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How to Write a Problems and Solutions Essay

The IELTS writing test, particularly Task 2, often presents essays requiring you to analyse a problem and propose viable solutions. This essay type, known as the problem-solution essay, is crucial for achieving a high band score.

This guide will equip you with the knowledge and strategies to write a problems and solutions essay that addresses all the prompts effectively.

Understanding the Prompt

Problem-solution essays in IELTS writing task 2 prompt you to discuss a particular issue and propose ways to address it. The essay questions might be phrased in various ways, such as:

  • What are the problems caused by this issue and how can they be solved?
  • What solutions can be implemented to overcome this challenge?
  • Discuss the problems and suggest potential solutions.

Problem Analysis

An essential aspect of writing a Problems and Solutions essay is conducting a thorough problem analysis. This enables you to develop a comprehensive understanding of the problem and identify its root causes and underlying issues. Here are some tips to strengthen your problem analysis:

To organize your thoughts, create a mind map. Start with the main problem at the center and branch out with related issues. This visual representation will provide clarity and structure to your essay.

Conduct effective research to gather relevant information. Take concise notes from credible sources to support your problem analysis. This will lend credibility and depth to your essay.

Developing a Strong Thesis Statement

A strong thesis statement sets the tone for your essay and provides a clear roadmap for the reader. When crafting your thesis statement for a problems and solutions essay:

  • Ensure conciseness by capturing the essence of both the problem and the proposed solution. Be direct and to the point.
  • Aim for clarity by explaining the context of the problem and the scope of your essay. This helps the reader understand the purpose and focus of your essay.
  • Be specific by providing a clear direction for the development of your content. This helps you maintain a cohesive structure throughout your essay.

Structural Organisation

Developing a Strong Essay Structure

A well-structured problem-solution essay adheres to a clear format:


  • Briefly paraphrase the essay question.
  • State the major problem or issue being discussed.
  • Provide a concise outline of the solutions you will propose.

Body Paragraphs:

  • Each body paragraph should focus on one specific problem or cause.
  • Explain the problem in detail, providing relevant examples and evidence.
  • Discuss one or two potential solutions for the problem.
  • Explain how each solution would address the problem and its potential benefits.


  • Summarize the main problems and solutions discussed.
  • Briefly restate your stance on the effectiveness of the proposed solutions.
  • Offer a final thought or prediction about the future of the issue.

What to Write in the Each Essay Section?

Tips for Each Paragraph

  • Introduction:
    • Begin with a strong opening sentence that grabs the reader’s attention.
    • Use formal language and avoid contractions.
    • Clearly state the major problem and your overall approach to solving it.
  • Body Paragraphs:
    • Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the specific problem or cause.
    • Use vivid examples and illustrations to make your arguments compelling.
    • Discuss the feasibility and effectiveness of each proposed solution.
    • Consider potential drawbacks or limitations of each solution.
  • Conclusion:
    • Briefly summarize the main problems and solutions discussed.
    • Restate your overall stance on the effectiveness of the proposed solutions.
    • Offer a final thought or prediction about the future of the issue.

Other Tips

  • Practice Regularly: Write problem-solution essays on various topics to hone your skills.
  • Seek Feedback: Get your essays reviewed by experienced teachers or tutors to identify areas for improvement.
  • Learn from Sample Essays: Analyze high-scoring model essays to understand effective structure and language use.
  • Expand Your Vocabulary: Use online resources and dictionaries to enhance your vocabulary and improve your writing style.
  • Focus on Grammar and Mechanics: Pay attention to grammar accuracy, sentence structure, and punctuation to avoid unnecessary deductions in your band score.

Final Words

In conclusion, by following these strategies and techniques, you can confidently approach Problems and Solutions essay questions in the IELTS exam. Remember to thoroughly understand the prompt, conduct a thorough problem analysis, develop a strong thesis statement, and ensure a well-structured and compelling essay. With practice and refinement, you can master the art of writing a stellar Problems and Solutions essay in IELTS.

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