Skip to content

Writing To Solve A Problem Essay

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

 



 

One of the good things about problem solution essays is that they have a pretty clear structure. You need to present the problem, identify the reasons why it is important, describe your solution and explain why it is the best one. One of the most challenging thing for students is finding a topic. Here is a solution to this problem: 100 problem solution essay topics in various fields. You will discover a proposed solution for each problem, but you can come up with another one which is best in your opinion.

Economics

1. Youth unemployment – practical training courses
2. Bad credit – personal finance management education
3. Rising inflation – monetary policy
4. Impoverished regions – government financing for small businesses

Law

5. Mass shootings – stricter gun control
6. Police brutality – advanced monitoring technology
7. Driving under influence – stricter checks and sanctions

Government and Politics

8. Businesses influencing political decisions through donations – state financing for political parties
9. Illegal immigration – all illegal immigrants to be returned to their home countries directly
10. Fairer political representation – proportional representation voting system
11. Terrorism – programs for minority integration

Social Matters

12. Growing number of homeless people – special employment programs
13. Child labor – government sanctions for the companies that use it
14. Racism – government policies for encouraging diversity in neighborhoods and schools
15. Generational poverty – better access to education
16. Rising healthcare costs – increased government funding
17. People trafficking – support centers in high-risk neighborhoods
18. Barriers between social groups – cultural festivals and other social events
19. How to increase adoption rates – making it easier for singles and gay couples to adopt
20. Youth violence – class discussions
21. Difficulties with raising problem awareness – using the social media
22. Overpopulation in developing countries – one-child policy
23. Workplace discrimination – removing age information from resumes

Business

24. Low employee productivity – flexible work hours
25. Decreasing sales – social media marketing
26. Dispute resolution – managers taking the role of mediators
27. Poor customer service – CRM software
28. Ineffective team work – new office layout promoting cooperation
29. Low worker motivation – better non-financial benefits
30. Financing a new business – generating funding online
31. Rising costs – having employees working from home

Family and Relationships

32. Domestic violence – psychological therapy for the whole family
33. Pregnancy in adolescence – better sex education
34. Increasing divorce rates – couple counselling
35. Finding a partner – more diverse social life
36. Falling out with a friend – having a long conversation about your friendship
37. Maintaining long-distance relationships
38. Teen marriages – encouraging young people to go to college
39. How to strengthen the bond between children and parents – common hobbies
40. Relationship difficulties – watching romantic movies

Environmental Issues

41. Air pollution reduction in the big cities – bicycle transportation
42. Global warming – renewable energy sources
43. Wildlife extinction – nature reserves
44. Energy saving – sustainable homes
45. Ecosystem protection – banning of pesticides
46. Fracking – laws for banning it
47. Reducing energy consumption in homes – smart thermostat
48. Exhaust gas emissions – car sharing
49. Oil spills in the ocean – stricter environmental legislation
50. Deforestation – replacing paper books with electronic ones
51. Animal hunting – vegetarianism
52. How to reduce the rate of depletion of natural resources – recycling

Education

53. Bullying at school – more extracurricular activities involving socializing and teamwork
54. Dropping out of high school – special benefits for students
55. Difficulties with doing all of the required homework – time management
56. Reducing medical training costs – augmented reality applications
57. Stress during exams – relaxation techniques
58. Expensive college education – encouraging employers to invest in students
59. Exam preparation – balancing reviewing with practice
60. Illiteracy – reducing the welfare benefits to parents who are not sending their children to school
61. Difficulties with taking tests – techniques for focus improvement
62. Failing college students – tutoring
63. Rising education costs – online education
64. Keeping student focus in class – chairs with lumbar support
65. Developing writing skills – writing on social media

Health

66. Stress at work – meditation
67. Drug use – special education at school
68. Depression – group therapy
69. Social anxiety – spending more time with friends
70. Back pain – short exercise sessions during work breaks
71. Lack of exercise – using a fitness app
72. Disease prevention – banning foods with GMOs
73. Musculoskeletal pain management – acupuncture
74. High lung cancer rates – making cigarettes and other tobacco products illegal
75. Burnout syndrome – going offline in the evenings and on weekends
76. Aggressive behavior – musical therapy
77. Acne – hormonal pills
78. Insomnia – melatonin

Nutrition

79. Unhealthy eating at home – healthy shopping and cooking classes for families
80. Vitamin deficiencies – balanced diet
81. Child obesity – banning sugary foods and junk food for children
82. Binge eating – smart fridge
83. Poor diet in college – cooking classes and more kitchens in dorms
84. Increased salt consumption – avoiding canned foods
85. Anorexia – cognitive behavioral therapy

Media and Entertainment

86. Violence in movies – increasing the minimum viewing age
87. Fake news – special software programs for recognizing them
88. Political correctness reducing the freedom of speech – presenting all viewpoints objectively
89. Online bullying – parental control over teens’ social media accounts
90. Self-image distortion – banning photo enhancement
91. Censorship – using the social networks
92. Video game addiction – increasing video game prices

Miscellaneous

93. The use of steroids in sports – mode advanced and more frequent testing
94. Low self-confidence – volunteering
95. Maintaining work-life balance – not working after hours
96. Loud neighbors – speaking to them about the problem
97. Personal budget management – expenditure planning
98. Difficulties with finding a job – freelancing
99. Boosting your mood – spending time outdoors
100. Procrastination – brainstorming sessions

Developed by bookwormhub