4 Paragraph Structure for Problem/Solution Essay

I previously wrote about sticking to the same formula of a 4 paragraph structure. Once you practice this approach, it will be very easy to plan and organize your essay when you’ve only got 40 minutes.

For the problem/solution essay, you can follow this paragraph structure:

  1. Introduction- introduce topic and give your clear answer to the task question
  2. Problems – give examples and supporting details
  3. Solutions – give examples and supporting details
  4. Conclusion – restate your answer to the question
or
  1. Introduction –  introduce topic and give your clear answer to the task question
  2. Main problem #1  & possible solutions  – give examples
  3. Main problem #2  & possible solutions – give examples
  4. Conclusion – restate your answer to the question

Here’s an example for a problem/solution essay or a reasons for problems/solutions essay.

People naturally resist change in their lives. What kind of problems can this cause? What solutions can you suggest? 

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. 

Here’s my 4-paragraph approach:

  1. Introduction. First sentence paraphrases the topic of the question – people avoid making changes in their lives. Second/Third sentence answer both questions.
  2. Problems caused by this resistance – give examples – not challenging oneself in pursuing career or academic goals, staying unhealthy and unfit, staying in a bad relationship, etc.
  3. Possible solutions – finding support groups, encouragement from family & friends, etc.
  4. Conclusion – restate answer and overall possible solutions.

Here’s another example:

The widespread use of the Internet has brought many problems. What do you think are the main problems associated with the use of the web? What solutions can you suggest?

 Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.  

Here’s my paragraph structure:

  1. Introduction –  paraphrase the topic, answer the questions
  2. Main problems (I put both problems together) – Privacy security and vulnerability of children by online predators
  3. Suggested solutions (applies to both problems) – stronger regulations and parental supervision
  4. Conclusion – restate suggested solutions to address main problems

Want to get your essay writing checked? Here’s how: Essay Correction & Feedback 

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  1. Thanks for this structure. I teach IELTS in Singapore and use a similar structure with my students.

    There are also questions that ask about “causes” not “problems” and this can confuse students as they think it’s just “problems” and “solutions”.