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Overcoming Challenges

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When writing a problem/solution essay, your biggest challenge is to get readers to take action. As a writer, how can you accomplish this?

Writers must give the problem presence. Authors can get readers to see and feel the problem by using anecdotes, startling quotes, stats, photographs and emotional appeals (pathos).

Writers must appeal to the values and interests of decision makers. Appeal to idealism or how your solution will benefit the decision maker. Appeal to the values of the audience. Show how the benefits outweigh the costs - especially if it's free. What have you got to lose?

Writers must overcome people's resistance to change. In order to do that, sometimes you have to emphasize the seriousness of the problem (give it presence). Stress the benefits of solving the problem and the lost potential if no action is taken. Show that risks are minimal and negative consequences unlikely.

Writers must predict consequences. Do not over promise. You must persuade your readers …