How to Write a Problem Solution Essay

Updated February 6, 2019
Child writing a problem solution essay
    Child writing a problem solution essay
    Used under license / Getty Images / Jamesmcq24

Problem solution essays are a popular form of persuasion. In these essays, you must describe a problem, convince the reader to care about the problem, propose a solution, and be prepared to dismantle any objections. When wondering how to write a problem solution essay, there’s an effortless formula you can follow. Let’s discuss.

Step-By-Step Guide

A good problem solution essay is going to propose a solution that can be implemented somewhat easily and will, of course, solve the problem. You must avoid any and all vagaries and stick to a specific problem with specific, actionable steps.

Here’s your formula for success:

1. Introduce the Problem

In your introductory paragraph, you’re going to carefully outline the problem. What is it and why does it need to be solved? After you’ve done so, state your thesis statement. In these essays, your thesis will be your solution to the problem. State it succinctly in one or two sentences.


2. Make the Reader Care

Don’t just describe the problem in bland definitions. You have to describe it from the readers’ eyes. Introduce the subject in a way that will make the reader take interest. Why does this problem matter? Why should they care?

There are many ways to lure readers in. Offer staggering statistics that will shock them into taking sudden interest. Share a heartfelt personal narrative that will tug at the heartstrings a little. Or, explain how the problem evolved from a mundane issue to a worthwhile cause.

3. Outline Your Solution

Once you’ve drafted your introduction, it’s time to dive into the body of the essay. Depending on length requirements, you might want to aim for three solid paragraphs that discuss the solution. Of course, you must begin with clarity. Explain your solution in simple terms that anyone could understand. Offer as many details as possible about how this will solve the problem without getting unnecessarily wordy.

Where possible, cite evidence for your solution. Offer examples where similar solutions have worked before. Cite expert opinion, statistics, and studies. If you’re proposing a new solution that hasn’t been explored before, then you can rely heavily on logical argument. Explain why you think your solution will be effective.

As you weave the body of your essay together, keep sound logistics in mind. Who’s going to fund your solution? How much time will it take? If you can cite any obvious rebuttals, start to bring your essay to a close with possible responses to these potential criticisms.


4. Paint a Final Picture

Now, it’s time to bring the essay to a close. Describe the next steps that must take place immediately. Paint a vivid picture of what the world would look like after your practical solution has been implemented.

Some of the best ways to close an essay are with rhetorical questions such as, “Isn’t this the type of world we all seek to live in?” Or, you can cite some sort of call to action. Ask others to join the cause, or direct them to some other source for more information.

Problem-Solution Essay Topic Ideas

When it comes to finding a topic, stick close to home. What matters to you, personally? Are you a member of any type of organization that could use a little change? Or, perhaps you’re not faced with any specific problem at the moment, but you know you will in the future. If you’re entering college, you might have student loan debt in your future. Perhaps you’ll present viable solutions that the government or universities themselves can consider.

Here’s a short list of topics that might get the wheels turning:

  • Alcohol addiction
  • Bullying in school
  • Credit card debt
  • Dangers of procrastination
  • Endangered species
  • Fracking
  • Fractures in family relationships
  • Obesity
  • Overabundance of time spent on social media
  • Pollution
  • Safety issues in online dating
  • Teen suicide
  • Violation of Americans’ privacy rights
  • Work-life balance

It’s important to reiterate the importance of a specific problem. It’s the only way you can offer a precise, actionable solution. For example, you wouldn’t want to select the dangers of the online world as a topic. Instead, hone in one one specific branch of the online world, like Instagram or online dating apps. Then, you can provide a specific solution to that specific challenge.


Problem Solved!

Throughout your academic career, you’ll be tasked with various essay assignments. Problem solution essays are of a persuasive vein. It’s the writer’s job to not only persuade the audience to care, but also persuade them to take specific action.

Here are some tips that will make persuasive essay writing easy. Once you have a solid topic in hand, a systematic approach will bring readers into your corner in no time at all.