Does the conclusion restate the thesis and leave a closing remark?
  10. Are there any errors in grammar, punctuation, and mechanics, such as comma splices, run-on sentences, and fragments.

Check for the use of Gerunds and Infinitives

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