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Problem Solution Essay Outline - Step-by-Step Writing Instructions

Before we move to the problem solution essay outline, mind several necessary steps to take. Creating an outline is a crucial step, but you should also follow other recommended preparatory stages that were implemented in the academic writing process years ago from now.

A problem-solution paper is always based on some sources and relevant facts that you have to analyze. And sometimes, this assignment needs to be written based on a particular article(s) review. Thus, to solve the problem or assess the solution, one should first gather the appropriate references for such an academic investigation. If the professor didn't provide you with specific materials or guidelines, try to find some good sources related to the field of study on your own. For that:

  • Focus on the most important aspects of the topic. If you were given a general prompt, consider the precise issue you would like to investigate in detail.
  • Brainstorm it - detect the key vocabulary and concepts covering which you can come up with better writing.
  • Find articles, tables, research projects, reports, and other materials that describe the problem or solution under discussion.

Tip. Here, brainstorming refers to identifying the specific terms (scientific or professional) and providing the definition of each. That can simplify your writing and analysis. Never use abbreviations without providing a full interpretation first - only after that, you can use abbreviations without explanation. Sometimes, your professor may ask to come up with a separate vocabulary at the end of the paper. There, you need to explain any complicated words or concepts to the reader: that way, you will not only simplify the understanding of the text but also show your own competence.

The next thing to do before developing a problem solution essay outline is to realize the essence of the main question. Re-read the provided instructions and the prompt several times to identify the keywords and primary questions you have to answer. Do you understand all of them well? Put any helpful notes down on a separate piece of paper to return to them anytime. Also, while going through the selected sources, you may mention references you're going to use - it will save plenty of time later. Tip: make sure each reference to a source includes:

  • Author's name
  • Title of the work
  • Publisher
  • Publication place
  • Date
  • Some extra details such as number, volume, issues, or pages cited.

Now, let's come back to the main question. Problem solution essays require one to conduct an analysis of the problem and finding the most effective ways to manage it. Or, vice versa. To succeed with it, you have to not only prepare reliable evidence and statement but to organize the entire text logically and coherently. The reader should be able to understand what problem you are finding a solution to, why it is important, and why the solutions described are relevant and valid. And, a good outline is exactly what can help you with the logic of your writing.

In your problem solution essay outline, you will need to break down the entire paper into separate parts and create a detailed plan of the text. The sections can be based on the major keywords or key phrases. An essay may have 3 or more main sections depending on the number of body paragraphs and the logical parts of the entire writing. If you spend some time brainstorming ideas, you can see some logical clusters. They can be fundamental for working on the main elements of your essay and useful for the outline construction. And, to not lose them in the process of preparing a top-notch essay, an outline is what can help you.

You're almost there! So, how to write a problem solution essay outline?

Problem and Solution Essay Outline Sample

First, you should think about whether you deal with problems, solutions, or both. You may divide your outline in a way that each solution follows each problem, or focus on problems and solutions separately. You may also have a single issue to discuss and solve, but study it from different aspects then. Add your own ideas to include in your paper later.


What? Why? How? Those are the basic questions to pop up in the introduction of your problem-solution essay. Thus, start with defining the issue as well as explaining why it matters and needs a solution. Never provide an answer in the opening paragraph - leave your reader intrigued. As always, you can start or end an introduction with a hook sentence like an interesting fact or a quote. This way, let's see how your introduction outline can look with a "The ways to manage a bullying issue in high school" topic:

Introduction. Why do we need to solve the bullying issues in school?
  • State that bullying is quite a common problem for many schools.
  • Mention some real-life examples and the possible consequences of this problem being unsolved.

The introduction is just a 1/3 of your essay, so its outline part is quite short.

Body paragraphs

There are three main things to remember while working on the body part of any academic paper. You should come up with a clear topic sentence (claim) for each of the three or more body paragraphs. To prove your ideas, add supporting evidence to every claim. Those are the facts, statistics, and quotes you picked from the external sources. Don't forget to finish each body paragraph with a relevant concluding sentence and involve transitions to show the logical flow of your thoughts.

To have an effective organization of the body sections, you may use the following elements:

  • Literary devices to link different ideas
  • Examples that have something in common
  • Repetition links

Here's how it can look like:

Part 1. Students need to have a feeling of belonging and cooperate with each other well.

  • Give a brief explanation of the importance of group projects, different extracurricular events, and other activities that can help students understand each other better.
  • Provide a (real-life) example of participating in such events.
  • Consider the ways of implementing them in academic life.
Part 2.To understand other students, one has to understand oneself first.
  • A common cause of the problem based on bullying is that many students have different issues that make them be cruel toward others.
  • Dwell on the importance of the school psychologist's activities and sessions where student can share their problems (anonymously).
Part 3. Sometimes, there is a need for strict regulations.
  • There are cases when a positive approach isn't enough - bullies just can't change.
  • Write about rules and adequate regulations that a school can use to punish a bully.

After covering all the important aspects of the problem and approaches to its solutions, it's time to deal with a concluding part.


In the section of a problem-solution essay, you may try to come up with a brief overview or a statement that won't imply discussing new ideas. One of the simplest ways here is to paraphrase the thesis to remind the readers of what you were talking about. It is the central argument of the entire writing, and its repeating can strengthen your main point.

Conclusion. Sometimes bullying can't be spotted but is always should be prevented.
  • Say that bullying is a serious problem that can be solved even if the measures are taken gradually.
  • Use the first-person narration to make writing more convincing and state that your solution is relevant.
  • Speak from your own perspective and express your attitude toward the issue.

We hope that this problem solution essay outline example will be helpful. You can use these templates to write this assignment if you adjust them to your own topic.

And if you still have trouble with preparing an outline for different projects and cannot find solutions to the academic problems, you can contact us and get professional writing assistance.

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