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Problem and Solution Essay


Name ______________________

                               Problem & Solution Essay, Part 4


Goal: To further expand our research on a “local” problem/issue and to explore additional solutions that may address this problem/issue, and may help prevent it from happening again.


For this assignment, you have been looking at a problem/issue that has affected you or people around you.  You may have felt stuck in your writing by the limited amount of information you gathered last week.  So…this week is your chance to try to find more information about your topic.


In order to expand on your research, it will be important that you first understand what the main theme of your subject is.  For example, imagine you are writing about a new law that requires all San Francisco Middle School students to have their backpacks searched when they walk in the door of school. What is the MAIN ISSUE of this new law?  What is the theme of this problem?  Is it: Student rights?  Is it privacy?  __________________________________________________________________________________________


When you know what your essay’s theme is, it may be easier for you to find more information about it, or to at least find new ways to expand on what you already have written. 


Try identifying some themes of your issue below by circling words that could be applied to the issue/problem you are researching:


Alcohol & drinking                        Animal rights                                    Censorship                              Children's rights



Civil rights                        Drugs & drug abuse                        Drunk driving                                               Environmental protection



Famine                                    Gangs                                     Gender issues                        Global warming                        Gun control



Homelessness                                    Human Rights                           Immigration                          Poverty                        Terrorism



Violence                        Violence in schools                                    Welfare                                    World population


Don’t see your theme below?  Write what you think a theme or themes could be for your issue?_____________________________________________________________________________________

Now that you have a few new words to describe your issue/problem, let’s look at some websites you could use to expand your research.  The following websites are places you can visit that may be helpful in developing your essay from a 3.0 to a 4.0 on the rubric. 


Remember, for a 4.0 on the rubric it saysThe author’s purpose of writing is very clear, and there is strong evidence of attention to audience. The author’s extensive knowledge and/or experience with the topic is/are evident.


Also remember for a 4.0:  There is one clear, well focused topic. Main ideas are clear and are well supported by detailed and accurate information.



Websites to expand your research: (good website that helps students who are researching current social issues from multiple perspectives.)  (a dictionary to help you understand difficult words). (this is a HUGE website with tons of different links to online resources that may help you find more information on your topic).  (this site is a comprehensive source of information.  All you have to do is type in your subject, and it will find sites for you).


World Book Encyclopedia   (

 (remember when you created a username and password for yourself?  Try it out!)


Opposing Viewpoints from SFPL: Find "pro" and "con" arguments on controversial social issues.> eLibrary> Articles and Databases> click on "O" for Opposing Viewpoints. A library card # and personal password are required to access the information in the database.

United Nation’s Cyber School Bus has resources for students aged 5-18, and curricular tools on a range of global issues like poverty and human rights.


If none of these sites help you, try Google to see if you can find more information on subject/issue.


What theme(s) can you find for your topic?  Explain.


What NEW information have you found on your topic?


What NEW information have you found that EXPERTS ARE TALKING ABOUT? 

For example, what do other people think about your topic?  Why is it a problem? What is its solution?