Saturday, March 26, 2016

Overcoming Challenges

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 that your predictions are realistic and not over exaggerated. If you can, cite instances where a similar proposal led to benefits.

Writers must evaluate consequences. Any solution that brings one group benefits may bring costs to another. In a solution that doesn't cost anything emphasize the benefits of increased happiness or the greatest good for the greatest number. Appeal to idealism and why your solution is the right thing to do.

When looking at what writers must do when writing a problem solution essay, what do you think you need to work on as you go forward with your essay? How will you accomplish your task?