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Name (s): _____________________________________________________ Hour: __________________________

“What’s Your Problem?”


Exploring Problem/Solution Structure

We’ve all got a “problem”… just not the same one.

There’s a lot going on in the world that’s worth getting fired up about. Even if you never become a protester, a lobbyist, or the type of
voter who writes a letter to the editor, most people have one controversial issue that they feel particularly strong about… and probably
have a strong opinion on how we “should” fix it, too.

In this essay, you will explore Problem/Solution structure as a way to organize a business letter. Choosing from one of the prompts
below, you will be asked to write a proposal to your principal to solve an issue that concerns students at ABHS that includes:

1. RETURN ADDRESS (page 1 of STUDENT PLANNER)


2. DATE
3. SALUTATION (Dear Mr. LaPerriere)

4. Summarizes in an INTRODUCTION paragraph that informs proposed idea and ends with a THESIS sentence in PARALLEL
structure

5. Spends at least one body paragraph with a clear description of the PROBLEM: What it is? What caused it? Why it is a serious
problem?

6. Spends at least one body paragraph proposing one specific SOLUTION to the problem: a description of the action to be taken
and a plan to accomplish it and why it’s going to be an effective solution to THIS problem;

7. Motivates Mr. LaPerriere to agree with you, urge him to take specific action that APPEALS TO LOGIC or EMOTION on
how it will work, and how we can get involved; include facts, statistics, and details on how it might be solved.

8. Ends with a positive statement in the CONCLUSION that will convince reader into action.

9. COMPLIMENTARY CLOSING AND SIGNATURE

HINT: In a sense, the Problem/Solution essay is a type of proposal essay that describes a possible action and tells why it
should be taken. All walks of life involve situations in which people propose ideas for others to act on. The best proposals
should include the following: a purpose, a description of the action to be taken and a plan to accomplish it and the benefits
of that action in order to REALLY convince a reader that your solution is the BEST one around.

Prompt Choices:
1. Choose one issue or “problem” that we face at ABHS and then propose a convincing, logical solution for our principal to support;
persuade him why he should agree with you. For example: Our textbooks are outdated, each student should have an iPad or tablet to
stay current on information.

2. Choose an already existing solution to a problem and prove why it is flawed (and why something else is better). For example: Is
serving a detention really the ideal solution to our cell phone use problems, or would the use of cell phones for educational purposes
be a better solution? To do this well, you will need to present the original problem, the flawed solution, AND why your (different)
solution is better.

3. Choose a fund raiser and persuade your principal why we should give our time, dollars, and/or supplies to them. For example: A
Spanish club’s trip to Spain or the marching band’s involvement in a nationally televised parade can be rewarding, choose a fund
raising activity to raise money. (In order to pull this off, you need to persuade Mr. LaPerriere why there IS a problem, and why THIS
fund raiser is the best solution.)

ALTERNATIVE: You can ALSO choose to write a problem/solution writing about YOUR life! Choose a problem you face every day,
and provide feasible solutions to your problem. The organization MUST follow the same Problem/Solution structure as mentioned
above. (For example: you could explain how YOU could fix it, what your PARENTS could do, and what a FRIEND or TEACHER
could do to help…). This can be ACADEMIC or PERSONAL.
Name (s): _____________________________________________________ Hour: __________________________
20 POINT ESSAY RUBRIC DUE___________________

Turn-In Guidelines Effort Considerations Self-Assessment


 This Rubric  Proposal is printed What did you do well?
 Proposal letter and ready on time
 Two rhetorical  Business letter
devices and one formatting met
fact/opinion  Minimum four (4) What should/could you still revise?
highlighted indented
 Four adjectives paragraphs
circled  Proofreading
 Four adverbs evident What have you learned?
underlined  OPTIONAL: print
extra proposal to
be delivered
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