Presentation on theme: "PROBLEM-SOLUTION ESSAY"— Presentation transcript:
1 PROBLEM-SOLUTION ESSAY
1. Understanding problem-solution essay topics2. Organizing your ideas3. Writing Thesis Statement4. Developing body paragraphs5. Writing Conclusion
2 UNDERSTANDING PROBLEM-SOLUTION ESSAY TOPICS
Exercise: Read the essay questions below. Which one asks you to write an opinion essay and which one is for problem-solution essay? The underlined words may help you to reach your decision.1. Many newspapers and magazines feature stories about the private lives of famous people. We know what they eat, where they buy their clothes and who they love. Is it appropriate for a magazine or newspaper to give this kind of private information about people? What do you think? Write an essay about the issue explaining your reasons.2. 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.3. Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off tasks to a later time, sometimes to the "last minute". Procrastination is very common in university students. Why is it a problem and how can a student avoid procrastinating?Opinion EssayProblem-Solution EssayProblem-Solution Essay
3 4. The first car appeared on Turkish roads in 1896
4. The first car appeared on Turkish roads in Now, there are more than 3 million registered vehicles in Istanbul and more than 17 million vehicles on Turkish roads. Alternative forms of transport should be encouraged and international laws introduced to control car ownership and use. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Write an essay explaining your reasons.5. University students may have some problems with their roommates during their stay in the dorm or their flat. What kind of problems may they have? How can college students handle problems with roommates?6. Is freedom of speech necessary in a free society? What do you think? Write an essay explaining your reasons.7. What kind of problems might arise when you have a long-distance relationship with your girlfriend/boyfriend when you are in university? How can these problems be solved?8. 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?Opinion EssayProblem-Solution EssayOpinion EssayProblem-Solution EssayProblem-Solution Essay
4 9. What are the negative effects of cheating in the university
9. What are the negative effects of cheating in the university? How can cheating in university be best handled? 10. Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems. Explain the problems and suggest ways that governments and individuals can tackle these problems. 11. Recent figures show an increase in violent crime among youngsters under the age of 18. Some psychologists claim that the basic reason for this is that children these days are not getting the social and emotional learning they need from parents and teachers. To what extend do you agree or disagree with this option? Write an essay giving your reasons. 12. 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?Problem-Solution EssayProblem-Solution EssayOpinion EssayProblem-Solution Essay
5 2. ORGANIZING YOUR IDEASSTEP 1: Understand the essay topic and ask some questions.Sample Essay topic: Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems. Explain the problems and suggest ways that governments and individuals can tackle these problems.To explain the problem(Body paragraph #1), think about the answers to these similar questions:What are the problems that overpopulation causes in cities?What are the consequences of overpopulation in cities?What happens when the cities are overpopulated?Why is it a problem?
6 STEP 2: GATHERING INFORMATION/BRAINSTORMING Find answers to your questions in Step 1 and write as many ideas as you can in your chart.BODY PARAGRAPH #1 (EXPLAINING THE PROBLEM)Problems in public transportationdifficult to provide services for all peoplegreater povertyCrowded buses, trains, metroOverpopulation in citiesAutomobile exhaustlarge volumes of uncollected wasteair pollutionsignificant impact on human healththe loss of habitat and food sources
7 Overpopulation in cities People’s health(1st supporting idea)
STEP 3: CLASSIFYING IDEAS for describing the PROBLEM (BODY PAR. #1) Now, classify your ideas under more general topics. This will help you decide which ideas can be supporting ideas and which ideas can be used for justifications (examples, explanations) in your body paragraph #1 . Find at least 2 different ideas. (There are 3 different ideas below.) BODY PARAGRAPH 1:Overpopulation in citiesPeople’s health(1st supporting idea)Air pollution(automobile exhaust, houses, factories)Ex: Lung/respiratory diseaseslarge volumes of uncollected wasteEx: infectious diseasesstress, depressionProblems in public services(2nd supporting idea)Uncollected wastecrowded buses, metroheavy trafficEnvironmental problems(3rd sup.idea-optional)the loss of habitat for animalsloss of food sourcesLoss of forests
8 What are the solutions?/How can this problem be solved?
2. ORGANIZING YOUR IDEASSTEP 4:Now, it is time to think about the second part of the essay topic.(Body paragraph #2)Sample Essay topic: Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems. Explain the problems and suggest ways that governments and individuals can tackle these problems.To suggest solutions(Body paragraph #2), think about the answers to these similar questions:What are the solutions?/How can this problem be solved?What can governments do to get rid of these problems?What should individuals/citizens/people do to solve them?How can we overcome these problems?
9 STEP 5: FINDING SOLUTIONS Now look back at the problems one by one and create solutions for each.
(BODY PARAGRAPH #1)People’s healthAir pollution(automobile exhaust, houses, factories)Ex: Lung/respiratory diseaseslarge volumes of uncollected wasteEx: infectious diseasesstress, depression(BODY PARAGRAPH #2)reducing air pollution by upgrading energy use and alternative transport systemsproviding free health care for the citizensproviding free psychological counselling for the citizensProblems in public servicesUncollected wastecrowded buses, metroheavy trafficMore investment on public transportationMore trains, longer metro lines, less cars in trafficMotivating people not to waste food and to recycle
10 REMEMBER the paragraph plan of problem-solution essay:
Now that you have decided the content of body paragraphs, you are ready to start writing your essay.REMEMBER the paragraph plan of problem-solution essay:Paragraph 1: IntroductionGeneral StatementsThesis StatementParagraph 2: Description of the problem (Body p.#1)Paragraph 3: Solution to the problem (Body #2)Paragraph 4: Conclusion
11 3. WRITING THESIS STATEMENTS
12 expressing the problem
3. WRITING THE THESIS STATEMENT Thesis statement in Problem-Solution essay should have two parts: Part 1: Expressing the general problem Part 2: hint about the solutionexpressing the general problemexpressing the problemhint about the solutionOverpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems. However, there are still several things that governments and individuals can do in order to overcome these problems.
13 hint about the solution Write 2 alternative thesis statements:
Exercise 1: Write a thesis statement for the given problem-solution essay topics.Example:Topic 1: During the last weeks of the academic year, there is a decrease in students’ motivation. What are the reasons for this problem and how can it be solved? expressing the general problemThesis statement:University students may lose their interest in the lessons at the end of the year, yet there are many things that can done to prevent this.hint about the solutionWrite 2 alternative thesis statements:University students usually feel demotivated in their studies towards the end of the year. However, we can still do many things to solve this problem.There is always a loss of concentration and motivation among university students at the end of the semestre, but this can still be prevented by taking some specific steps.
14 Topic 2: Many people start smoking at an early age and endanger their lives. What are the reasons for this problem and what are the measures that can be taken? Write 3 alternative thesis statements. Thesis Statement 1: Thesis Statement 2: Thesis Statement 3:The number of young people who start smoking increases day by day. However, there are many ways to dissuade them from smoking.Many people start smoking as teens. However, we can take some measures to prevent this from happening.Many young people endanger their lives by starting smoking at an early age; yet there are many ways to solve this problem.
15 Topic 3: Many university students have difficulty in managing their money while they are studying at university away from their family. What kind of problems do they have related to money? And what should they do to solve these problems?Write 3 alternative thesis statements.Thesis statement 1:Thesis statement 2:Thesis Statement 3:It is difficult for university students to manage their money on their own but there are many ways to solve this problem.University students have many problems about managing their money while they’re studying at university away from their family. However, these problems can be solved in many ways.University students may go through many problems because they do not know how to manage their money, yet they can cope with this problem in many ways.
16 Write 2 alternative thesis statements:
Topic 4: University students may have some problems with their roommates during their stay in the dorm or their flat. What kind of problems may they have? How can college students handle problems with roommates?Write 2 alternative thesis statements:Thesis statement 1:Thesis statement 2:University students may have some problems with their roommates, but they can solve these problems in many ways.Sometimes, university students cannot get on well with their roommates in the dorm or in their flat; however, there are potential ways to solve these problems.
17 4. DEVELOPING BODY PARAGRAPHS
18 Developing the body paragraph #1 (describing the problem)
Sample essay topic: Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems. Explain the problems and suggest ways that governments and individuals can tackle these problems.Topic sentence for Body Paragraph#1:There are many problems associated with overpopulation in cities.Write alternative topic sentences:Overpopulation causes lots of problems in big cities.Overpopulation leads to several problems in big cities.Big cities are negatively affected by the overpopulation.There are several problems in big cities caused by overpopulation.
19 Developing the body paragraph #1 (describing the problem)
Overpopulation in citiesPeople’s health(1st supporting idea)Air pollution(automobile exhaust, houses, factories)Ex: Lung/respiratory diseaseslarge volumes of uncollected wasteEx: infectious diseasesstress, depressionProblems in public services(2nd supporting idea)Uncollected wastecrowded buses, metroheavy trafficOverpopulation causes lots of problems in big cities.(TOPIC SENTENCE) First problem is that it negatively affects people’s health. (1st supporting idea) Air pollution caused by car exhaust, factories and houses makes it very difficult to breath and it also leads to respiratory diseases among people. Moreoever, people suffer from stress and depression in overpopulated cities since they face with lots of problems during their daily lives. Secondly, there are lots of problems in public services.(2nd supporting idea) For instance, the waste of the city cannot be collected and the streets can be full of garbage, which is a bad scene for the citizens. Furthermore, buses and trains are always crowded and people lose a lot of time while travelling.
20 Developing the body paragraph #2(providing solutions)
Sample essay topic: Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems. Explain the problems and suggest ways that governments and individuals can tackle these problems.Topic sentence for Body Paragraph#2:However, there are many ways to solve these problems.Write alternative topic sentences:Despite these problems, there are some solutions to overcome the negative effects of overpopulation.However, in order to solve these problems, the governments and individuals can do lots of things.Solving these problems will not be easy but there are some measures that can be taken.
21 Developing the body paragraph #2(providing solutions)
Problems about people’s health Problems in public servicesDespite these problems, there are some solutions to overcome the negative effects of overpopulation.(TOPIC SENTENCE) First solution is that the government should take actions about reducing the air pollution. They can do this by motivating people not to use their cars and by investing on the public transportation systems more. Besides, the factories should be punished if their emissions exceed the limits. Another solution is that the government should provide free health care for those who have respiratory diseases and give free psychological counselling for all the citizens. In this way, people can cope with the stress of living in an overpopulated city. Last solution is that the local authorities should motivate people not to waste food. For example, they can organize campaigns and seminars about recycling.reducing air pollution by upgrading energy use and alternative transport systemsproviding free health care for the citizensproviding free psychological counselling for the citizensMore investment on public transportationMore trains, longer metro lines, less cars in trafficMotivating people not to waste food and to recycle
22 5. Writing ConclusionIn conclusion paragraph, you should return to the thesis statement, restate it and express your final thoughts and recommendations. Here are two strategies:1. Add a final observation about how people view the problem.2. Make a ‘call for action’ that asks people to do something to help solve the problem.
23 Exercise: Re-state the thesis statements below, add an observation and a call for action.
Thesis statement: University students usually feel demotivated in their studies towards the end of the year. However, we can still do many things to solve this problem.Restated thesis statement:In conclusion, there are many ways to increase the motivation of university students, even at the end of the year.Observation:Students might be exhausted or bored with all the homework, quizzes, exams and lectures. They may even stop coming to the school.Call for action:However, they need to continue their studies till the end. They should know that if they are a bit patient, keep completing their assignments and attend the classes regularly, they will get good results and won’t regret.
24 Thesis Statement: Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems. However, there are still several things that governments and individuals can do in order to overcome these problems.Restated thesis statement: Although there are several negative effects of overpopulation in big cities, overcoming these problems is possible. Observation: Due to these problems, people living in overpopulated cities suffer from health problems and they face many challenges during their daily lives. Call for action: However, governments, local authorities and individuals should take responsibility and minimize these problems for a better future.
|Learn how to collect information on the problem or issue to develop credibility, knowledge, awareness, and to build support for action.|
Why should you collect information about the problem?
How do you collect this information?
What are the limitations of using this information?
Quantitative information is crucial to building awareness and gathering support for community issues. Hard data analysis provides a concrete approach for assessing, planning, and implementing community projects. It can be a valuable tool in comparing community problems across geographic regions and across periods of time. This section discusses how to gather data through focus groups, public forums, and surveys, and how and when to implement the information into community planning.
Why should you collect information about the problem?
Many of us hate doing research. Perhaps you, too, have found yourself staring at pages of figures and equations and decided it was a really good day for a root canal. The advantages of having this information at your fingertips, however, are enormous. We think it's really a worthwhile task, for many reasons. Some of the best include:
- Knowledge. Reality talks. Knowing the facts is a stark way of determining the size of the gap between your vision of a healthy community and the reality in which you live. Gathering information from the time period before your organization got started (also known as baseline data) is an excellent way to show the magnitude of the problem.
- Credibility counts. If you are able to talk easily in a casual conversation about the exact numbers of people affected by the issue you are involved in, you come across as knowledgeable, serious, and well organized. Writing down those same figures (in greater detail, of course) as part of a grant application or project summary for potential funders and evaluators says that you are a well-run group who can get the job done.
- Awareness leads to change. You can use the statistics you have found to raise community awareness of a number of things: how serious the problem is, how well (or how poorly) your community is doing in relation to other communities or to the nation as a whole, and last but not least: how well your coalition is attacking the problem at hand.
How do you collect this information?
So, how do you go about finding this information? There are two ways to go about it: you can use information that's already out there (after all, there's no sense in reinventing the wheel); or, if what you are looking for just doesn't seem to exist, you can collect new information yourself. Either way, there are ten steps you will want to go through, to help make your information collecting as efficient and as painless as possible.
Ten steps in information collection
1. Agree on the value and purpose of the information that you will collect
As we have said, we think there are a lot of excellent, general reasons to have the facts about your issue at your fingertips. But why, exactly, does your group need this information? How will you use it? Will it be shown only to members of your organization, or do you want to make it public? For example, the AIDS project in a small community might come up against large amounts of prejudice trying to discuss the percentage of young people who practice safe sex. The staff of the project may decide that information is useful for planning purposes, but may decide to publicly discuss a different topic, such as the number of babies who are born HIV-positive.
2. Determine when you want to use this data
Another important decision you need to make is when is this data important. This is really two decisions:
- For what time period do you want to find information? Often, it's helpful to look for information either right now, or from the time when your coalition first got started. This latter information, sometimes known as baseline data, tells the scope of the problem before you started work. Later on in the lifespan of your coalition, you can track how things have changed, and determine how effective you have been.
Additionally, many organizations find it a good idea to collect information on a regular basis, such as once a year. This helps you to keep on top of the latest information (always helpful for grantmakers, as well as for your constituents), as well as to determine your effectiveness, as we mentioned above. This also lets you examine the trends important to your group as they change from year to year.
- When do you want to make this information public? Often, you want to make the information known right away. Other times, however, you might want to wait a bit. Maybe you would like to announce it in conjunction with a national/international event that is happening, in hopes of gathering even more media coverage.
For example, you might want to announce the dramatic rise in the number of people in your city who are HIV-positive on December 1st, which is International AIDS Day. Alternatively, an important local event, such as a symposium on youth violence, can be an excellent time to get the message out.
3. Determine exactly what you want to know
What, exactly, do you want to know? Are you just looking for statistics, or do you want to collect some qualitative information (life stories, local heroes, etc.) as well? Do you want to determine incidence rate, or prevalence rate, or both (see the example at the end of this chapter for information on these rates)? And on which issues? The more precise you are in your thinking at the beginning, the easier you will find your search.
4. Determine who will find the information
Will it be you? A staff member? A volunteer? Do you want one person to focus on collecting the data, or do you want to have several people working on it? Brainstorm who in your organization has experience in collecting data, and also who might be interested in doing so. And do they have enough time to do the job?
5. Identify possible sources of information
There are a lot of different places where you can find relevant information, depending on your topic. Some of them include:
- The state or county health department can help you determine health indicators on a variety of issues.
- The state human service department should be able to tell you the number of recipients of Medicaid, and food stamp program participants.
- Hospital admission and exit records exist and can give you information on teen fertility, causes of death, etc. Depending on where you live, some of the data may not be part of the public record, but it may be possible to purchase some of it, or arrange to use it in some form.
- Census data: Demographic information is available for your community and the United States as a whole. This information can be found on Bureau of Census. Many states have similar information on their own web sites as well.
- County Health Rankings & Roadmaps: This website provides health rankings for nearly every county in the nation. The County Health Rankings model includes four types of health factors: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic, and the physical environment. The County Health Rankings illustrate what we know when it comes to what’s making people sick or healthy, and can help community leaders see that our environment influences how healthy we are and how long we live, and even what parts of our environment are most influential.
- Police records can tell you crime rates and the incidence of problems such as domestic violence or motor vehicle accidents.
- Chamber of Commerce data discusses job growth, the unemployment rate, etc.
- Nonprofit service agencies, such as the United Way or Planned Parenthood, generally have records on a variety of different issues. Often, these agencies have already conducted surveys and found the information you need.
- School districts can tell you graduation rates, test scores, and truancy rates for your school and others. For comparative figures across school districts, check with your state department of education.
- Centers for Disease Control reportable disease files can give you national information on the rates of many diseases, such as AIDS.
- Your reference librarian is often a very helpful person.
- Other professional contacts you have can lead you to sources of information particular to your interest.
- Statistical Abstract of the United States is a good general source in print for national information. It's done annually, and is available in most local libraries.
- Specialized local, statewide, or national organizations may help. For example, if you were interested in Alzheimer's disease, or tree planting, or lead poisoning, you would want to track down and consult with an organization specializing in that field. (Gale's Encyclopedia of Associations is a good national source). Many such organizations have good web sites of their own, too.
6. Set limits as to how much information you want to collect
Too much information will be just as much of a problem as not enough. Decide on the limits of what you are going to collect, or you will just get lost among the stacks of data that have piled up on your desk.
7. Collect the data
If you have done all of the preparatory work up to this point, this is the easy part. List the sources of data you have found, both in order of those you think are best and those you think are easiest to find (see the Tools section for an example). Start with those, and then get to work.
8. Identify gaps in your knowledge
After you have finished collecting, it's time to take a hard look at the information you have found. Were you able to determine everything you were looking for, or did you not find some important data? Perhaps the information that you have found has made you realize there is other helpful information that you didn't originally research.
For example, when you were researching the rate of people who have HIV in your community, maybe you realized that many of these people have at least one other sexually transmitted disease (STD) as well. So then, you decide you would like to broaden your information gathering to include how many people with other STDs have contracted AIDS. Alternatively, you might decide that having another STD is a risk factor for HIV-positive.
9. Redo the process to try to fill those gaps -- or collect your own data
Now that you have identified what information you still need to find, you have two choices. You might have simply missed a good information source the first time, so brainstorm with others in your group to see if you can think of any places you missed. However, it's also possible, that the information you want to find just isn't out there, in which case it's up to you to collect it. See the following heading, Collecting new information, to learn how to do this.
10. If possible, you might want to compare data for your community with that of other communities, or that of the nation as a whole or to trend out your own community's data over time.
It's good to put the information you have found in context, either positive or negative. Saying, "The level of violent crime in our community is twice the national average," helps put the magnitude of the problem you are facing in the proper perspective for the rest of the community. And on the other hand, if you can say, "The rate of students who graduate from high school in our city is 10% above the national average," it's a great way to celebrate your community's strengths.
Collecting new information
Usually, when you are trying to determine facts about the problem, the information is already out there, in one form or another. If you've looked, though, and are absolutely sure that the information you need just isn't there, it's time to create it yourself. To do so, you'll still need to go through the ten steps listed above, except for number five; but in addition, you will want to do the following:
1. Identify the method of collecting information that is best suited to your purpose. Different methods that are often used include:
2. Decide if you want to inform the public of what you are doing.
And if you decide that it is tactically wise, then let people know what you are doing from the start. (You will probably want to update them during and after the process as well.) You might consider writing a press release to do so. Include key facts that you have gathered from earlier data. For example, you might say, "In 1990, the teen pregnancy rate in Godnaw County was 26 girls out of every 1000, or 2.6%. The Godnaw County Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program is in the process of finding out how this figure has changed in the last eight years."
Remember, though, that when you tell people what you are doing, they will usually have questions. So be prepared with a clear process for responding to any queries or concerns that might arise.
3. Train the people who will be collecting the information.
Sending poorly trained staff members or volunteers to collect new information can cause serious problems and lead to results that are unhelpful at best. At worst, this can invalidate all of the time and effort you spent trying to determine the information. The manner in which questions are asked, who is asked, and even when they are asked can have a huge impact on the results you receive. So train your information collectors before you start.
4. Collect and tabulate your data.
Although this can take a while, as mentioned before, if you have done all the steps leading up to this, you're once again at the easy part. Good luck!
5. Report (and use) your findings.
Even if you decided during the planning process to wait to go public with your findings, you will still probably discuss them with members of your group right away. You might ask everyone at a staff meeting to talk about how this new information will change their individual projects, or work together to rewrite the project plan.
In any case, be sure to use the information you have found, don't just file it away somewhere!
6. Continue to review and collect information on a regular basis.
Unless you're planning to conduct a short intervention or initiative and then leave town, you'll need to update the information you have. Communities and conditions change, and you can't assume that what's true today will still be true in six months or a year. If the data you have is more than a year old, it's simply not reliable. You have to plan to keep collecting data for the long term.
What are the limitations of using this information?
Of course, knowing the incidence and prevalence of a problem is certainly not a cure-all for solving all of your coalition's woes, nor is it the only information worth collecting. In the worst case, the information can actually mislead people who are trying to understand the problem. As Mark Twain was fond of saying, "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics."
When you are collecting or speaking about your data, be sure to:
- Obtain your data from enough people to make it worthwhile. Or, if you are using previously gathered information, find out how many people were studied. As a rule of thumb, don't determine a rate from a population of less than 30 people - and although that's the smallest number that can be used to generate most statistics, it's probably nowhere near enough to give an accurate picture. There just aren't enough people for your data to be credible. If you did a voluntary survey on drug use among high school students and only got 5 respondents, your results might vary widely from the truth.
For example, you may have had 5 students who don't use drugs at all, (There are no drugs in our schools!) or maybe four of the students were friends who all smoke marijuana regularly (80% of our students use drugs on a regular basis!) Probably neither of these statistics is close to the truth. The sample population simply wasn't large enough to get a true estimate.
- When you are giving a rate, never forget to give it, as the definition states, in terms of another measured quantity.
For example, just saying, 43 students are smokers, doesn't give the listener enough information to really understand the problem. Is it 43 students out of 50? Or out of 5000? Always be sure to give your information in context. A confused listener is not someone who will be helpful to your cause.
- As helpful as statistics can be, they don't ever tell the whole story. People relate to individual stories: the friendly neighborhood mechanic who died of lung cancer, the fourth grader who was killed in a drive by shooting. Just the facts might be good police work; but for your organizations work, never forget the people behind those statistics.
There is a story about a group of birds who took a class to learn to fly. They all attended the class faithfully for weeks, and then, when it was over, they all tucked their diplomas under their wings and walked back home. So use the information you have found to further your cause, and fly with it. There's no question that changing our communities for the better is a tough battle. But by being able to determine the magnitude of the problem, you've made a powerful first step towards winning the war.