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How to Write a Problem-Solution Essay

Rucha Phatak Mar 16, 2020
A student's educational career is a daily rigmarole submitting assignments comprising many types of essays. Jotting down your thoughts on paper may not be as easy as it sounds. Each essay type has a different structure. Here are some guidelines to help you.

Problem---- Solution

What is a Problem-Solution essay?
It is best defined as an essay which analyzes a problem and proposes solutions for it.
People tend to raise a lot of questions, point out a problem or an issue; however, rarely, will anyone provide a solution to the said problem. Putting it simply, a student will have to do just that, provide a solution to the problem, the most suitable one to be more precise. We have a huge task ahead of us, let's get started!

Let us first lay the foundation of your essay!

Select a Problem! (Oh yes, you read it correctly!)

➥ The problem can be varied―issues could be pertaining to either the world, national, or local affairs or even a personal one.
➥ Choose an uncomplicated problem which can be resolved quickly. For example, solving the problem of Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa might be too much to write on for first-time essay writers.

➥ However, you can choose simple easy-to-resolve issues like food in your school cafeteria, potholes on the roads, etc.

Research, Research, and Research!

➥ The 2 most vital steps to follow before writing any type of essay:
  • Understand the subject.
  • Research and infer the scope of the problem.
➥ Reliable Sources of information: Books, journals, newspapers, interviews, etc.

➥ Probable solutions follow a well-researched subject.

Brainstorm to Find Solutions

➥ List the probable solutions for the selected problem. Do some brainstorming to wind up with the best, most suitable solution.

➥ What do we mean by probable? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines probability as "the chance that something will happen" or "something that has a chance of happening."
➥ That is exactly what your solutions should be―a chance of happening. For example, "a divine intervention" or "an alien interference" is something that we cannot be sure of. Provide realistic solutions.
➥ There may be numerous solutions to one problem, choose three that are most effective and can be promptly applied to your problem, keeping in mind the length of your essay.

Prepare the Skeleton for Your Essay: Thesis Statement

➥ After you have collected all the data, it is time to write the thesis.

➥ Thesis can be defined as a sentence that states the problem and the proposed solutions to it. In simple words, thesis is a preview of your essay.
➥ For example, your thesis might look something like this―"Problem + Solution 1 + Solution 2 + Solution 3." This will be the outline of your thesis.
For example: "Drug abuse causes negative impact on the society that can be eradicated with counseling, proper education, and an increase in the police force to deal with them, and effective laws in place to stop the drug dealers."
➥ In the earlier thesis, "drug abuse" is the problem to which "counseling, proper education and an increase in the police force to deal with them, and effective laws in place to stop the drug dealers" are the solutions.

➥ In other words, this is the gist of your essay.

Pen Away!

Time to begin writing your problem-solution essay.
The following outline or the format of the essay will help you give structure to the collected data:


➥ The explanation of the problem begins here―main goals
  • Introduce the problem to the readers.
  • Cause the readers to focus on the problem and induce interest in them.
  • Convince your readers that the problem needs immediate attention.
➥ A detailed explanation plays an important role to help achieve your goals. However, if it is a known problem, the explanation can just be a short and precise summary.
➥ Techniques like personal experiences, facts, figures, hypothetical scenarios, etc., can be tools to introduce the essay and a sure way of drawing the readers' attention.

➥ Placing a thesis statement at the end of the introduction will state the main points that you have discussed in the essay and is the most logical place for it.

Body Paragraphs

➥ Outline for the body of the essay:
  • Body paragraph 1: Problem
  • Body paragraph 2: Solution 1
  • Body paragraph 3: Solution 2
  • Body paragraph 4: Solution 3
➥ Explanation of each point in separate paragraphs helps in debating the probable solution to the problem.
➥ As you discuss the problem in the first body paragraph, a detailed version of the explanation should commence from the introduction. You can discuss the history of the problem as well as give an expert's opinion regarding it, thus establishing the gravity of the problem.
➥ When discussing the solutions, support them with evidence. You can carry out a detailed study and debate on it in the paragraph. On the other hand, you can use other sources like quotes, experiments, interviews, statistics, etc., to prove that your solutions are valid.


➥ Last but not the least, is the concluding paragraph.

➥ The concluding paragraph offers you a space to reinforce your points on the readers.
➥ To make the conclusion more effective, you can describe to the readers, how the situation could change if the solutions are applied to it. Give real life examples.

➥ Call for a plan of action that will give a direction to your readers' thoughts.

Problem solved―Your problem-solution essay is ready!
As the English writer―Dame Hilary Mary Mantel, DBE FRSL― quoted: "If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don't just stick there scowling at the problem...
...But don't make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people's words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient."
Patience is the key to solving your problems. If the problem is like a nail, then patience and endurance is the hammer to the nail.