Problem Solving Essay

Problem Solution Essay Topics List

A problem solution essay is one that identifies a specific problem and then provides a plan or a solution for the same. Like other essays, people often find it hard to decide on a topic especially when the instructor asks students to come up with their own topics. Students are always advised to select topics they are well acquainted with or something they are passionate about. Additionally, when writing an essay, it is also necessary to consider choosing a topic which has a viable or practical solution. Topic selection often determines a person’s grade and therefore, students should take their time instead of rushing to write on anything that comes to their minds first.

Here are topic examples to help you write your problem-solution essay:

  1. Discuss ways which can be used to stop social media bullying.
  2. How should the US approach the issue of undocumented immigration?
  3. Discuss ways which can be employed to solve the Syrian refugees’ issue.
  4. What are some of the steps that universities should take to prevent sexual assault?
  5. How should the US approach the issue of mass shootings?
  6. How can the rift between the police and communities be bridged?
  7. What can be done to stop police brutality?
  8. What can be done to help sensitize and get people out of abusive relationships?
  9. How can interpersonal communication be improved in today’s online world?
  10. How can depression be dealt with especially in teenagers and young adults?
  11. What can be done to help break down ethnical and cultural barriers?
  12. Discuss ways that can be used to help deal with bullies and manipulative individuals.
  13. How can suicidal people be sensitized and be encouraged to seek help and talk about their issues?
  14. Discuss ways that can be used to help prevent teenage pregnancies.
  15. What steps need to be taken to help eliminate the issue of homelessness in our communities?
  16. What should be done to help reduce the number of teenagers dropping out of school?
  17. Suggest ways that can be adopted to help reduce the social inequality gap.
  18. What can the government do to help lessen the burden of student loan debts?
  19. What can the local governments do to help reduce the unemployment rates?
  20. Even in the 21st century, child labor is still a major problem. What laws should the world enact to help deal with the scourge?
  21. How should the US and the world approach the issue of terrorism?
  22. Discuss ways the government and the general public can use to help deal with the issue of worker exploitation.
  23. Gun violence is indeed on the rise, suggest ways to help deal with this malaise.
  24. What are some of the ways to help the victims of war?
  25. What are some of the ways the government can use to make the public more receptive towards former criminals?
  26. Divorce numbers are indeed on the rise. What can be done to help reduce this percentage?
  27. Regardless of the increased sensitization, deaths as a result of drunk driving continue to increase. Suggest ways to help prevent the loss of lives as a result of the same.
  28. Illiteracy levels are indeed high. Suggest ways to help improve literacy levels.
  29. Human trafficking is indeed a scourge that needs to be eliminated. Discuss ways the world can adopt to help eliminate it.
  30. How should the world deal with the issue of global warming?
  31. What should be done to eliminate the problem of online data mining?
  32. How best can we deal with the cyberbullying problem?
  33. Should celebrities be protected from the nosy media?
  34. What should be done to help mitigate the inclusion of extremely graphical images in video games and movies?
  35. What can be done to make sure every person’s healthcare is guaranteed?
  36. How can the government and the private help increase the employment rates?
  37. How can education be made more affordable?
  38. What should be done to help reduce the dependence of money in politics?
  39. Discuss ways you think government surveillance is infringing on its people rights. How can this issue be dealt with?
  40. How can the government protect endangered wildlife?
  41. What can the government and the private sector do to reduce environmental pollution?
  42. Racism is indeed a thorn in our community. How can it be eliminated or mitigated?
  43. How can teachers help children who are victims of family abuse?
  44. What should be done to help increase the number of students who qualify for college education?
  45. What should students do to overcome the issue of postponing or procrastinating?
  46. Discuss ways that can help reduce the lung cancer problem.
  47. What should the government do to help deal with the issue of youth unemployment?
  48. Discuss ways we can adopt to help reduce air pollution.
  49. What can we do to help prevent the imminent ecological collapse?
  50. How can we reduce the impact of natural disasters?
  51. Suggest ways which can be employed to help reduce domestic violence cases.
  52. Discuss ways that should be adopted to help solve the ‘one size fits all’ approach to education.
  53. Discuss ways employers can use to motivate their employees.
  54. How can managers solve communication problems within their organizations?
  55. What should teachers do to help improve or boost creative thinking in students?
  56. Suggest ways students can adopt to help balance their school work and social life.
  57. How should companies deal with internet spams that seek to mine data?
  58. How should employees approach the issue of discrimination within the work place?
  59. How can families be sensitized to help reduce the increasing number of family breakdowns?
  60. What can be done to help reduce teenage smoking and alcohol intake?
  61. What legal procedures should be adopted to help eliminate corruption in the public offices?
  62. How should the government deal or help reduce the high cost of leaving?
  63. What should be done to help deal with segregation laws as well as the poor treatment of special needs students?
  64. What measures can schools adopt to help eliminate exam cheating?
  65. What should the responsible bodies do to help discourage the use of animals in scientific research?
  66. What should teachers do to help reduce and eliminate the issue of early pregnancy?
  67. What laws need to be enacted to help eliminate the issue of texting while driving?
  68. How can teachers help their students to improve their self-confidence?
  69. Suggest ways students can use to help improve their focus and concentration.
  70. How can people reduce anxiety?
  71. How can big cities reduce the problem of car accidents?
  72. Discuss ways which can help improve a child’s memory.
  73. How can society lower alcoholism rates?
  74. How can we deal with the issue of racial inequality within certain public offices and organizations?
  75. What are some of the ways that can be adopted to help teenagers avoid succumbing to eating disorders?
  76. How can teachers and parents make sure that children are appropriately using social media?
  77. Which programs should be introduced to make it easier to identify highly talented students?
  78. What can be done within the education curriculum to help make schools more accommodative and impactful towards special needs students?
  79. How can teachers help make their students more accommodative towards ethnically or culturally different students?
  80. Suggest ways that can be adopted to help obese people reduce weight?
  81. What should be done to help reduce heart related diseases?
  82. What approach should the police take to help reduce the number of criminal gangs?
  83. What laws need to adopted to help stop hate-speech?
  84. How can nepotism within our work places be stopped?
  85. How can teens’ isolation and loneliness be reduced within the school?
  86. What should be done to help reduce or deal with the problem of overpopulation?
  87. What laws or reforms to the current laws should cities adopt to help reduce traffic jams?
  88. How can students be motivated to attend lectures?
  89. What should teachers to help accommodate slow learners?
  90. Suggest ways students can adopt to help reduce or eliminate insomnia.
  91. What should be done to help eliminate identify theft?
  92. Discuss ways teachers can use to encourage teamwork among students?
  93. Discuss ways teachers can employ to discourage any cases of racial discrimination?
  94. Suggest ways employers can employ to help reduce and eliminate work stress among their employers.
  95. How can we save the ailing environment and reduce deforestation?
  96. What can be done to help reduce the number of forest fires recorded in a year?
  97. Discuss ways which can be adopted to help big cities reduce air pollution?
  98. What can the world do to help protect women and children during war?
  99. How can organizations eliminate gender-based discrimination?
  100. What should the world do to eradicate the seasonal issue of hunger?
  101. What can teachers do to help reduce laziness among students?

IELTS Problem Solution Essays

Problem solution essays are a type of essay question sometimes given to you in the test. 

In this type of essay you need to discuss the problems with regards to a particular topic and then suggest possible solutions to these problems.

One of the first things you want to make sure that you are able to do is identfy one of these questions when it arises. 

Here are some examples of this type of question.




Problem Solution Essay Questions:

Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems.

Identify one or two serious ones and suggest ways that governments and individuals can tackle these problems.


Nowadays many people have access to computers on a wide basis and a large number of children play computer games.

What are the negative impacts of playing computer games and what can be done to minimize the bad effects?


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?


In the developed world, average life expectancy is increasing.

What problems will this cause for individuals and society?

Suggest some measures that could be taken to reduce the impact of ageing populations.

An important note. Some essays ask for reasons and solutions, not problems and solutions. Writing about a reason (or cause) is not the same as writing about a problem.

Check these model essays to see the difference.




IELTS Problem Solution Essay Example 

In order to understand these types of problem solution essays further and how to organize your writing, we'll look at a problem solution example essay:

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?

Model Answer

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)




Writing about Problems

From the problem solution essay, look at the problems paragraph, and answer the following questions (then click on the link below to see the answers):

  1. How many problems are discussed?
  2. What are they?
  3. What expressions are used to introduce the problems?
  4. How are the problems illustrated further?
  5. What results are discussed for each problem?

Show / hide answers

1) How many problems are discussed?

2

2) What are they?

children can access potentially dangerous sites

growth of online fraud and hacking

3) What expressions are used to introduce the problems?

One of the first problems of the internet is...

Another major problem is...

4) How are the problems illustrated further?

For example, pornography sites are easily accessible to them because they can register with a site and claim to be an adult.

These days, there are constant news stories about government and company websites that have been hacked.

5) What results are discussed for each problem?

There is no doubt that this affects their thoughts and development, which is a negative impact for the children and for society.

...resulting in sensitive information falling into the hands of criminals.

 

Your answers to these questions should tell you a lot about how to plan and organize a problem paragraph.

You only need two or three problems as remember you do not have much time and you need to explain the problems.

When you brainstorm your ideas for problem solution essays, think about (a) what the problem is (b) how you will explain it (c) and what the effect is. Your paragraph will then follow this pattern.

Here is an example of the brainstorming for this paragraph:

Problem 1: children can access potentially dangerous sites

  • Explanation / Example: Pornography sites
  • Result: Affects thought & development - negative for children & society

Problem 2: growth of online fraud and hacking

  • Explanation / Example: Evident from the constant news stories
  • Result: Criminals get sensitive information

Here they are illustrated in the paragraph, with the introductory expressions underlined:

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.






Writing about Solutions

Answer the following questions about the solutions paragraph:

  1. How many solutions are given?
  2. What are they?
  3. What three different groups of people does the writer say are responsble for these solutions?
  4. How would the solutions be implemented?
  5. What three modal verb structures are used to make the suggestions?
Show / hide answers

1) How many solutions are given?

3

2) What are they?

adequate legislation and controls

monitor the activities of children / restrict access

improve company IT security systems

3) What three different groups of people does the writer say are responsble for these solutions?

Governments

Parents

Companies

4) How would the solutions be implemented?

Stricter criteria for accessing sites

Using computer programs

Reviewing current IT systems for weaknesses

5) What three modal verb structures are used to make the suggestions?

should

need to

must

Your answers to these questions provide you with some key tips on writing a solutions paragraph. Some of these points are now explained further.

a) The people involved

When you come to brainstorm your solutions, think of the key 'actors' who are involved. It is usually governments and individuals in some way or another.

There may be another group specifically realted to the topic. For example, in this case it is companies and parents. If you are discussing crime it could be the police. If it is violence on TV it could be TV and film producers.

You can then brainstorm your ideas under each 'group' and organize them in the same way.

b) Developing your solutions

Also, try to make sure your solutions are not too simplistic. It's all too easy to make sweeping generalizations about what people can do. For example, look at this idea:

The government should introduce stricter laws.

It it common to see such statements in IELTS problem solution essays with no further explantion. Give more detail about how or why this would work. For example:

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.

Some specific detail has now been given on how this solution could work.

b) Modal Verbs

Modal verbs can be used to make suggestions in problem solution essays. These are usually found in solutions paragraphs.

Check out this grammar lesson if you are unsure how to use modal verbs.

Here again is a plan for the problem solution essay for the solutions paragraph:

Solution 1: Governments

  • Idea: Adequate legislation and controls for young people
  • How: More complex website access criteria

Solution 2: Parents

  • Idea: Monitor children and restrict access
  • How: Use a computer program

Solution 3: Companies

  • Idea: Improve IT security systems
  • How: Review current systems in place

Here is the paragraph again. Note how it follows the plan and the clear topic sentence that tells the reader the essay is moving on to discuss solutions (modals verbs are underlined):

It is important that action is taken to combat these problems.Governments shouldensure 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 toclosely monitor the activities of their children and restrict their access to certain sites, which can now be done through various computer programs.Companies mustalso improve their onsite IT security systems to make fraud and hacking much more difficultby undertaking thorough reviews of their current systems for weaknesses.

 

Here is another example of a problem solution essay: Overpopulation

 



 

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