Earth as we know it is an incredibly complex and fragile network of interconnected systems that have developed slowly over the last 4.5 billion years or so. From the ashes of the Big Bang this planet emerged as a mass of energy and elements. From that newly born mass of energy and elements evolved structured, dynamic systems of solids, liquids, and gases. The evolution of this planet continued to unfold over billions of years in such a unique way that eventually conditions arose with the ability to foster life.
From the smallest microorganisms to the largest animals, all life on Earth has a common ancestor. Everything is connected to everything. So how is it that our species has come to dominate the landscape in such a short period of time? Furthermore, what gives us the right to do so? In 3.5 billion years of life on Earth everything has followed a natural course of evolution. However, our rapid success as a species has begun to affect this natural order. With our population at seven billion and climbing, we have played a tremendous role in the disruption of the Earth’s natural systems. As we continue to grow and have a greater impact on the Earth’s systems, it is imperative that we address our role and relationship with nature.
The ability of humans to manipulate the landscape and recognize the consequences of doing so puts us in a peculiar position. As a species we are assigned the duty to provide and proliferate. Our goal is to achieve stability for ourselves and our kin. However we also have an obligation to maintain the environment, as we depend on the resources and services it provides. The question then becomes: what is our role in nature? Do we have the right to manipulate the land, factory farm animals, and pollute waterways? Or do we have an obligation to reduce our numbers and merely subsist? In order to answer these questions we must rely on our knowledge of Earth, evolution, and our influence on the environment.
Our relationship with nature has historically been one of imbalance and overuse. Nearly every step in human history has unfortunately been accompanied with a leap in environmental degradation. At first, humans were incredibly in-tune with their surroundings. Nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes used to roam the lands, following the ebb and flow of the seasons. These tribes had a measurable impact on the environment, but their influence was relatively manageable due to their population size. With advancements in technology and agriculture though, humans began to find more efficient ways of sustaining themselves. These advancements allowed for more permanent settlements, which led to rapid population growth and a distancing from nature.
As society evolved, populations grew and more and more resources were required to fuel the expansion. With breakthroughs in agriculture, settlements became more permanent and cities began to take shape. This shift to city life inadvertently led to a distancing from nature. While many people were still in-tune with nature on a subsistent level, the need for more and more resources began to change our regard for nature.
Although our distancing from nature began several thousand years ago with advancements in agriculture and social order, it is the age of industry to which we owe our modern regard for nature. The growth of cities allowed for a separation between people and nature and our obsession with convenience and efficiency beckoned a new perspective on the environment. With technological advancements, nature became something we were no longer apart of and entirely subject to, but something that we could control and profit off of. The growth of industry enabled humans to truly dominate the landscape and disrupt the natural systems that have been in place for billions of years.
As we have removed ourselves further and further from nature, we have developed a willing ignorance of our role and relationship within it. With the growth of cities and trade we have moved from a subsistent, sustainable economy to one of greed and exploitation. Humans have always had an impact on the environment, but with the age of industry that impact has been ultra-magnified. Population growth has been exponentiated, cities have become the primary place of residence, and the majority of the world is now out of touch with the workings of nature.
Although every species plays a unique role in the biosphere and inherently has its own impact, not every species has the cognitive ability to measure their influence or the capacity to change it. Humans are unique in that respect, which is the root of the problem. We are capable of understanding our influence over nature, but we tend to ignore the Earth’s reaction to our presence. I am not arguing that we purposefully degrade nature, but that environmental degradation is an inherent trait of our population’s perpetual progression. We know we are crippling the environment. We have the ability to do something about it. Therefore, we should make change where change is necessary.
The size of our population and its incessant desire to expand has an obvious impact on the environment. However, that impact is magnified with the demands of industry and capitalism. In his book, Regarding Nature, Andrew McLaughlin identifies industrialism and the capitalist mindset as being especially influential on our regard for nature: “The economic systems that we construct and live within are, I suggest, the primary immediate causes of our relations between society and the rest of nature” (Regarding Nature, P. 12). Further causing a perceived division from nature is the economic structure we have allowed to infect most of the world.
Capitalism is an especially destructive force in our regard for nature as it encourages a monetary-driven social hierarchy based on the encroaching exploitation of our world’s resources. Our relationship with nature has now become purely economic. We do not associate ourselves as a part of nature because we use it for profit. Forests are cut down for the profits of the lumber industry and to make room for livestock. Animals that we are undoubtedly related to, that have senses and the ability to socialize are slaughtered by the billions to feed an increasingly carnivorous population. Resources such as oil and food are all unevenly distributed throughout the world and therefore used as a platform for profit. All the while the environment bears the grunt of our greed.
We not only encourage a division amongst ourselves through the commoditization of the world’s resources, we encourage a division between man and nature. In order to reconstruct our views of nature and understand our place within it, it is important to reconsider our relationship with each other and our surroundings. As Aldo Leopold puts it, man “…has not learned to think like a mountain” (A Sand County Almanac, P. 11). We have to consider ourselves as part of a bigger picture. Industry and capitalism rely heavily on ignorance and individualism. However, the reality is that we are all dependent upon each other in one way or another.
IV. Time for Change
Humans play a vital role in nature just like everything else. What separates us from nature though, is the ability to understand our place within it. This cognitive capacity of ours has historically been the cause of a perceived division between man and nature. However, in order to achieve a sustainable future in which humans assume a more natural role and have less of an impact it is imperative that we reconsider our role and relationship with nature. A change in the way we regard nature has obvious political, economic, and social repercussions, but our cognitive ability obliges us to reevaluate our position in the world rather than continue to degrade it.
There are a number of ways in which we can begin to reconsider our relationship with nature, but all of which require an enormous effort. Through a universal education curriculum, it is possible to encourage people everywhere to consider themselves as part of a larger picture. By teaching people about the environment, evolution, and ecology, we can provide them with the tools for change. Lewis Mumford imagined a social revolution brought about by a change in values through educational reform: “The humanizing of technology and the protection of diversity were both contingent on a fundamental change in values” (Minding Nature, P.219). In order to bring about necessary change it is critical that people take action. Through a universal environmental education program it is possible to galvanize people into forming new ideas and opinions of the world and to understand their place within it.
A universal education program would go a long way in encouraging change in how we view each other and our environment. Changing attitudes are a primary component in achieving a sustainable future – one in which nature is allowed to run its course without human intervention. Gregg Easterbrook discusses a similar future in his The Ecorealist Manifesto: “…the long-term purview of nature might be combined with the short-term insights of the genus Homo in ways that allow people, machines, and nature to work together for each other’s mutual benefit” (The Ecorealist Manifesto, P. 1). In order for the Earth to retain its balance, it is important that we not overstep our bounds as a species. This requires a universal effort to reevaluate our relationship with nature and make adjustments as needed.
After thousands of years of societal evolution, we find ourselves at the peak of technology and pollution. We are already seeing the effects of our industrial ways through the extinction of species, the melting of glaciers, and the destruction of the landscape. As we continue to disturb the world’s natural systems we are recognizing a rippling of consequences. Our recognition of these effects suggests that our role in nature is far more influential than it should be. Therefore it is necessary that we make major changes and that we make them soon.
Our role within nature should be one of subsistence rather than commercialization. We have exploited the world for too long and the consequences of doing so are everywhere. As everything is related to everything, we have no right to infringe on the livelihood of any other species. In fact, our cognitive ability and understanding of nature obliges us to maintain the integrity of the environment. So we must change how we influence the land. We must respect the natural order of things and find a way to live accordingly.
Although a change in attitudes would require a complete overhaul of our current economic and political structures, it is something that must be done. As history shows, if we continue to encourage expansion and development it is very likely that we will see major effects in climate and ecology. We have seen the destructive nature of industrialism and capitalism. We can predict and measure the effects of our actions on the environment. We know we are headed in the wrong direction and we are expecting major consequences. So why don’t we do something about it?
- McLaughlin, Andrew. Regarding Nature: Industrialism and Deep Ecology. Albany: State University of New York, 1993. Print.
- Leopold, Aldo, Charles Walsh Schwartz, and Aldo Leopold. A Sand County Almanac. With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River. New York: Oxford UP, 1966. Print.
- Macauley, David. Minding Nature: The Philosophers of Ecology. New York: Guilford, 1996. Print.
- Easterbrook, Gregg. “The Ecorealist Manifesto.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 1995. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.
When writing an essay, the first problem you might face is deciding on what topic to choose, which is pretty ironic if you’re writing a problem-solution essay.
The way out of that dilemma is to choose an issue that you’re really passionate about. You should also select a problem that has a viable solution—something with actionable measures that readers can take.
If you’re still stumped for ideas, then take heart. In this blog post, I offer 40 problem-solution essay topics to help you get started. Each topic will include links to sample essays to give you more ideas.
In each example, I present specific problems broken down by the issues of today (political, social, environmental, etc.) and ask questions that will help you consider different ideas on how they might be solved.
Each problem-solution topic I present offers broad possibilities, so you’ll have to do the important work of hunting down the facts and examples to provide specific solutions.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Problem-Solution Essay Topics—Social Problems
If you look around, you’ll see social problems that affect society every day. There are plenty of problems, even on your own campus, that need to be resolved.
Proposing solutions to social problems might seem challenging, especially when the issues seem so entrenched. Yet the point of a good problem-solution essay is to suggest solutions that are actionable–something that your readers can do.
Addressing specific problems will lead to specific, well-articulated solutions and to the most interesting and compelling essays. Here are five problem-solution essay topics that touch on social problems.
1. Problem: Undocumented immigrants
- Solution #1: Should the US government step up its deportation of undocumented immigrants, or should it offer asylum for those currently living in the country?
- Solution #2: How should the government address trade policies that affect the economies of South American countries and lead to immigration?
- Solution #3: Will ending the war on drugs provide some relief to the rise of undocumented immigrants arriving in the United States? Should there be more coordination between the US and Central American countries in how they deal with drug policies, and if so, in what ways?
2. Problem: Sexual assaults on college campuses
- Solution #1: What steps should universities take to prevent sexual assaults on campus?
- Solution #2: Should colleges provide safe places for victims to report rapes, and if so, how? What responsibilities should the administration have in protecting victim’s identities once they’ve reported the crime?
- Solution #3: In what ways should students be educated about rape culture, and what responsibility should colleges have in providing that education?
- Solution #4: Should student social services address rape culture? Should fraternities and sororities be more involved in educating students on rape culture? If yes, in what ways?
3. Problem: Mass shootings
- Solution #1: What role should mental health providers play in determining prevention? What policies or programs should be enacted that will provide greater care for people suffering from mental health issues?
- Solution #2: Should violence in the entertainment and gaming industry be addressed for a possible influence? How about the news media?
- Solution #3: What kind of gun control laws should be enacted? What role should gun manufacturers have? Should technology be used to decrease mass shootings? If so, in what ways can it be used?
4. Problem: Police brutality
- Solution #1: What are the possible ways in which communities can force local governments and police departments to address police brutality?
- Solution #2: What role should voting play? Should communities have a say in who heads the police department? What other ways should communities be able to review how local law enforcement polices communities?
- Solution #3: In what ways should the police department address cultural attitudes among officers about the people they police?
- Solution #4: What role does militarization in police departments play in police brutality? Should the federal government supply local police departments with military weaponry? If not, should there be a law against it? How should such a law be shaped?
Looking for a few articles about police brutality to get the research process rolling? Read 12 Articles to Support Your Police Brutality Essay.
5. Problem: Suicide
- Solution #1: What obstacles prevent people from getting help? Are there ways in which those obstacles can be addressed? What about social pressure, such as shaming? Should the public be educated about suicide? How might such programs be put into place?
- Solution #2: What roles should schools, colleges, police, social welfare, or other institutions play in recognizing those who are at risk, and how would they go about doing that?
- Solution #3: Should there be more therapy programs that are accessible for people? What about mental health programs for people who can’t afford them? In what ways should they be made available?
Example problem-solution essays on social issues
Problem-Solution Essay Topics—Economics
Everyone is affected by the economy in one way or another. They’re affected either directly through personal debts, indirectly through the loss of tax revenues that provide services for everyone, or through an uncertain job market.
A problem-solution essay that addresses economic problems is compelling precisely because everyone is eager for answers—especially college graduates. Check out these six problem-solution essay topics about economics for essay ideas.
6. Problem: Student loan debts
- Solution #1: What policies should the government enact that will help eliminate or lessen the burden for students once they graduate? Should there be greater consumer protections that protect students from predatory banking and credit loan institutions?
- Solution #2: Should universities and colleges bear a greater responsibility in protecting students from prohibitive debts? If so, how?
- Solution #3: Should state universities and colleges be allowed to enforce or raise student fees? If not, what alternatives would the schools have to pay for administrative costs?
7. Problem: Long-term unemployment
- Solution #1: Should there be programs on the local level that address long-term unemployment? If so, what? What laws or policies should the federal government enact that will address long-term unemployment?
- Solution #2: Should corporations take the lead on creating new job markets? If so, how could they implement programs to do so? How should the government encourage corporations to open up new markets? Subsidies? Tax breaks?
- Solution #3: What should individuals who are in long-term unemployment do? What programs should be accessible to them while they seek jobs? What about unemployment benefits? Should benefits be modified to address long-term unemployment rather than just short-term unemployment?
8. Problem: Consumer debt
- Solution #1: Should the government pass more rigorous consumer protection laws that will regulate and prosecute predatory banking institutions or credit loaning companies?
- Solution#2: Should the government provide debt relief programs? If so, how should they work and for whom? Should non-profit, non-governmental organizations, such as Occupy Wall Street, provide relief, or should the government create and enact such programs?
- Solution #3: What steps should individuals take to get out of debt? What programs, if any, are available for them? If none, what should be available?
9. Problem: Child labor
- Solution #1: What laws or policies can world governments enact that will address child labor?
- Solution #2: Should the US government enact trade policies that will address the problem? If so, what kind of policies should it enact?
- Solution #3: Do US companies exploit child labor, and if so, should local or state governments punish companies that do? What should citizens do? Boycott? Pressure congress to pass laws or prosecute?
10. Problem: Worker exploitation
- Solution #1: Should the government pass laws that protect workers? Should the government pass stricter laws that protect unionization?
- Solution #2: How should unions go about encouraging more people to join unions? What about workers who are unable to organize in their workplaces? What steps should they take to organize?
11. Problem: Home foreclosures
- Solution #1: What policies should be enacted that will ease economic problems leading to home foreclosures? Should the federal government enact laws that will protect homeowners, and if so, how?
- Solution #2: Should local governments pass laws to protect homeowners against foreclosures? What alternatives are available for local governments to prevent them? What should they do with homes that are underwater? How should they prevent blight?
- Solution #3: Should non-profit groups like Occupy Wall Street help people fight against foreclosures?
Example problem-solution essays on economics
Problem-Solution Essay Topics—Politics
Political problems are the most frustrating because the will to fix them is as elusive as the solutions. Perhaps this is largely because people get distracted by how challenging the problems are before they can even think about solving them.
The key to writing a good problem-solution essay is to think small. In other words, pick a very specific problem (money in politics, for instance) that will lead to goals that are clear and viable.
When you pick a topic that readers feel confident that they’ll be able to tackle, you’ll write an essay that just might move them to act.
Here are four political problem-solution essay topics to inspire action.
12. Problem: Money in politics
- Solution #1: What leads to the dependence on money in electoral politics, and what can be done to address the problem? For instance, what alternatives are available for candidates to raise funds for elections?
- Solution #2: Should the government regulate how much money is spent in campaigns? If not, what alternatives are available that will lead to campaign finance reform?
- Solution #3: Should the government pass laws that will define who should or shouldn’t be able to donate campaign dollars? If so, how should such a law be shaped? How should free speech rights be taken into consideration?
- Solution #4: Should the constitution be amended to address the problem? If so, what should be amended and how?
13. Problem: NSA spying
- Solution #1: Should there be more vigorous laws that protect Americans’ privacy rights from government surveillance? If so, what types of laws should be in place?
- Solution #2: Should congress be more proactive in monitoring the intelligence community? If so, how should Americans be certain that they are? In what ways should citizens be involved in the process?
- Solution #3: Do Americans have the right to know what the intelligence community is doing? If so, in what ways can that be done while protecting national security?
14. Problem: Partisanship
- Solution #1: Will electoral reform address the problems caused by partisanship? If so, in what ways?
- Solution #2: In what ways do American citizens help create partisanship? The media? How should Americans be better educated about their roles as citizens?
- Solution #3: Will media reform help address the problems that cause partisanship?
- Solution #4: How should political parties address partisanship? Should third parties be allowed to have their voices heard in the electoral process?
15. Problem: Voter disenfranchisement
- Solution #1: Should the federal government pass laws that will protect voter rights? Should the constitution be amended to protect voting rights for all citizens?
- Solution #2: How should state governments prevent partisanship from affecting electoral board policies? What should the public do to fight against voter ID laws or other laws that disenfranchise voters?
- Solution #3: What steps should be taken to revive people’s faith in the political process? Who should enact these steps? The public? Schools? The media? Politicians?
- Solution #4: Should congressional rules, policies, or social culture be changed to discourage and prevent obstructionism? If so, in what ways?
Example problem-solution essays on politics
By all measures, the environment is our most precious resource, yet we face many problems in trying to protect and preserve it.
A problem-solution essay that addresses environmental problems can be compelling and thought-provoking because it will alert readers to the necessity of proposing real solutions that people can enact as individuals or as political groups.
Here are five environmental problem-solution essay topics to start help you choose the focus for your own paper.
16. Problem: Climate change
- Solution #1: What kinds of laws or policies should the government pass that will address climate change?
- Solution #2: Should the government push for more trade policies that will address climate change?
- Solution #3: Should foreign policy play a role in addressing climate change? For instance, should the United States work with other heavy-polluting countries like China, and if so, how?
- Solution #4: How should the marketplace address the problem? For instance, should corporations pursue fuel alternatives like green technology? If so, how should they be encouraged to do so?
- Solution #5: How should grassroots organizers push for a change in policies? Who would be targeted for such a movement? The US government? The UN? Corporations?
Are you writing about global warming and need a few resources for your paper? Check out 12 Global Warming Articles to Help Your Next Essay.
17. Problem: Fracking
- Solution #1: Should the government pass laws that make fracking illegal? Should it promote energy fuel alternatives, such as green technology?
- Solution #2: How should companies that use fracking be discouraged from doing so? Should they be subject to civil lawsuits? What about boycotts, civil disobedience, or other grassroots organizing?
- Solution #3: What should be done to educate the public about fracking? Should the news media report on it more often? If so, how should environmental groups push the media to do so?
18. Problem: Endangered wildlife
- Solution #1: Should the government pass laws or policies that provide greater protections for preserving and protecting wildlife? If so, what types of laws? Should the government go after corporations that endanger wildlife?
- Solution #2: Should corporations take the lead in protecting wildlife?
- Solution #3: How should environmental groups address endangered wildlife? What are some of the things they can do to push the government and corporations to protect the environment?
19. Problem: Environmental pollution
- Solution #1: What should the government do about pollution? How should it be involved in long-term protections? For instance, should the government set aside relief funds or economic restorations for affected areas?
- Solution #2: What role should local and state governments play in protecting wildlife from pollution? Should local governments be stricter in regard to environmental studies for local projects, such as the building of chemical plants or factories near wildlife or residential areas?
- Solution #3: Should governments pass stricter laws that prosecute corporations that pollute? If so, how should the public push for such laws to get passed?
20. Problem: Environmental injustice
- Solution #1: Should local governments do more to protect communities from environmental injustices? If so, how? If not, what can the public do to fight against them? Will grassroots organizing help?
- Solution #2: Should the federal government provide relief for communities affected by environmental injustices? Should the US Justice Department get more involved in prosecuting corporations, or are local governments responsible for addressing the injustices?
- Solution #3: Should the media report more on environmental injustices? What can the public do to push the media to cover these stories? How should grassroots organizations get the information out to the public? Documentary films? YouTube? Crowdsourcing?
Example problem-solution essays on the environment
Problem-Solution Topics—Romantic Relationships
Anyone who has been involved in a romantic relationship has likely experienced both highs and lows. Some days can be pure bliss, and some days are, well … let’s just say they’re anything but blissful.
A successful problem-solution essay about romantic relationships will provide real solutions for couples experiencing the problem.
Here are five problem-solution essay topics about romantic relationships to inspire you.
21. Problem: Disagreements caused by social media
- Solution #1: Should couples stay away from most types of social media? Should they limit social media accounts? Would this bring couples closer together or create resentment?
- Solution #2: How might couples negotiate what is or isn’t acceptable behavior on social media accounts? Are discussions with old flames considered flirting or just simple discussions?
- Solution #3: Should couples share social media accounts? Should they know the other person’s passwords? Would this help solve any trust issues?
22. Problem: Safety concerns in online dating
- Solution #1: Does meeting a date in a public place help solve safety concerns? Should online dating services require background checks?
- Solution #2: Can asking the right questions help online daters really get to know a person, or is it too easy to pretend to be someone else online?
- Solution #3: Do shows like Catfish reduce instances of catfishing, or do they give people more inspiration?
23. Problem: Abusive relationships
- Solution #1: Would stricter laws help prevent abuse? Should it be easier for victims to file for protection orders against their abusers?
- Solution #2: Would additional education programs help prevent abuse?
24. Problem: Disciplining children
- Solution #1: Could parents go through counseling to solve their differences of opinion on disciplining children? Should parents have worked out such differences even before having children? Is it possible to work out such differences before having children?
- Solution #2: What type of parenting style is most effective in disciplining children? Does one style work best for all children? Should parents always use the same type of disciplinary style?
25. Problem: Teenage romance
- Solution #1: How do parents decide at what age their teens should be allowed to date? Should the dating age differ depending on the child?
- Solution #2: Should schools offer additional education about all forms of abuse? Would this help teens escape abusive relationships? Would it prevent abuse?
- Solution #3: Does social media create trust issues? Would more face-to-face interaction help teens establish more trusting and stable relationships?
- Solution #4: Should teens avoid serious relationships? Would they develop stronger and healthier relationships once they are older and more mature?
Example problem-solution essays on romantic relationships
Problem-Solution Topics—The Workplace
The workplace can be home to all types of problems, from technology failures to communication failures. While some problems can only be solved through a long meeting with HR, others must be solved between co-workers.
A problem-solution essay about the workplace should keep its audience in mind. A problem and its solution might look very different depending on whether you’re looking at it from an employee’s perspective or an employer’s perspective.
Let’s look at five workplace-related problem-solution topics to get you started on your paper.
26. Problem: Sexual harassment
- Solution #1: How should victims inform their boss or supervisor if they are harassed? Should the incident be documented in writing or discussed via email, in person, or on the phone?
- Solution #2: Do workplace training videos prevent harassment? Should other forms of training be in place?
- Solution #3: What should victims say to the person who is harassing them? Should they even confront the person?
27. Problem: Work-life balance
- Solution #1: Are people over-scheduled due to technology? Should people turn off their devices away from work? Should employers require (or suggest) times for employees to unplug?
- Solution #2: Are low wages causing people to work more hours and ultimately spend less time with their families? Would higher wages (including a higher minimum wage) solve the problem?
- Solution #3: Should younger generations develop stronger hobbies and interests outside of work? Should they minimize social events with their coworkers?
28. Problem: Employee privacy
- Solution #1: Should employees avoid conducting personal business on workplace computers?
- Solution #2: Does employer monitoring result in an invasion of privacy? Does monitoring employees help solve the problem of distracted employees?
29. Problem: Discrimination
- Solution #1: Will stricter laws help prevent discrimination in the workplace? Should companies audit their policies to ensure they discourage, rather than encourage, discrimination?
- Solution #2: What should industries more prone to discrimination do to change their ways? Can current employees speak up to change such discrimination? What might employees do in order to advocate for change?
- Solution #3: Do STEM programs and other education efforts help solve the problem of gender discrimination in science, technology, engineering, and math professions?
30. Problem: Social media use
- Solution #1: Would strict enforcement of computer use on the job prevent employees from logging in to their social media accounts at work? Should employers allow some personal time at work to check social media? Would this actually make employees more productive?
- Solution #2: Are social media accounts personal property, and should employers (and potential employers) be allowed to hire and fire based on personal accounts?
- Solution #3: Do company policies on social media use benefit only the company’s brand, or do they promote a more positive culture in the workplace? Does monitoring social media accounts solve any inherent problems of racism, stereotyping, etc., or does it merely highlight them?
Example problem-solution essays on the workplace
31. Problem: Obesity
- Solution #1: Will strategies such as taxing sugar drinks or adding nutritional information on fast food and restaurant menus reduce obesity? Is it the government’s place to legislate what its citizens eat and drink?
- Solution #2: Should schools require recess and physical education courses in order to help curb the current problem of childhood obesity?
- Solution #3: Should obese people pay more for health insurance? Would such a plan solve the problem of obesity by essentially forcing people to lose weight?
32. Problem: Opioid epidemic
- Solution #1: Should there be harsher penalties for doctors who continue to over-prescribe opioids to their patients? Should pharmacies more closely monitor prescriptions?
- Solution #2: Should manufacturers limit production of specific opioids? Should funding be provided to help researchers develop safer, less-addictive medications?
- Solution #3: Should additional treatment facilities be funded? Should Narcan be more readily available in schools, homes, and public facilities?
33. Problem: Technology addiction
- Solution #1: Does the problem of technology addiction begin at home? Should parents limit their children’s use of technology?
- Solution #2: Should schools encourage the use of more technology in the classroom? Should schools teach students about responsible use of technology?
- Solution #3: Should there be more technology-free zones in public? Would such zones help people leave their devices behind and thus lessen the effects of addiction?
34. Problem: Photoshopped images and self-esteem
- Solution #1: Should advertisers and publishers be required to limit the use of Photoshop or clearly state that images are digitally altered? Would these steps reduce body image concerns, particularly among young people?
- Solution #2: Would educational programs help young people understand that Photoshopped images are generally not attainable? Does self-esteem improve when companies show real people with more attainable body shapes?
35. Problem: Stress
- Solution #1: Should employers offer free or low-cost programs to help employees manage stress? Should employers offer additional sick and/or vacation days to help employees destress? Would this create a more productive workforce?
- Solution #2: Do practices such as meditation, soft music, and dietary changes help reduce stress?
- Solution #3: Should people make an effort to engage in more physical activity in order to alleviate stress?
Example problem-solution essays on health
Problem-Solution Topics—Off the Beaten Path: Ingenious Tips for College Students
Is your professor lenient on topics? Are you allowed to be a little more creative (and a whole lot less serious) when writing a problem-solution essay?
If so, try one of these five unique problem-solution topics that may allow you to express more of your creative talents.
36. Problem: Messy dorm room
- Solution #1: Could you hire a friend to clean your room? Could you hold a cleaning party? Should you call Mom and ask her to help clean?
- Solution #2: Do cleaning charts help organize tasks and actually help keep the space clean?
- Solution #3: Should you just get rid of almost everything in your dorm room and start again with a clean slate? Should you move to a new and cleaner space?
37. Problem: Forgot to study for an exam
- Solution #1: Could you ask your professor for an extension so that you can take the exam in a day or two? Should you try to convince all of your classmates to ask the professor to postpone the exam?
- Solution #2: Would it help to text everyone you know in class and ask them to help you cram before the test? Would they be willing to share their notes for you to review immediately before the test?
- Solution #3: Should you go to the doctor so that you have a doctor’s excuse that would allow you to make up the exam?
38. Problem: Loud neighbors
- Solution #1: Should you speak with them calmly and explain that you need quiet time to study, meditate, or just sleep? Should you bang on the door and yell loudly to get your point across?
- Solution #2: Should you avoid talking to your neighbors altogether and simply call the police?
- Solution #3: Could you soundproof your walls? Can you live in your space wearing noise-canceling headphones at all times?
- Solution #4: Should you ask to join the party and join in on the fun? (After all, you can always sleep or study later.)
39. Problem: Boring lectures
- Solution #1: Would asking your professor to create more interesting lectures actually inspire your professor to change his or her teaching strategy? Should you offer suggestions for more interesting lectures?
- Solution #2: Should you try drawing pictures, writing poetry, or taking creative notes to help pass the time as your professor rambles on?
- Solution #3: Should you drop the class and look for a professor with more engaging lectures? Is it too late to get into another class?
- Solution #4: Should you do nothing and accept the fact that sometimes you have to suffer through boring lectures?
40. Problem: No food in fridge
- Solution #1: Should you order a pizza? Should you do your grocery shopping online and have it delivered to your room?
- Solution #2: Should you save money and simply go to a friend’s place, hoping that he or she will feed you?
Example problem-solution essays on topics off the beaten path
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