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Problem Solution Essay Outline

In order to know how to write a problem-solution essay, one must know what kind of essay it is first. So what is a problem-solution essay? A problem-solution is a method for analyzing and writing about a topic that identifies a problem and consequently providing one or more solutions to it.    

Problem-solution essays are commonly short essays that argue and convince a reader to take on a problem or address it in a particular way. It is usually composed of an introduction, a problem, a solution, and a conclusion.  

The introduction identifies the problem in a nutshell. It explains why the topic is a problem, who are affected by the problem, and the consequences they will have to suffer if the problem is not addressed.

The problem explains what the problem is clearly and specifically. It demonstrates that this is not just a personal complaint but a genuine problem that actually affects the general public. Why? Because it will appeal more to the readers or audience. Anything that affects a person, whether directly or indirectly, instantly makes the person curious or interested in it.

The solution is the part that offers a concrete solution to the problem. It explains why this one is the best recourse among others. The student or the writer can also include other solutions to it and just add which one he or she thinks is the best option. When presenting multiple problem-solution items, these have to be presented in a logical order to ensure that they are easily understood by the readers or audience of the essay. Otherwise, it will defeat the purpose of the essay itself, and that is to help resolve a problem.

The conclusion is an emphasis of the importance of the problem and the value of the solution or solutions presented in the essay. It can also be the part where the student or the writer convinces his or her readers or audience to act on it before it worsens.

Problem-Solution Essay Outline

There are two ways to approach a problem-solution essay: either through a block or a chain structure.

In a block structure, all of the problems are identified and listed first, and then followed by their corresponding solutions afterward, which would look like this:

  1. Introduction

  2. Body

    1. Problem 1

    2. Problem 2

    3. Problem 3

    4. Solution 1

    5. Solution 2

    6. Solution 3

  3. Conclusion

While in a chain structure, each problem is followed immediately by its corresponding solution, which would look like this:

  1. Introduction

  2. Body

    1. Problem 1

    2. Solution 1

    3. Problem 2

    4. Solution 2

    5. Problem 3

    6. Solution 3

  3. Conclusion

Each type of outline has its own merits with the former being generally clearer and simpler, while the latter presents the solutions directly to the problems identified. In choosing which approach to apply, the student or the writer will have to consider certain factors including the number of problems to be identified. If a student opts to identify several problems in the essay, choosing the chain structure would appear to be a better choice so the readers can associate which solution answers a particular problem more quickly and consequently avoid mismatching them in the process.

List of Topics for a Problem-Solution Essay

In choosing which topic to write about in a problem-solution essay, it would be best to choose a topic that the student or writer is truly passionate about or something that he or she is well-informed. To attract readers or audience to read it, he can address some social issues that affect the general public or a certain group of people. It could be topics about health, youth, the environment, the society, education, or even about happiness and success.

The following are universal issues that can be tackled on in problem-solution essays:

  1. Whether or not to fully ban tobacco to reduce the lung cancer incidence;

  2. Whether or not to ban genetically-modified food to address obesity;

  3. Whether or not to censor movie scripts to reduce violence;

  4. Whether or not to implement one-car rule to reduce global warming;

  5. Whether or not to invest in renewable energy source to address the climate crisis;

  6. Whether or not psychological help can reduce domestic violence;

  7. Whether or not adoption procedures should be made easier for gay couples;

  8. Whether or not investment in virtual curriculums can make education more affordable;

  9. Whether or not music can improve academic performance; and

  10. Whether or not social media can solve teen isolation.

Find Who Can Write My Essay

There are several reasons that can come to mind why some students or writers are unable to write their problem-solution essays for themselves. It could be the lack of time or lack of resources available. In any case, WEBSITE produces high-quality problem-solution essays that are well-researched and well-written that will guarantee an excellent grade within the deadline and at an affordable price.

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Writing a Problem-Solution Essay: Drafting the Essay

If youve done a thorough job researching and planning, writing a problem-solution essay isn't difficult. Open the Problem-Solution Essay diagram that you created in Webspiration Classroom™ to help you draft your essay.


Introduction: The ProblemThe opening paragraph needs to:
  1. Capture the reader's attention. Asking a question or quoting a fact can be an effective way to capture attention and introduce the problem.
  2. Define the problem and explain why it’s significant. Why does it matter? Why is it a problem?
  3. State your thesis.
Body: Possible SolutionsThe body should:
  • Contain at least two paragraphs that outline possible solutions and your critique of them (why you think they won't work as well as the best solution)
  • Present your preferred solution last, and support it with evidence documenting why it’s the best
  • Propose how you would implement your solution
Conclusion: Call to ActionThe conclusion should briefly recap the problem and proposed solution. It should end with a strong call to action—possibly telling the reader what will happen if your solution isn't implemented.


Using Transitions
Transitional words and phrases are like glue—they hold your essay together. Use them each time you start a new paragraph or between thoughts within a paragraph. Here are a few transition words and phrases to get you started:

  • Therefore,
  • As a result,
  • Nonetheless
  • Consequently,
  • For this reason,
  • In addition,
  • In conclusion,


Drafting in Webspiration Classroom™
Use Outline View in Webspiration Classroom to draft your essay. You can type your paragraphs directly into the outline as if you were working in a word processing program. This will allow you to get feedback from your peers and teacher using the Collaboration Tools.

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