Problem Solution Essay IELTS: Topics & Sample Questions

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Problem and solution essay IELTS or cause and solution essay IELTS is a common type of essay question asked in IELTS Writing Task 2 Exam. Herein, a problem is presented to the candidate and you are asked to suggest relevant, specific, and possible solutions regarding the same.

You can either write about 2 problems with both their solutions or discuss one major problem and one solution. As long as you extend and explain your ideas, you will be able to communicate your thoughts to the examiner. Maintain a formal tone throughout your essay. In a problem and solution essay IELTS might ask the candidate to discuss any of the following:

  • Cause of the problem
  • Effect of a problem
  • Methods to prevent the problem
  • Possible and effective solutions to the problem

Problem Solution Essay IELTS

Problem Solution Essay Question: Evaluation Factors

IELTS writing tests are evaluated across 4 main factors or areas when your IELTS band scores are calculated. These areas are:

  • Achievement of the task – The examiner notices here to what extent you have addressed all the parts of the task with explained and well-developed ideas.
  • Cohesion and Coherence – The logical flow and organization of your ideas and information, are examined here. The examiner notices whether the essay has a logical progression of thoughts.
  • Lexical Resource – The vocabulary used in the essay and its accuracy is examined here. You should use lexical items with sophistication.
  • Grammatical accuracy and range – Lastly, the examiner evaluates whether the candidate has used the grammatical structures accurately. Sentences with sophisticated clauses and a clear flow should be used.

Tips to Create an IELTS Problem Solution Essay Structure

While structuring the essay in your head, make sure to use a proper approach for these questions. The steps to structure the essays are:

Analyze the question thoroughly

Analyzing the question is a crucial part of answering any IELTS writing essay questions. You can analyze the question in the best way through three main things:

  • Keywords: These are the specific words that inform you about the general topic.
  • Micro Keywords: These keywords identify the parts of the general topic that the examiner wants you to focus on. They generally give an opinion by emphasizing a sub-category of the topic.
  • Action Words: Instruction words or action words make it clear for the candidates what the examiner wants them to do.

Think of Ideas

Now that the purpose of the question is clear to you, form a specific idea for the essay in your head. For each problem you think of, identify a direct solution for the same.

Follow the structure & write down the essay

Write down the essay by ensuring to follow a proper structure, including an introduction, two body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The essay should include examples and discuss possible solutions.

Also Read: Latest 50+ IELTS Essay Topics in 2022

Problem Solution IELTS Essay Pattern

A basic four-paragraph structure should be used to structure the problem solution IELTS essays. The structure is as follows:

Paragraph 1 – Introduction

In the introduction paragraph, you can first paraphrase the statement part of the question and outline the ideas to be discussed in the essay further. Paraphrasing the questions means rephrasing the sentence without changing its meaning using synonyms. The outline sentence helps the examiner to understand what they can expect from the essay and thus ensure clarity. Cohesion and clarity play an important role in the scoring of the essay.

Paragraph 2 – Problems

In the second paragraph, state the problems you thought of and then explain the first problem and the second problem in the second half of the essay thoroughly.

Paragraph 3 – Solutions

In the third paragraph, list down the solutions to the problems listed above, the first solution with its examples, and then the second solution along with relevant examples that support the solution.

Paragraph 4 – Conclusion

In the conclusion paragraph, cover all the important points discussed in the above 3 paragraphs and end your essay.

Problem Solution Essay IELTS: Key Points to Remember

Some of the main points to remember while attempting the problem solution essay questions in IELTS are:

  • You have only 40 minutes to complete the essay writing task, and you have to write a minimum of 250 words.
  • Use linking words, collocations, and phrases to ensure a flow in the essay.
  • If you are using any facts or statistical data, make sure it is accurate and reliable.
  • Make sure that the introduction is clear and engaging. It helps the examiner to get a sense of what will be discussed in the essay further.
  • Use refined and accurate grammar and vocabulary, which will help the examiner understand your proficiency in the language.
  • Provide relevant examples to explain your content. An explanation of your opinions is the best way to ensure a higher IELTS score.
  • Identify the keywords and secondary keywords. Relate them with the problems and the solutions, and make sure to include the keywords in the content. 
  • Plan the problems you are going to discuss in your head and the possible solutions before writing them down.
  • The paragraphs should be ideally balanced by discussing the problems in one body paragraph and solutions in the second body paragraph.

Also Read: Updated List Vocabulary for IELTS 2022

Common Mistakes

Though problem solution essay IELTS is highly asked in the exam, there are some common mistakes that are made by the candidates. Some of these mistakes that a candidate can avoid while attempting these types of questions are:

  • Candidates often do not expand on their ideas and often list down a lot of problems and solutions. The examiners mark the essays on the basis of the explanation of the problems and solutions listed. It is usually advised to pick a problem or two along with their solutions and then explain them with relevant examples.
  • Another common mistake by the candidates is writing indirectly about solutions that are not directly related to the questions. You should opt for concrete ideas rather than writing a generalized answer. Identify the keywords and the micro-keywords from the question and try to include those in the topic.
  • Many people often list down good problems but fail to link them with the solutions. Each problem should have a directly linked solution that actually solves the problem.
  • Learn to identify the problem and solution and causes and solution questions as both of them might look similar but have a certain difference in how they are to be structured.
  • Avoid writing in absolute terms by using qualifiers which ensure that your sentences look like claims rather than proven facts.

Problem Solution Essay IELTS Sample Questions

There are many themes for the problem solution essay topics IELTS related to various problems. Some of the problem solution essay IELTS topics questions for your practice are as given below:

Theme 1 – Cities

  • Nowadays, it is getting difficult for people to enjoy their lives in cities. Why do you think this is? What can the government do to make life in cities more enjoyable?
  • In large cities, the issue of overpopulation has been a significant cause of concern which leads to a lack of jobs and traffic congestion. What is the cause of this? How can government help in solving this problem?
  • In many cities and urban areas around the world, crime is increasing. What is the cause of this? How can governments help to prevent the crimes?

Theme 2 – Technology & the internet

  • People from older generations face difficulty in using new technology. What is the cause behind this? What are some possible solutions to this problem?
  • A lot of children spend time on social media surfing the internet and playing video games which hurts their studies and grades and makes them experience loneliness and health problems such as obesity. What is the reason behind this? What can the parents do to prevent it?
  • The internet has changed the way information is consumed and shared among people. What are some serious issues a person can face associated with the internet, and what solutions can be implemented?

Theme 3 – Environment or Climate Change

  • Sea levels are steadily rising in recent years. What do you think is the reason behind this? How can it be fixed?
  • Many countries around the world are suffering from poor water and air quality, which is harmful to all of us, especially older people. What is the cause of this? How can it be solved?
  • Climate change and global warming is a serious threat the world is facing, which is reducing the average life expectancy. What are some causes of this? How can governments and healthcare sectors solve this problem?

IELTS Advantages & Disadvantage Essay Topics  

Foreign Language IELTS Sample Essay

A sample of the Problem Solution Essay Example Question IELTS for Writing Test 2 is given below for your reference:

Question

As social media continue to develop, more and more youngsters have unsupervised access to all the contents available over the internet in order to meet and chat with friends and even strangers, which can lead to some potentially dangerous situations. What solutions can you suggest to deal with this problem?

IELTS Problem Solution Essay

In the modern era, a large number of young people use the internet to meet and talk with friends via social media. Due to social media and the growth of the internet in the 21st century, many children are facing issues related to their health and the expression of their feelings as a result of the lack of face-to-face interaction. This issue can be solved by opting for some measures.

To begin with, there are many people all over the world who use the internet for their work or education purposes. As a result, everyone uses it until late at night, which can lead to a variety of health issues, such as vision problems from constantly staring at computers or mobile phones and spinal curvatures from excessive sitting in front of computers and laptops. Secondly, due to the nature of online meetings and conversations, there is a lack of face-to-face interaction among people due to which youngsters are unable to express their feelings due to the loss of peer interaction.

Parents can help in resolving these issues by blocking the access of children to websites that are not children-friendly. In addition to that, parents can encourage children to go out and play instead of being on the internet all day in exchange for a surprise or more quality time. Social media companies can also contribute to the solution by restricting the access of children to the platforms on the basis of their age, which can protect them from content that is not suitable for them. For example, the social media platform Facebook recently updated its privacy policies to restrict access to children under the age of ten.

To summarize, young people use the internet to interact with various types of people online without any supervision, which gives them a sense of freedom and confidence in sending unethical messages to others. To stay out of it, parents should monitor their communication and provide suitable guidance and advice to their children.

Problem Solution Essay IELTS

Conclusion

Problem Solution Essay IELTS is a type of question that includes problems for which you have to find the solutions through a logical flow of thought. 40 minutes are given to complete the 250 words essay writing task. The structure of the essay for a problem-solving question includes an introduction, discussion of problems, possible solutions with examples, and a conclusion. 

The introduction has an overview of the essay. The main body paragraphs discuss the problems along with their direct solutions and examples. The conclusion paragraph summarizes your opinion on the task. You need to discuss the problems caused by the issues and the measures to reduce or eliminate the problem altogether.

You do not just need to state problems and solutions but also need to explain the thought process to reach that solution. Make sure the essay is readable and has a logical flow and cohesion.

You can practice for the Problem Solution Essay IELTS by writing on various topics or themes available on the internet ranging from the internet, cities, poverty, problems of rural areas or developing countries, lifestyle in developed countries, success, news, etc.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I write the problem and solution both in one paragraph?

Ans. No, you can not write the problem and solution both in the same paragraph as this will affect the flow and understanding of the essay. The cause and the solution or the problems and the solution will both be discussed in two different paragraphs of the main body.

How can I identify a problem solution essay type? 

Ans. In the problem solution essay questions, a topic is given, and you will have to discuss the issues or problems faced in regards to that particular topic. Often, these questions can also ask for your opinion on a particular issue.

What is the difference between a cause solution essay and a problem solution essay?  

Ans. Problem solution essay and cause solution essay are highly similar. However, there is a subtle difference between the two. A problem solution essay question asks about the problem with regards to a particular topic, whereas the cause solution essay asks about the causes behind an issue. The problem is to be mentioned in both the essays. However, in the cause solution essay, you should focus more on the cause of that particular statement.

How can I write a solution paragraph? 

Ans. First of all, for a solution paragraph, you need to develop ideas related to the given problem in your mind to check whether or not your ideas are directly relevant to the problem. After then, you have to decide how you will explain the solution to all the problems in a precise manner. After then, develop your solution with the help of a detailed explanation.

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Kanika took a detour from academics for the corporate world. Now she works as a senior editor specialising in content creation, marketing, and strategy.