Problem/Solution Paper Assignment

Below is the assignment for your problem/solution paper.


To analyze a problem and possible solutions to the problem, and then to propose and argue for a solution to the problem.


Length: Six double-spaced pages, not including Works Cited: 12 point, Times New Roman, and double spaced with one inch margin

Sources: 5 Reliable Sources

Format: MLA


The topic for this paper must be a contemporary issue/problem for which several reasonable solutions could be proposed. The topic could be individual, local, statewide, national, or global; however, the scope of the problem must be sufficiently narrowed to allow it to be adequately addressed in the number of words indicated above. For example, ?global warming? would be too broad; ?loss of coastlines because of rising oceans? would probably be a more manageable topic?and, as you do your research, you may find other ways to narrow the focus. The topic should be one in which you are interested and to which you have some connection or about which you have some knowledge (consider issues that arise at home, at school, in your major field of study, at work, or in your neighborhood or community). If you are at a loss for topics, sources for possible topics include the following publications and sites:

The Blade (Toledo): (

Congressional Quarterly:

Ohio Legislature–bill summaries and analyses:

OhioLINK library and databases (use search narrowing techniques): (


Your paper should contain the following elements:

  • Interesting, informative introduction.
  • Thesis statement (clear statement of the problem and the need for a solution).
  • Identification of the problem and evidence that the problem needs to be solved (what are its negative consequences if allowed to continue?)
  • Indication of the causes of the problem, if appropriate.
  • Introduction and discussion of alternate solutions (the discussion should focus on the advantages and disadvantages of each solution, as well as how each one alleviates the causes of the problem).
  • A proposal of the solution that you think is the better or best choice. Argue for this solution by showing how its advantages are superior to the advantages of the other solution(s) discussed and how its disadvantages are not as serious as the disadvantages of the other solution(s) discussed in your paper. Counter the arguments of those who might be opposed to your proposed solution.
  • A discussion of how your proposed solution could be implemented, and a final plea for the implementation of this solution.

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