Problem/Solution Essay

Length:  5-6 paragraphs

Requirements:         Introductory paragraph

Thesis statement (at the end of the introductory paragraph) and topic sentences (beginning each body paragraph)

Concluding paragraph


Think of a problem in your neighborhood or community.  Explain the problem in detail (in 1-2 paragraphs).  Then construct an argument about the best solution to this problem. Note:  your thesis (and argument) should focus on the solution, not on the problem. 


Be sure to begin with an introductory paragraph.  You may want to start off with an anecdote, a key example of the problem to be analyzed, or an illustration of what things might be like post-solution.


Your thesis should appear in the last sentence (or sentences) of the introductory paragraph.  Your thesis MUST be an argument.  In this case, your thesis should present your solution to the problem you’ve outlined and/or answer the question “Why is this the best possible solution to the problem?”


Every body paragraph must have a topic sentence containing the paragraph’s controlling idea.  As a general rule, topic sentences are mini-arguments that, when proven, support your overall thesis statement. Your topic sentences will prove that what you are proposing is the most viable solution.


Be sure to write a complete concluding paragraph.  A concluding paragraph can review your overall argument (as in:  See?  I’m right!) but should also gesture toward the future in some way.  What new questions are raised by your solution?


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