How to Write a Problem Solution Essay step-by-step instruction

As if there are not enough complicated types of college essays already, teachers come up with yet another one – a problem solution essay. This essay type is asking to solve a problem and requires students to find original solutions and demonstrate solid analytical and persuasive talents.

However, as with many other academic assignments, a problem solution essay hides a huge training and self-development potential with far-going benefits for every student who will master this type of writing assignment.

Let’s quickly see what it’s all about, how to write a good problem solution essay, and where to find a worthy problem solution essay example.


A prompt or an open topic?

For 90% of students, a problem solution essay assignment will come with a predefined prompt. That is – in your assignment, there will already be a given problem and clear instructions to find a solution. The popularity of pre-defined prompts is understandable – teachers and institutions don’t want you to free-ride on an easy problem; instead, they want to give you hard problems and see how well you can cope with solving them. This is a common approach for all admission essays, especially the ones required in prestigious colleges and universities.

An open-topic problem solution essay asks you to be independent in choosing a problem and finding a solution. If you are among the 10% of the lucky ones who get this kind of assignment, don’t immediately jump into happiness and begin writing something trivial. Such works have very low chances of getting a high grade. Instead, you should take this task seriously and think of a really worthy problem and an original solution. If you are short of ideas, find a good problem solution essay example and see what others have written there.

Alternatively, we recommend you conduct a small brainstorming session and find problems and their potential solutions within the boundaries of the following themes:

  • Your college community
  • The town or city you live in
  • Recall any of your own or family/friends/colleagues’ problems and the solution to those
  • Alcohol, and drug addiction among youth
  • School bullying
  • Global challenges humanity is facing, such as animal species extinction, climate change, nuclear weapons proliferation, international conflicts, poverty, etc.

Reading your assignment carefully

Details matter, especially in problem solution essay writing. Even if you are given a fixed prompt, pay attention to every single sentence and question there. Sometimes teachers ask students to write about solutions only, while in other instances they may be interested in seeing how well you can describe problems and their causes. Such assignments would explicitly state the need to ponder over the causes that lead to a problem under investigation.


One problem solution essay example may differ from the other by a tiny nuance, such as a single word or a phrase. Some may come with question marks in the end, while others might ask you to suggest several solutions instead of a single one.

Rest assured, your ability to analyze and understand the assignment will pay off in the end. Remember, that causes always come first, followed by problems (challenges), and finally, there are the solutions. Don’t drop even a single element if you are specifically asked to talk about all three of those.

Avoid making these mistakes at all costs

A number of common mistakes don’t let students realize their full potential when writing a problem solution essay. Here, we have gathered some of the deadliest mistakes to make.

  1. Failing to link a problem with a solution. In every perfect problem solution essay example, there is a clear connection between a problem/challenge and the solution. If you fail to draw a clear connecting line between the two, you are not likely to get a high grade on your paper. Remember, that teachers are always looking to see a tailored solution to a specific challenge; they are not interested in vague and out-placed solutions.
  2. Having too many ideas. A common mistake that most inexperienced students make is the absence of a unified idea. Such students tend to write too much, offer too many various ideas and solutions, and in the end, they lack time and space to pinpoint the most essential thing. Prioritizing is hard, we know, but without sacrificing less important things one cannot achieve success.
  3. Not developing your solution well enough. In a problem solution essay, it is not enough to just mention a good way out of a situation; it is necessary to argue and digest one’s suggestion(s) in clear and simple terms. Don’t fall into the illusion that your readers know what you know and that they will understand your hints and abbreviations. Treat your reader as a child who needs examples, proof, and demonstration.
  4. Failing to show the benefits. It’s a huge mistake to think that your arguments are self-explanatory and the solutions you offer will be readily welcomed by your audience. Readers, especially professors, are big skeptics and they are here to question your writing capabilities. Therefore, when offering a solution, you also need to explain why it is a good one, why the world will be a better place with your ideas, and what’s in them for each individual reader. A good problem solution essay example would always end with at least several advantages of a proposed solution.

Problem Solution Essay

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should my problem solution essay be?

There are no specific default requirements on the size of this essay type. Check out with your supervisor about the requirements of your assignment, unless such information is present in the task itself.

Are there any formal requirements for the structure of a problem solution essay?

This essay type has the same structural composition as all other essay types. There is an introductory part, the main part, and a conclusion.

Do I have to convince the reader of the rightfulness of my solution?

No, it is not necessary to do so. However, it is considered a good tone when the author implicitly points toward the superiority of the proposed solution by providing compelling evidence, arguments, and facts.

Where can I find a good problem solution essay example?

You can find a relevant problem solution essay example on major on-demand writing services sites. By relevant, we mean the one applicable to your particular prompt or topic.