Fall Quarter, 2004
Essay #2: Problem/Solution (100 points Draft, 1000 points Revision)
Rather than give you a specific topic, let me tell you what this essay’s trying to do. This is a problem/solution assignment—I want you to discuss a specific problem and to advocate a convincing solution to it. However, something abstract along the lines of “Problem: Terrorism, Solution: Defeat Terrorism” probably isn’t going to succeed very well.
Pick a problem drawn from your own experience, if possible. Describe the problem. Now, figure out who else might have the same problem and how they can identify with you. They might not have ever thought about this problem or realized that they share it with you.
Next, propose a solution to the problem. It’s not enough to just state the solution; you have to demonstrate that it’s the best solution—and it has to work for your readers as well as for you. You need to enlist them to help you make it happen.
You might choose a problem with either no clear solution or a solution that’s obvious. In that case, work on the first part of the assignment—define the problem. What are the implications? What will happen if it isn’t solved?
By the way, don’t think this has to be serious or weighty. If you’re so inclined, this could be humorous and entertaining. Look at how many comedy routines deal with discussions of common problems and the “solutions” to them.
ROUGH DRAFT DUE FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22.