Monday, 5 March 2012

Objective Proficiency p 157. Problem Solution Essay Outline. Extra Writing

A problem-solution essay: tens of thousands of people are fleeing civil war and unrest to find new homes in Europe—sometimes with tragic consequences. The U.N. estimates that more people have been displaced than at any time since World War II. Write a problem-solution essay for your local newspaper about this social issue with a title related to the global refugee Crisis.  You will get more ideas on how to write a problem-solution essay below. You will find useful language for this topic here, here and here. You will find useful language for writing here, here , here , here  and here .
Here you have other ideas for a problem-solution essay:

  • Human rights
  • Child labour
  • Economic development 
  • Economic inequality: the gap between rich and poor
  • Intellectual Property
  • Capital punishment
  • Religious freedom
  • Environmental awareness
  • Illegal immigration
  • Civil liberties
  • Free trade
  • Freedom of speech
  • Gun control
  • Forced evictions: Global Crisis, Global Solutions
Problem Solution Essay Outline

I. Introduction
1. Get the reader’s attention by using a “hook”. (e.g. Imagine… or ask a rhetorical questions: How many people are killed with guns every year?)

2. State the problem. (thesis)

E.g. There is a (big, substantial, terrible, annoying) problem of _____________________ in (the world, our city, the United States, among teenagers, our schools) today.

Reference to research/ facts and figures:
E.g. The figures illustrate/ This illustrates one of today's most important issues: gun control.
This (fact) represents a growing problem.
 It will suffice to say that/ Suffice it to say that the latest research in this field shows that increased crime

suffice (it) to say (that)…: used to suggest that although you could say more, what you do say will be enough to explain what you mean. E.g. I won’t go into all the details. Suffice it to say that the whole event was a complete disaster.

Tell who is affected by (involved in) the problem.
Tell how those groups or people are affected.

Describe the causes of the problem
One of the causes of these figures/ this problem is...
This is largely due to...
Another reason is the...

Describe the consequences of the problem 
The country has an extremely violent past and this has resulted in an ingrained need to protect oneself...
This has led to...
This has brought about a change...
bring something about to make something happen.
One of the consequences of this is...

II. 1st Solution
1. State your first solution
E.g. To begin with…… OR One solution to this problem is…….
2. Explain how your solution will work & how it relates to the problem – use the 3e’s explain, expand, example
How can countries reduce the number of gun deaths? A complete ban on guns is barely imaginable in the US. However, there are a number of other options. These include developing better systems for introducing tougher prison sentences for people who own guns illegally.
The problem is that these solutions have already been proposed, passed into law and denounced as failures.
III. 2nd Solution
1. State your second solution
E.g. Another solution to the problem of __________________ is……. OR In addition ….
One possible solution that has not been tried yet is... This would mean that...
There are a number of (other) options. These include...
2. Explain how your solution will work & how it relates to the problem – use the 3e’s explain, expand, example

IV. 3rd Solution
1. State your third solution
E.g. Finally,…. OR Lastly….

2. Explain how your solution will work & how it relates to the problem – use the 3e’s explain, expand, example

V. Conclusion
1. Provides closure to your essay
E.g. As you can see there is a terrible problem of ___________________ in ____________________ today. OR It is clear….
In conclusion, the solution proposed here is one for the future.
To sum up, ...
The purpose/aim of this essay was to ...
The idea would/ would not bring an end to... However,

2. End with a “zinger” that makes the reader think or smile (e.g. compelling statement, readers personal connection, question for the reader to think about)
Until guns are completely banned, it is unlikely that...

Transitional Words and Phrases
Examples/Explanation: for instance, specifically, such as, to illustrate
Addition: furthermore, in addition, additionally, as well, moreover
Emphasis: most importantly, most important of all, indeed, in fact

The internet has transformed the way information is shared and consumed, but it has also created problems that did not exist before. What are the most serious problems associated with the internet and what solutions can you suggest?

The enormous growth in the use of the internet over the last decade has led to radical changes to the way that people consume and share information. Although serious problems have arisen as a result of this, there are solutions.

One of the first problems of the internet is the ease with which children can access potentially dangerous sites. For example, pornography sites are easily accessible to them because they can register with a site and claim to be an adult. There is no doubt that this affects their thoughts and development, which is a negative impact for the children and for society. Another major problem is the growth of online fraud and hacking. These days, there are constant news stories about government and company websites that have been hacked, resulting in sensitive information falling into the hands of criminals.

It is important that action is taken to combat these problems. Governments should ensure that adequate legislation and controls are in place that will prevent young people from accessing dangerous sites, such as requiring more than simply confirming that you are an adult to view a site.

Parents also have a part to play. They need to closely monitor the activities of their children and restrict their access to certain sites, which can now be done through various computer programs. Companies must also improve their onsite IT security systems to make fraud and hacking much more difficult by undertaking thorough reviews of their current systems for weaknesses.

To conclude, the internet is an amazing technological innovation that has transformed people’s lives, but not without negative impacts. However, with the right action by individuals, governments and businesses, it can be made a safe place for everyone. (285 words).


Global warming is one of the biggest threats humans face in the 21st Century and sea levels are continuing to rise at alarming rates. What problems are associated with this and what are some possible solutions.

Climate change is among the principal dangers facing people this century and ocean levels are increasing dramatically. This essay will first suggest that the biggest problem caused by this phenomenon is the flooding of homes and then submit building flood protection as the most viable solution, followed by a reasoned conclusion.

The foremost problem caused by sea levels creeping up is the flooding of peoples’ residences. Millions of people all over the world live in coastal areas and if the sea rises by even a few feet, they will be inundated with water and lose their property. Shelter is one of the most basic of human needs and widespread flooding would cause millions of people to become homeless, not to mention losing all of their possessions. The devastation brought about by this was clear for all to see during the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, in which millions of people were displaced.

A possible solution to this problem would be to build flood barriers. Flood defences, such as dikes, dams and floodgates, could be built along coasts and waterways, thereby stopping the water reaching populated areas. The Netherlands is one of the most populated areas in the world and also one of the most vulnerable to flooding and they have successfully employed various flood defence systems.

To conclude, stemming the rising tides caused by increasing global temperatures is one of the foremost challenges we face and it will ultimately lead to many of the worlds’ cities being left underwater, but a possible solution could be to utilise the flood prevention techniques already used by countries like Holland. It is predicted that more and more countries will be forced to take such measures to avoid a watery catastrophe. (298 words) 

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