Problem-Solution Essays – What Are They?

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An essay of the problem-solution variety is one that requires the writer to describe a particular problem and look for ways to solve it.  Essays of this type are given to high school and college students and they often require an element of research before the essay can be written. The main aim of a problem solution essay is generally to argue for a particular solution to a given problem or to build a robust case to find a solution. As is the case with most genre of essay, this type must also be built on an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement, some body paragraphs and a concluding paragraph.

One should begin this type of essay by first identifying the problem that will become the basis for discussion. You might find brainstorming useful as a means of generating potential problem solution essay topics and then develop a bullet-point list of ideas to discuss for each individual topic. Some of the better topics are ones that are of interest to the reader and can be looked at from several different angles. However, they should not be so broad in scope that it becomes impossible to think of a solution.

The introductory paragraph of a problem and solution essay should offer a description of the problem as well as any background information related to it. It is important to clearly define the problem and, where possible, its causes and the extent of the issue should also be described. Additionally, you should list the problem’s effects and the potential consequences of not finding a solution. In the opening paragraph, the writer should also define any key terminology or terms in addition to providing any important information of an historical or general nature, that might help readers to better understand the problem.  

The thesis statement in this type of essay might well argue that the problem urgently needs to be solved or it may argue in favor of one specific solution. More often than not with problem solution essays, the thesis will put forward an argument for the single solution scenario. Usually, the thesis statement should be just one sentence in length and it should clearly state the purpose of the essay. It is usual practice to place a thesis statement in the introductory paragraph but, sometimes, it is placed towards the end of the essay where it is only revealed after the problem and any feasible solutions have been discussed in full.

The body paragraphs in a problem solution essay should be used to provide a detailed description of any suggested solutions and the potential results of each one. The writer should outline the benefits and drawbacks to each proposed solution as well as how feasible each one is. The writer should also describe any attempts that have previously been made to find a solution to the problem. If the thesis is arguing for one specific solution, then the body paragraphs should progress logically to a conclusion that shows the proffered solution is the best one. Remember, too, that as well as describing the solution, a proposal for its implementation should also be put forward.  

Therefore, we hope this mostly answers your question, “what is a problem solution essay?” The only aspect left to discuss is the conclusion.

The concluding paragraph of a problem solution essay should call readers to action, which is a way of allowing them either to participate in the solution you have offered or to get involved in finding a solution. You can re-emphasize any possible consequences that the problem may cause in the future to encourage your readers to act. It can also help to reiterate the problem briefly and draw attention again to how it might escalate if it is not solved. To be at its most effective, a problem solution essay should generate such a feeling of urgency that the reader takes an interest in the problem and becomes keen to solve it.