Your first essay will be a solution proposal, a type of essay that identifies and illustrates a problem and then offers a useful, feasible, worthwhile solution to the problem. For example:
Problem: There are not enough options for lactose-intolerant students at my child’s school cafeteria.
Solution: Require cheeseless entree options, a wider variety of healthy beverages, and ensure that menu items that contain dairy are well-marked.
1) Identify a problem that you see at work, at school, or in your community. Make sure that the problem you choose is not too broad. You should be able to convincingly propose a solution to the problem in 500-700 words. For example, one could probably not propose a functional solution to World Hunger in one short essay. On the other side of that coin, also make sure that the problem you choose is not too narrow. For example, you would be stretched to write an entire essay about how to fix the fallen stop sign on your corner.
2) Illustrate this problem well for your reader by recounting anecdotes, constructing scenarios, giving examples, listing negative effects of the problem, or describing persistent debate of the issue.
3) Your textbook tells you that your purpose in this essay is “to persuade readers that [your] proposed solution is better than alternative solutions.” In accordance with that purpose, you must then provide reasons or evidence that your proposed solution is best. To do this, you can discuss how your solution might affect a cause of the problem or have beneficial effects that help alleviate the problem; you can compare your solution to one that has been shown to solve a similar problem; or you could outline the steps toward achieving your solution cheaply and efficiently.
4) You must anticipate and address possible objections to your solution or a reader’s preference to an alternative solution. Some objections you might accept, but for the most part, you should refute, or argue against, them. For example (continuing from the example above):
Objection: Milk substitutes like soy milk or almond milk are too expensive for school budgets.
Refutation: While it is true that milk alternatives can be more pricey than traditional cow’s milk, these alternatives have longer shelf-lives than milk; therefore, with proper management, they can be suitably cost-effective.
5) You must organize your proposal clearly and logically with smooth transitions and a progressive arrangement of ideas.
For further reference, consult Chapter 6 (“Proposing a Solution”) of your textbook, The Concise St. Martin’s Guide to Writing.
Refer to the “English 101 Rubric” provided on Canvas for grading criteria.