Home Blog Problem-Solution Essay - Writing Guide, Topics, & Sample

Problem-Solution Essay - Writing Guide, Topics, & Sample

Problem-Solution Essay - Writing Guide, Topics, & Sample

Are you looking for help to write and submit a great problem-solution essay? Unfortunately, many students confuse these essays with argumentative and persuasive essays and fail to write an engaging and convincing essay.

These essays are different from the other kinds of essays and have their own conventions and style. A detailed essay writing guide will help you know about each essay’s different kinds and writing processes.

The problem-solution essay is one of the most difficult types to get right. It's not just about explaining your point but also providing convincing arguments and evidence for it.

You can learn all about this type with us because we cover every important detail in this blog. So you know how exactly to write it effectively.

What is a Problem-Solution Essay?

A problem-solution essay is a kind of persuasive writing. It presents a problem, describes it in detail, and proposes a solution for it. A great essay must be convincing and have strong evidence and arguments to prove that the given solution is the best.

This essay differs from both argumentative and persuasive essays as it does not focus on arguments only. Instead, it is somewhat like a cause and effect essay as it discusses different causes as problems and their effects as consequences.

Like it, a problem-solution essay focuses on describing the problem and its consequences also. As a writer, it is your job to investigate the problem in-depth and develop a fruitful solution.

Usually, these are short essays and are parts of subject exams and IELTS exams. The essay could give a single solution or present multiple solutions to solve the discussed problem.

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Basic Elements of a Problem-Solution Essay

A problem-solution essay has the following features or elements.

The complete description of these features is as follows.

  • A Well-Briefed Problem

    Since this kind of essay is written to propose a solution to a problem, it is important to discuss and explain the problem first. The problem should be well-defined and detailed and should be written to educate the reader about its existence.

    Sometimes the readers do not know what the writer is talking about and miss the mark completely. To avoid any such situation, assume that your readers know nothing about it and explain it in detail.

  • A Reasonable Solution

    After the writer has explained the problem, the writer presents the solution to the problem. When choosing the problem, make sure that it could solve through reasonable and doable solutions.

    It should not be too broad or too narrow. Instead, choose the problem that you know you could tackle and offer reasonable solutions for.

  • A Convincing and Strong Argument

    The main argument should be strong enough to convince the readers about the solution that the writer has proposed. Moreover, it should be reasonable and could be implemented in real life.

    Besides, the writer should make sure that they add strong evidence to prove that their proposed solution is better than others and offers greater benefits.

  • A Proper Tone

    There is a difference between arguing and presenting a solution. As a writer, you must know the difference between these two and make sure that your essay stays within the defined conventions. Writing a problem-solution type of essay is like having an argument without actually arguing.

    To answer the possible problem solution essay questions and concerns that may come in the readers’ minds, discuss the expected and possible objections. Doing this will show the reader that you have explored every possible solution and possibility before proposing the solution.

    Before finalizing the essay, go through it and make sure that you have added all of these elements.

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Problem Solution Essay Structure

The structure of this essay is usually the same as the structure of any other essay. Generally, it has three paragraphs that state and explain three problems and their solutions in detail. Below is the sample problem-solution essay structure.


    • Paraphrase and add the main question or topic of the essay.
    • State the problems that you will discuss in the essay.

    Main Body Paragraphs

    Paragraph 1 - Problem or the Cause

    • Topic Sentence - Mention the first problem or the main cause.
    • Explanation - Explain the problem in detail.
    • Example - Add an example to explain further.

    Paragraph 2 - Solution to the First Problem

    • Topic Sentence - Mention the solution to the first problem.
    • Explanation - Explain the solution in detail.
    • Example - Add an example to highlight it.

    The other two problems and solutions will be added in the same pattern.


    • Restate the thesis statement briefly.
    • Repeat the main points.
    • Mention how the presented solutions will help in controlling the problem.
    • Do not add any new ideas here.

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How to Write a Problem-Solution Essay?

A good and commendable problem-solution essay proposes a reasonable and easy-to-implement solution to the discussed problem. Make sure that your essay stays focused and close to the main topic.

You must avoid adding any vague details and stick to the main essay topic only. Below are the steps to write a good and impressive problem-solution essay.

  1. 1. Choose the Problem-Solution Essay Topic

    This could be anything. To begin with, think of the issues and problems that bother you. These issues could be anything, and you may be a part of some groups that are already facing some issues. Make a list of the issues or problems these groups or your community are facing.

    It is not important how big or small a problem is, but it must be significant enough to affect the people.

  2. 2. Think about an Easy to Implement Solution

    For a solution to be great, it should be easy to understand and implement. Good and fully functional solutions could be implemented easily, solve the problem effectively, and are cost-effective.

    Finding a solution could be tough. Think about all the possible solutions and write them down. Below are some common ways to solve a problem.

    • Add something like money, new equipment, or resources
    • Get rid of things that are causing the problem
    • Educate the community about a problem like drugs or illiteracy
    • Use advertising to motivate the community about a cause
    • Revise old laws or introduce new ones to tackle the situation
    • Change the method of doing something

    Besides, you can add other solutions or options also.

  3. 3. Create a Problem Solution Essay Outline

    An outline is an important part of any writing process. It helps in maintaining the focus and sticking to the main essay topic only. Many times, a student loses focus and has to work on the essay all over again.

    With a well-made outline, they can avoid it and stay focused throughout the entire writing process.

    When outlining, divide the researched details into paragraphs. Make an order in which you will add and discuss those details and stick to it.

  4. 4. Write a Strong Essay Introduction

    The introduction is important, and without a strong and engaging introduction, you cannot write a good and ‘A-worthy’ essay. Describe the problem, its impact, and the reason it needs the solution.

    In case of a new or uncommon problem, explain it in detail, and if it is a common problem, then explain its consequences. No matter what, you will have to convince the readers about the importance of the problem.

  5. 5. Add a Brief and Clear Thesis Statement
  6. The thesis statement is added at the end of the introduction. It should be clear and inform the readers about the main topic and theme of the essay. It should be brief, and instead of giving away all the details, it should entice the readers to read the essay.

    Here are some tips for writing an engaging and convincing thesis statement.

    • Add the solution to the problem in a single sentence and clearly.
    • It is added after the description of the problem.
    • In case the thesis statement is overly simple, discuss the solutions that did not work earlier before proposing your solution.

    For a strong thesis statement, keep it brief and focused on the main theme or topic.

  7. 6. Write the Body Paragraphs

    This is the central part of an essay and takes up the major part of the work. Usually, an essay includes three paragraphs. In the case of a problem-solution essay, the three paragraphs will include three problems and their solutions.

    When working on each solution, take care of the following things.

    • Explain each problem in detail.
    • Propose the solution and explain it properly.
    • Explain how the solution will be useful to solve the problem.
    • Give evidence about how your solution is the best; some ways of doing it are using expert opinions, statistics, previous studies, and some examples.

    When presenting the solution, make sure that your solution is;

    • Useful for solving the problem
    • Cost-effective and easy to implement
    • Reasonable
    • Able to withstand the objections
    • Better than other solutions and options

    When discussing the solution, you must discuss the possible objections against it and ways to counter them. Give arguments and evidence in your support and make your arguments and solution convincing.

  8. 7. End the Essay with an Excellent Conclusion

    The conclusion is the last part of an essay, but it is as important as an introduction. Unfortunately, many students mistakenly think that since it is the last part, it is less important. It is wrong, and they often fail to earn a good grade because the ending is lousy and careless.

    Here are some tips for writing a strong and excellent conclusion for your problem-solution essay.

    • Explain to the readers what should happen.
    • Discuss the possibilities of improvement if your proposed solution is adopted.
    • Tell them how the solution will work.
    • If possible, add real-life examples to emphasize your proposed solution.
    • Add convincing and substantial statistics, facts, and testimonials to add weightage to your solution.

    A good conclusion will not open new arguments but will provide closure to the entire essay. So make sure that you keep it brief, use it to tie the knots, and give the final word about the pros of your solution.

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Problem-Solution Essay Example

We know that writing this kind of essay could be a challenge. Below is a sample essay to help you understand better.

Problem-Solution Essay Sample

Problem Solution Essay Example College

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List of Problem-Solution Essay Topics

When choosing a topic for your problem-solution essay, it is better to go with a topic that you are passionate about. Usually, the students choose social issues and things that happen around them. Below, we have given some helpful essay topic ideas which you use to write your essay.

  • Tobacco should be banned to control lung cancer. Discuss.
  • Obesity is caused by genetically modified and processed food. Discuss the solution.
  • Movie scripts should be censored to control violence in youth. Discuss.
  • How to eliminate racism and gender discrimination?
  • Government should propose some policies to deal with illegal immigration. Discuss.
  • How can we use social media to improve awareness?
  • Propose some ways to keep your friends and family safe.
  • College students in the United States are overburdened with homework.
  • How to improve the quality of education in high school?
  • Providing equal opportunities to under-privileged children is important. Discuss.

These are some good problem-solution topics that you can tweak to use as your own. Other than essays, you can also use such topics for your research paper. Since a research paper is based on original research work, these topics will make a great paper topic.

All of these topics are unique, and you can use them to practice for your test.

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