Problem / solution essays should focus on identifying an issue that needs to be addressed and then finding ways to solve the problem. The best solutions are those that can be put into action. So that means you’ll need to put on your thinking cap to write this kind of essay. Here are our top 50 problem / solution essay topics to give you an idea of where to start. And, as always, if you need help getting over that writer’s block or meeting a deadline, our writers are standing by to provide you with an original model essay designed to meet your needs.
For now, let’s take a look at some of the possible topics you might like to consider!
High school topics don’t have to be overly complicated—but they should demonstrate a serious level of thought and consideration on your part. Think about issues that a high school student might find interesting or meaningful and try to consider real world ways in which these issues can be effectively addressed. Here a few to get you going
Why It’s a Problem: Schools should be safe—not places parents send their children not knowing if they’ll get them back at the end of the day.
Solution #1: All students should be psychologically profiled before being admitted. Those who are flagged must receive counseling.
Solution #2: Schools should have automatic lockdown security systems in place. This will make them safer in case a shooting does break out.
Solution #3: The proliferation of SSRIs—selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors—mood enhancers commonly taken by school shooters—must be stopped. This will help to mitigate the risk of students going postal.
Why It’s a Problem: Education is the backbone of society. If too few people are graduating from the schools in America’s cities, decay is sure to set in.
Solution #1: Make cities and urban areas more respectable. Clean up the streets and get rid of the crime. Don’t give kids excuses to drop out early because opportunities seem more realistic out in the streets.
Solution #2: Give schools greater access to technology so that students are learning relevant 21st century skills. In other words, give them a reason to want to stay in school.
Solution #3: Make graduating a bigger deal, culturally speaking. The more emphasis communities put on it, the more kids will pursue it.
Why It’s a Problem: Poor showings at school indicate a lack of interest and incentive on the part of students to receive the education offered them. Such disconnect between young people and the older generation that expects them to be the torch bearers of tomorrow signals nothing good for the coming era.
Solution #1: Incentivize students to come to school. Give them opportunities to co-op so long as they are working towards graduating—and make full-time job offers conditional upon graduating.
Solution #2: Get parents involved. Education starts in the home. Parents and teachers should work together.
Solution #3: Teachers should make more home visits. The more visible they are, the more likely school is to be a part of the student’s world.
Why It’s a Problem: In order for a democratic society to function effectively, its citizens have to take an active role in addressing the issues that normally and naturally arise in every community. If they don’t, problems don’t get solved.
Solution #1: Promote civic mindedness in schools, workplaces and churches.
Solution #2: Incentivize civic engagement. Give tax breaks to individuals who routinely go to council meetings.
Solution #3: De-centralize the government and give more power to the people at the local level.
Why It’s a Problem: Culture is what binds people together. If the culture of society is fragmented, communities cannot grow together. Instead, they will break apart—and that is being seen today.
Solution #1: Respect other cultures but stop promoting multiculturalism. It does not assist in the process of cultural cohesion.
Solution #2: Identify one culture that everyone can agree is the best and shape society according to its ideals and values.
Solution #3: Limit the extent to which ideas and values contrary to the chosen culture may be permitted in the media.
Why It’s a Problem: Before Malice in the Palace, NBA players used to be a lot more physical. It made the game both more entertaining and more surprising. Nowadays, refs are ready to “t” up a player if he looks at another cross-eyed.
Solution #1: Bring back the old school rules. Let players hand-check. Let them jaw at one another and get confrontational.
Solution #2: Get rid of the 3-point line. Today, everyone is jacking up 3’s trying to be Steph Curry. As a result, the game is just not very physical and not very exciting.
Solution #3: Get rid of at least 1 ref. Minimize their influence on the game. Let the players play.
Why It’s a Problem: There’s reality—and then there’s fake news. With fake news trying to pass itself off as reality, tension is created in society between those who know reality and those who believe in fake news.
Solution #1: Take away the credentials of the biggest purveyors of fake news.
Solution #2: Restrict who has the right to publish.
Solution #3: Fake news is an outlet for the deep state. Root out the deep state and fake news will go with it.
Middle school topics should be oriented towards real world concerns to show that the student is ready to start considering problems that impact everyone. At the same time, it’s okay to tackle problems that might seem more kid-friendly. So don’t be afraid to be bold, and don’t be afraid to stick with something you might know a little more about.
Why It’s a Problem: The Internet helps connect people and allow information to get from one place to another. If a large segment of the population has no access to the Internet it is essentially cut off from the world.
Solution #1: Free Internet for all. Make the Internet a public utility paid for by taxes.
Solution #2: Google’s Project Loon. This project uses hot air balloons to get Wi-Fi to remote parts of the world so everyone can have it.
Solution #3: Pass legislation that requires the largest tech firms to donate computers to underserved parts of the world in order to close the digital divide.
Why It’s a Problem: The films are just not very good: Batman v. Superman was roundly derided for its corny resolution. Justice League was a mess. Marvel makes entertaining films but for fans of Batman, Supes, the Flash and the rest, things aren’t looking so good.
Solution #1: Stop being so serious. Comic book movies are supposed to be fun.
Solution #2: Forget the Christopher Nolan approach. His Batman was going for realism. That approach just doesn’t work with the rest of the DC Universe.
Solution #3: Ban Zac Snyder from coming back. Snyder has a sense of style—but when it comes to story, he’s batting .000.
Why It’s a Problem: It hurts kids’ feelings, makes them afraid to go to school, and can even lead some to suicide.
Solution #1: Criminalize cyber bullying. Send minors off to juvenile detention and they might think twice about abusing others online.
Solution #2: Get kids off social media. It ruins their ability to socialize in face-to-face settings anyway.
Solution #3: Get parents involved: teach them to instill self-confidence in their kids.
Why It’s a Problem: Opioids and heroin are taking the lives of so many people today, addiction has reached epidemic proportions. Once addicted, many are hooked for life.
Solution #1: Death penalty for all drug traffickers.
Solution #2: Stop allowing pharmaceutical industries to mass-market such powerful opiates.
Solution #3: Drugs that are needed for medical purposes should be carefully regulated with much more stringent rules than are in force today.
Stuck Writing Your Problem-Solution Essay?
Stuck Writing Your Problem-Solution Essay?
Why It’s a Problem: They terrorize us, we terrorize them right back. It’s a never-ending vicious circle that only leads to more waste and destruction.
Solution #1: Stop funding “rebels” intent on regime change in the Middle East and stop funneling money into states that harbor terrorists.
Solution #2: Stop indiscriminate bombing of Arab states.
Solution #3: Start acting with diplomacy towards countries actually fighting terrorists and stop being “besties” with countries that support terrorists.
Why It’s a Problem: Children need a guardian during their formative years—and if both parents are working or if only one is in the picture, it’s likely that there isn’t going to be anyone to look out for the child.
Solution #1: Give a significantly greater tax break to two-parent families as a way to incentivize couples to stay together.
Solution #2: Teach the merits of approaching marriage as a duty rather than as an act based on the emotion of love.
Solution #3: Promote a culture in which two-parent families are viewed as vital to civilization.
You’ll want to pick a topic that demonstrates your ability to process information and synthesize complex streams of data to create a solution that adequately serves to solve the issue you’ve identified. Think big and show that you’re able to take on the issues that make an impact on the world stage.
Why It’s a Problem: The Middle East needs stabilizing. Countries are deteriorating and that doesn’t help anyone.
Solution #1: Work with Russia and Iran to stop the spread of ISIS.
Solution #2: Stop allowing Israel and Saudi Arabia to support “rebels” and terrorist groups.
Solution #3: Withdraw troops from states where they are not welcome.
Why It’s a Problem: The greater it grows, the worse it gets for the next generation. And interest rates start to rise, the payments on the debt will become too great to bear for this generation.
Solution #1: Stop subsidies to the various industries leeching off taxpayers and start paying down the debt.
Solution #2: Raise interest rates significantly in order to prevent Congress from issuing new debt.
Solution #3: Reduce the size of the over-bloated military and stop promising payments to retirees that the government simply cannot afford.
Why It’s a Problem: The earth is home to billions of people, plants and animals. The more polluted it gets, the less inhabitable it becomes. Before long, Mother Earth will say enough—and that’s when things will get really dicey.
Solution #1: Stop allowing industrial plants to pollute the earth. If they can’t make it without releasing harmful chemicals, then they shouldn’t be allowed to make it at all. People got along just fine before the era of Industry—and they’ll get along just fine if that era comes to a close.
Solution #2: Focus on renewable energy and develop it to minimize our environmental footprint.
Solution #3: Get a grip on the cow situation. These animals are actually one of the biggest causes of greenhouse gasses in the world!
Why It’s a Problem: The Humanities used to be studied in school because they helped people understand the human condition—i.e., what it meant to be human. Today, there is little interest in this discipline and, as a result, inhumanity abounds.
Solution #1: Spend more time teaching the Humanities in school.
Solution #2: Promote the humanities in popular culture instead of reality TV and schlock.
Solution #3: Reward schools and students that do well in the humanities and open pathways for them to take part in leading society.
Why It’s a Problem: Instead of learning a skill or trade, young people and idling away their time playing video games. They are not learning anything that will help them advance their careers.
Solution #1: Restrict the number of games individuals can play.
Solution #2: Oblige teens to learn a trade or skill—such as carpentry, plumbing, coding, etc.
Solution #3: Start rationing electricity and force young people out of doors to get exercise and socialize in the real world.
Why It’s a Problem: Gambling on sports has the potential to corrupt the games. Ron Artest—aka Meta World Peace—has said as much when he described being approached by someone and being offered thousands of dollars to throw a college game. Just imagine the level of corruption at the professional sports level. Remember Eight Men Out? It’ll be back.
Solution #1: Ban gambling.
Solution #2: Bar anyone for life from sports caught gambling.
Solution #3: No longer televised sporting events.
There is a lot of range when it comes to problems related to psychology. You could address mental health concerns like schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder. Or you can go for modern phenomenon that seems to be particularly irksome to you. Pick your poison and find the antidote.
Why It’s a Problem: From mass shootings to families falling apart because of drugs, mental health in America is in bad shape and the nation is struggling as a result.
Solution #1: Establish character education as a part of the curriculum in all schools.
Solution #2: Promote values that are appropriately aligned with the most common types of behavior identified as goals in cognitive behavioral therapy.
Solution #3: Identify the relationship between philosophy and psychology and design social goals for the government to promote.
Why It’s a Problem: It robs people of the will power to function effectively and contribute positively to society.
Solution #1: Ban all addictive substances—or at least remove them to a part of town so that a degree of shame is attached to the district in which they are made available.
Solution #2: Provide free counselor to all addicts.
Solution #3: Promote the idea that there is no shame in getting treatment no matter what your addiction is for.
Why It’s a Problem: Peer pressure can be a dangerous thing. Whether it’s in the marketplace or in social gatherings, the herd mentality can push one to go against his or her better thinking. Marc Antony in Julius Caesar showed just how dangerous the herd can get.
Solution #1: Place restrictions on advertising.
Solution #2: Promote open debate by hosting genuine and fair debates on issues where judgment is refrained and protests forbidden.
Solution #3: Eliminate political correctness.
Why It’s a Problem: This type of behavior is used to justify one’s own personal point of view while alleviating feelings of guilt. Instead of recognizing one’s faults, it places the faults on others in a fit of moral outrage.
Solution #1: Criminalize virtue signaling.
Solution #2: Educate people on why moral outrage is actually self-defeating.
Solution #3: Promote patience, respect and discourse in community life, popular media, schools, churches and the workplace.
Why It’s a Problem: Post-traumatic stress disorder is experienced by individuals who suffer some form of trauma. Symptoms include isolation, anti-social behavior, and self-medication to cope.
Solution #1: Be aware of the signs of PTSD and what types of situations might cause it.
Solution #2: Provide free counseling services if PTSD is suffered in the line of duty.
Solution #3: Help children who might suffer from PTSD so that they can grow up to be functioning adults.
Why It’s a Problem: Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder is something that significant percentage of children suffer from.
Solution #1: Train parents how to help their children with ADHD, to know what the children are feeling, and the best ways to help.
Solution #2: Be patient with ADHD—never allow tempers to be lost.
Solution #3: Give the child room to grow, room to make mistakes, and goals to reach for.
Health problems abound in the modern era—and it’s no wonder why. Considering the types of food we put in our bodies, the types of work we do, the amount of pollution and chemicals we put into the environment, and the way we go about health care, it should be no surprise that so many issues exist.
Why It’s a Problem: Obesity is responsible for more deaths than gun violence in America. Too much sugar, too many sodas, and too little exercise is a recipe for disaster. Diabetes is on the rise. Heart problems. Body shaming. It’s time to address the elephant in the room.
Solution #1: Eat a diet that is organic and free of sugar.
Solution #2: Exercise routinely: get the body moving.
Solution #3: Make the kitchen a place where families want to spend time rather than McDonald’s.
Why It’s a Problem: Health care prices have gone through the roof, which means it’s more expensive than ever before to obtain quality care.
Solution #1: Stop government subsidies—all they do is jack up the price of health care.
Solution #2: Crush the monopolies and allow competition in the industry to flourish.
Solution #3: Make healthcare universal. Take the taxes going to war and spend it on health care.
Why It’s a Problem: With physicians leaving primary care practice to chase the big bucks in specialized medicine, there are too few providers to go around. Remember when doctors used to make house calls? Wouldn’t it be nice to have that again?
Solution #1: Start learning how to take care of the body using holistic medicine and homeopathy. Save doctor visits for when it’s seriously needed.
Solution #2: Incentivize doctors to stay as primary care physicians.
Solution #3: Let nurses fill the gap.
Why It’s a Problem: The Institute of Medicine has called on nurses to get more education so that they can work independently of physicians and increase access to care for the community.
Solution #1: Reduce the cost of obtaining an advanced practice degree for RNs.
Solution #2: Working RNs should be compensated by the IOM for going back to school to get their AP training.
Solution #3: Legalize in all 50 states APRN independent practice.
Why It’s a Problem: The biggest flow of drugs isn’t over the border—it’s over the counter. It’s a practice that has to stop.
Solution #1: Start incentivizing hospitals and health care providers to endorse homeopathy and natural cures and treatments.
Solution #2: Limit the potency of drugs for pain.
Solution #3: Break up Big Pharma’s special relationship with the FDA, Congress and the Healthcare Industry.
Why It’s a Problem: Instead of teaching patients how to avoid getting ill, providers are incentivized to let the patient go and just keep treating the illness.
Solution #1: Promote preventive medicine in accordance with the ACA.
Solution #2: Rethink the way we approach health care and what the goal of quality care should be. Focus on healthy living instead of diagnosing and treating.
Solution #3: Start early: get kids interested in learning how to have a healthy lifestyle.
Timely issues are always a good idea—addressing one of these shows that you’ve got your finger on the current pulse and know how to apply your problem-solving skills to issues that are impacting people right now. Take a look at some of these topics and see if one of them appeals to you.
Why It’s a Problem: The FBI seems more and more like the KGB of the Soviet era: above the law, ruthless, and unaccountable.
Solution #1: Hold Comey accountable. The OIG report identified a number of issues that indicate some major problems—even if the report stopped short of sending him and the rest up the river.
Solution #2: Abolish the FBI. It operates under the bogus pretenses and has since the days of Hoover.
Solution #3: Purge the Bureau. The OIG didn’t do it’s job.
Why It’s a Problem: Iran isn’t building a bomb and by negating the deal, the U.S. is putting a number of companies and countries between a rock and a hard place. If it isn’t careful, it could mark a shift in allegiances.
Solution #1: Soften the tone and position. Come back to the deal and let everyone get back to business.
Solution #2: Continue to sanction Iran and anyone doing business with the country. Push allies into the arms of Russia and China, both of whom are ready to bypass the USD and get the multipolar world going.
Solution #3: Go to war. The U.S.’s allies in the Middle East (Israel and Saudi Arabia) would love it.
Why It’s a Problem: Trump wants to end the trade deficit. That’s going to make the USD stronger—which will hamper exports and crush emerging markets.
Solution #1: Let emerging markets fend for themselves. It’s time to put America First.
Solution #2: If other countries are going to put tariffs on U.S. products, it’s only fair that the U.S. put tariffs on theirs.
Solution #3: Send a strong message with an initial round of tariffs and then negotiate a truce.
Why It’s a Problem: The EU can’t withstand much of this. If more and more debt-ridden nations begin to ride the populist wave to exiting the EU, some poor country is going to be left holding the bag.
Solution #1: The EU should start relaxing its grip on countries that are deeply in debt and start forgiving some loans.
Solution #2: The EU should exert more pressure on populist movements in an attempt to crush them.
Solution #3: The EU should disband and let each nation go its own way.
Why It’s a Problem: What do Roseanne Barr, 76ers’ General Manager Bryan Colangelo, and Brian Cullinan (the guy who mixed up the Oscar envelopes for Best Picture Winner because he was busy tweeting) all have in common? They all lost their jobs because they were goofing around on Twitter.
Solution #1: Don’t allow employees to use Twitter.
Solution #2: Accept that everyone is going to use Twitter and that mistakes will happen, and be okay with it.
Solution #3: End Twitter’s reign over the consciousness of all.
Why They’re a Problem: They’re too good. If LeBron in the East and Harden and company in the West couldn’t stop them, no one can. Sure, maybe the Refs help out—but for any team to be a serious competitor in the coming years they’re going to have find an answer for Steph, KD, and Klay.
Solution #1: Break up this monopoly of talent.
Solution #2: Create another super-team that will be able to rival Durant + the Splash Brothers.
Solution #3: Bide your time. Sooner or later egos will rock the boat and cause the core to buckle.
Problems don’t have to be complicated or related to the whole world. They can also be personal or quite simple to solve. Really, it doesn’t matter whether the problem you identify is a terrible one or a simple one—what matters is that your solutions are practical, appropriate and effective. With that said, you might find that an easy problem topic is right for you.
Why It’s a Problem: Space is precious.
Solution #1: Put the sink over the toilet.
Solution #2: Put the toilet in the shower stall.
Solution #3: Just do a half bath.
Why It’s a Problem: It gets you to buy things you don’t really need.
Solution #1: Get Ad Blockers for your browser.
Solution #2: Train yourself to ignore advertisements.
Solution #3: Give in and get a good paying job so that it’s not a big deal if you can’t stop yourself from buying everything that’s marketed to you.
Why It’s a Problem: It’s a waste of energy sitting around being bored. Your time is limited and it’s slipping away.
Solution #1: Chase away boredom by doing something creative. Get inspired and then let your creative juices flow.
Solution #2: Get a second job. Nothing helps pass the time like work.
Solution #3: Read a novel. There are plenty of classics to choose from: pick one you’ve always heard of and give it a try.
Why It’s a Problem: It’s awful to have to listen to—yet young people don’t seem to be able to speak without it.
Solution #1: Practice putting feeling into your voice.
Solution #2: Modulate your voice to give it expression and nuance.
Solution #3: Take voice lessons.
Why It’s a Problem: There are so many choices! Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Green Mountain, Seattle’s Best, Kroger brand—which to select?
Solution #1: Close your eyes, put out your finger, spin in a circle and select the one you land on.
Solution #2: Try them all. Give yourself a month to try each type or brand of coffee. Once finished, stick with the one you liked best.
Solution #3: Pick up the cheapest bag. You’ll save time and money.
Why It’s a Problem: You either can’t do it well or you do it so well you don’t have time for all of them.
Solution #1: Read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
Solution #2: Turn small talk into meaningful talk.
Solution #3: Get married and have lots of kids. You won’t have time for friends.
Why It’s a Problem: It destroys the integrity of the game.
Solution #1: Accept the fact that PEDs are just a part of being a professional athlete and let everyone use them.
Solution #2: Make testing more stringent. Root it out before it becomes a problem and hitters go on for years before being caught.
Solution #3: Ban abusers for life.
If you want to show that when it comes to writing a problem / solution essay you’re all business, pick a problem related specifically to business! You can choose from any number of topics—from cyber security issues to how to find a good leader for your firm. Consider these:
Why It’s a Problem: Hacking is now a part of life—and if your business is not protected, data could be stolen, held ransom or destroyed.
Solution #1: Employ the latest cyber security software developers.
Solution #2: Have a back-up plan in place in case you do get hacked.
Solution #3: Outsource your data-handling needs to a company capable of keeping information secure and safe.
Why It’s a Problem: No one is quite sure how good leaders are formed—whether they are born to lead or whether they develop over time and via a set of circumstances. All we do know is that without leaders little gets accomplished that is worthwhile.
Solution #1: Train them internally. Identify the skills and characteristics your organization is looking for in a leader and then develop your own leaders from within.
Solution #2: Network. Branch out and get to know leaders in other industries and sectors. The great thing about leadership is that it can often translate from one sphere to another. Find a great leader somewhere else then bring him or her to your own organization.
Solution #3: Lead by example. Set the tone yourself. If you want new leaders to step up to the plate, demonstrate the way forward through your own actions.
Why It’s a Problem: Some critics say the world never really recovered from the 2008 global economic crisis—that the bad blood is still there and that the ugliness just go swept under the rug by the central banks. That’s troublesome for businesses because it means sooner or later it’s all going to come out.
Solution #1: Prepare now. Every business cycle comes to an end—so treat this fake economy like any other late-term business cycle.
Solution #2: Identify weak spots in your business model and business plan and beef them up. The stronger your company is, the more likely it will be to weather the storm when the fake economy collapses.
Solution #3: Get creative. In a world of fake news and fake economic miracles, you have to stay on your toes.
Why It’s a Problem: Advertising in the Digital Age is not as easy as it was when all you had to do was make a commercial and sell it on TV. Today, marketing is targeted more than ever and relies on things like Big Data to make an impact. Finding creative ways to market your business is something that will make or break your company.
Solution #1: Use social media to market your business. Everyone is on social media these days (sometimes too much). Take advantage of that fact and start leaving a trail of footprints from social media platforms back to your business.
Solution #2: Buy ad space on Google. When Internet users go to their browser, your company can be the first thing they see.
Solution #3: Try outdoor advertising. The more eyes that land on your advertising, the more likely those eyes will seek out your company online or in person.
Why It’s a Problem: Retaining employees is getting harder and harder, especially as Millennials seek ever greater job opportunities. Gone are the days of commitment—or so it seems.
Solution #1: Get your employees to commit long term to your company by developing a great workplace culture that they really want to be a part of.
Solution #2: Nothing makes workers happier than great pay. If you’re paying a competitive wage, you’ll more than likely solve your turnover problem.
Solution #3: Identify the stressors that send workers packing. Help negate them and mitigate the risk of employee turnover.
Why It’s a Problem: Nowadays consumers want to know that businesses and corporations care for them and want do good things for the community, the environment and the economy.
Solution #1: Develop a vision that can serve as a platform for your corporate social responsibility platform—whether its sustainability, charity, or great incentives like educational opportunities for all workers.
Solution #2: Get engaged with stakeholders so as to know what it is they’re looking for and what they expect from the business they patronize or invest in.
Solution #3: Know the market. Differentiate your approach to corporate social responsibility by doing something different from what other businesses are doing. Stand out: make your company known for a type of good will service that no other company has ever thought to pursue.
Hopefully these problem / solution essay topics have helped kick start a few ideas in your head. Remember, for every problem there’s bound to be more than one solution—so try to be creative about your approach to addressing the issue you identify and consider it from multiple angles. The more thought you give to solving it, the more likely you are to hit upon an approach that will actually work when put into practice.
For help on writing your problem / solution essay, try some of these other tutorials—like “How to Write an Essay Introduction” and “How to Cite a Book in MLA”.
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