Length: 4-6 pages
(typed MLA format; 1 inch margins, double space, 12 point Times New Roman, in-text citations and a works cited page)
Sources: Three reputable sources.
1. Drawing from one of your sources, select a single problem in need of a solution.
2. Explain the problem. This should include key parts or causes of the problem. (As you explain the problem, you are setting up the solution.)
3. Present a solution.
a. The solution need not be an original solution. That is, if you read about a solution that is offered for the problem and believe that it is a good, reasonable solution, your essay may argue in its favor.
b. The solution may be a partial solution. Many real world problems are big enough that there is no single solution that will take care of the whole problem. Partial progress can be a good thing.
c. The solution needs to assume ordinary conditions – it cannot depend on massive amounts of money magically appearing or on human nature magically changing.
4. Defend the solution. You will need to demonstrate that there is good reason for believing that the solution can be (a) effective and (b) feasible.
While the organization of the essay follows this outline, there is room for variation. The space devoted to explaining the problem will vary depending on how well known the problem is. It is possible to imagine essays of this sort that spend the majority of the essay outlining the problem. It is absolutely essential that the three parts of the essay (problem, solution, defense) fit together. The discussion of the problem should pay special attention to those parts of the problem that your solution will address. For instance, a student chooses the problem of poor performance of public schools and proposes a solution that involves providing specialized training for school teachers. In this case, it would be very helpful for that student’s discussion of the problem to show that inadequate teacher training is a significant part of the problem. If we think further on this student’s essay, the defense would do well to show evidence that the sort of training advocated by the paper can be done at reasonable cost and has been shown to bring positive results.
Length: 4-6 pages