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How to write a Problem Solution Essay

How to write a Problem Solution Essay

To start thinking about a problem solution essay, go outside and take a look at the world around you.

There are many problems: poverty, pollution, corruption, disease, bad roads, etc.

Some of them can be addressed and solved quickly. Others require critical thinking and significant proposals to business people or your local government.

solved puzzle

A problem solution essay is a great mind-opener. After all, most people who go into academia want to help the world. Regardless of whether you’re a doctor or an artist.

In this article written by EssayPro we will first give you some topics to think about. Then we will present a step-by-step guide on how to write a problem solution essay effectively.

Make sure to stick around for useful tips near the end of this blog!


Table Of Contents

Problem Solution Essay Topics

The best way to find problem solution essay topics is to look at common issues.

We have created a list of simple topics to get you thinking:

  1. Bullying on social media has caused lots of teens to get depressed. How can we address cyberbullying in your school/hometown?

  2. What is the best way to drag a friend out of depression?

  3. Smoking is highly addictive and extremely hard to quit. How can we address the smoking problem and educate teens that it isn't cool to smoke?

  4. People can often be manipulative and Machiavellian, getting into other peoples’ way. What is the best way to deal with such people?

  5. People litter without thinking of environmental consequences. How can we educate these people?

  6. Teens often struggle with expressing their feelings. These struggles can flow into adulthood and make people closed and lonely. How can we get teens to open up?

  7. Stereotypes and racism are ever present in 2nd and 3rd world countries. How can we educate people about the dangers of racism and stereotypical thought?

  8. Lots of teens struggle with internet addiction. How can we teach them to appreciate the real world?

  9. Private college is an extremely expensive privilege. How can we lower prices for students who deserve it?

  10. Lots of students in college lose themselves to alcohol and drugs. How can we prevent this?

  11. Lots of people buy their driver’s license, ending up terrible drivers. How can we fix that?

  12. Textbooks are costly for college students. Will digital textbooks fix this issue?

  13. How can colleges raise pay for professors without raising the price for students?

  14. What is the best way to tackle problematic kids at school?

  15. What is the best way to help a creative child explore their potential while doing good at school?

These are just a few problem solution essay topics. There are plenty more problems in the world that you could address.

Think of a topic that motivates you to help.

The Key Components of a Problem Solution Paper

After you’ve chosen your topic, you must do some brainstorming.

problem solution essay components

A problem solution essay is divided into four main components. You should focus on them while brainstorming. These components are:

Situation: give background to the case in your own words.
Problem: state the problem and why it is essential to address.
Solution: offer your answer to the problem.
Evaluation: evaluate your paper, listing the main ideas and offer a final prediction or call to action.

A problem solution essay can address several problems if they are in the same subject area. These problems can be linked to a bigger picture, inspiring more research from your peers.

The Proposal

Before doing any outline and brainstorming, you must convince yourself that the problem matters.

Creating a proposal will be essential to solidify your understanding of the problem. Here are some general steps to follow when writing a proposal:

  • Solidify how much you know. Write down everything you’ve learned about the issue and make sure you know it inside out.
  • Prove to yourself that the problem matters. After learning everything there is to it, you should be confident that the problem is real and that you can solve it.
  • Determine what needs to be learned. Extra research goes a long way. This can also help you call to action for further study in your conclusion.
  • Design a research plan. Will you use the library or go online? Will you go outside and talk to real people who can offer insight based on experience?

The proposal will help you clarify where you currently stand on the problem.

Some useful advice: get early feedback on your proposal! Talk to your teacher, family member or friend. They will tell you if you’re on the right track.

The Outline: Block & Chain Structures

There are two common types of outlines for a problem solution paper. They are slight variations on the classic 5-paragraph essay format.

Use the format which fits your paper best.

Block Structure

One way to do it is by using the block structure. Here you must list the problems first, and then propose the solutions:

  • Introduction and background
    • Problem 1
    • Problem 2
  • Transition paragraph
    • Solution 1
    • Solution 2
  • Evaluation and conclusion

Chain Structure

The second format is the chain structure, where you present a problem followed by a solution. This format works best for quickly written papers, such as exam questions or homework assignments.

  • Introduction with background
    • Problem 1 and solution
    • Problem 2 and solution
    • Problem 3 and solution
  • Conclusion and evaluation

Writing an outline first will do magic for your writing. Just do some brainstorming, and fit the information into one of these structures.

Now let’s move on to the writing process.

Writing a Problem Solution Essay

The most logical place to start is the problems section. This section should give the reader most of the information they need to understand the problem.

Here are some useful steps to follow:

problem solution essay steps

Students usually pick local problems. This helps establish a better connection with their peers. If your city is dealing with garbage disposal problems, then pretty much everybody can relate to that.

However, other problems such as climate change are more global. It is vital in such cases to give the reader enough background so they could make a better connection with the problem.

As an example: to fully apprehend the genocide of Native American culture in America, one must fully understand the culture of these indigenous people in relation to American history.

Writing a Thesis

A thesis statement is your essay in a nutshell.

Rules say that the thesis must be in the introduction paragraph. It must also give the reader a general outlook of what will be discussed.

Here’s a tip: most students write their thesis last.

Writing the thesis last is a great idea. You will already know the content of your paper and have developed a personal rhetorical style. All you need is to compress all that info into one sentence.

We have an entirely separate blog dedicated to writing an effective thesis statement. Be sure to check it out!

Exploring Solutions to your Problem, Step by Step

You want to gain the trust of your reader.

To do so, you must show that you have studied every aspect of your problem. Look at solutions made by other scholars (if any), and analyze them critically in your essay.

  • Has somebody else tackled your problem before?
  • What have they missed, that can be included?
  • Have they failed or succeeded in solving the problem?
  • What was their call to action?

In brief: if other solutions are weak, show how your solution will work.

Now that we’re done with the theory let’s organize your solution in 3 simple steps.

problem solution essay organization

Step 1: Propose a Plan of Action

Proposing a plan of action is like pitching a new business idea to a board of administrators. Expect your audience to be sceptical. To avoid misunderstandings, give them the broadest spectrum in the simplest words.

  • Present a step by step process of how your problem can be solved.
  • Be aware of potential critiques and address them.
  • Make it all seem as simple as possible. Simple solutions can convince and inspire.

Ideas are only ideas without a plan. Explain not what you will do but how you will do it.

Step 2: Support your solution with examples

Back to the business idea: if you were to pitch a new smartphone to rule them all, you want to make the board almost feel like they’re holding it in their hand.

  • Examples (especially relatable ones) ease the tension of heavy loads of info. Use many examples in your step-by-step process.
  • A picture: if you can’t tell, show. A picture is worth a thousand words.
  • Statistics. People tend to believe statistics, especially when they come from a reliable source.
  • Descriptive storytelling: mesmerize your audience with a story related to your topic. Jason once calculated how many plastic bottles he throws away in a month. It turns out, he contributed to plastic pollution with an average of 5 plastic bottles a day! From then on, Jason started recycling plastic.

Step 3: Don’t Conclude, Call To Action!

A conclusion is that part of the essay where you give final ideas and wrap the paper up.

It gives the reader a sense of completion, implying that the problem has been solved; the thesis has been proven. However, we don’t want that to happen in a problem solution essay.

If you want the reader to stand up and try to save the world, you must leave the ending open.

Make the conclusion feel like “This is where the paper ends, but your action only begins.”

It’s all about the call to action.

You must encourage your reader to join the fight for the greater good. Using projection is a great technique: it shows your reader how the community will improve if your solution is adopted.

Inspiring one person to quit smoking could have a significant effect on the community. Who knows, maybe they’ll inspire someone else and save their life.

Proofreading and Tips

Your best bet is to leave the paper for a day or two. Come back to it with a fresh mind to properly review it.

  • Confirm that it covers all four elements of a problem solution essay.
  • Check that the thesis works in line of your arguments.
  • Check that the introduction is interesting and hooks your reader.
  • Confirm that you’ve fully explored the problem and left nothing out.
  • Confirm that you’ve used vivid language in describing the problem.
  • Check that the solution you presented is achievable.
  • Check if you’ve given the reader all the necessary steps to address the solution.
  • Finally, check that the conclusion section is inspiring, uses projection, and has a strong call to action.

In the meanwhile, check for grammar issues and punctuation errors.

There are plenty of online grammar checkers which can help you with that.

  • Grammarly helps you find major and minor spelling and punctuation errors in your text.
  • Hemingway helps you keep your sentences short and to the point.
  • Thesaurus helps you find synonyms for overused words, or it can help you make your language more colourful if you wish so.

Alternatively, give the paper to your peers or family for proofreading. They always have a tendency of spotting stuff you’ve never noticed!

If no one in your class is ready to start solving the problem, maybe you can inspire someone in your community or hometown! You never know.

Need Extra Help?

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