Our everyday lives are filled with problems to be solved. On our commutes to work and college, there is often too much traffic, and public transportation may be unreliable or expensive. At work, we may struggle to attract new customers, improve a flawed product or service we offer, or to contain costs. In our neighborhoods, we may notice that public spaces like parks are neglected and needed services are lacking. In our families, we may find that our children are struggling at school or relatives are suffering from diseases that ought to be preventable.
One of the best ways to make positive change is to write about the problem and offer possible solutions that can be enacted by leaders or communities. This is precisely what you’ll be doing in this writing assignment.
Basic Essay Requirements
For this essay, it is important to choose a topic that is personally meaningful to you, something specific to your community. As our textbook notes, you don’t have to look far to find problems to be solved. Of course, few problems have simple solutions. If they did, they probably would have been solved by now. That is why you’ll need to undertake serious research to better understand the problem as well as identify a range of possible solutions.
Here are some possible topics.
Improving some aspect of education in your community, such as busing, school lunch, or school safety
Reducing pollution or addressing some other local environmental problem
Improving the relationship between law enforcement officials and local residents
Reducing crime and improving safety in your neighborhood
Attracting and supporting new businesses in your community
Providing affordable housing in your community
Fighting discriminatory practices and promoting inclusion at your workplace
Promoting good corporate citizenship in your city
You’ve probably noticed that each topic focuses on an issue in your community and that the topics tend to steer clear of topics that are too big to solve in an essay (like global warming, racism, or income inequality). That is intentional. We all interact with diverse communities at home, work, school, or cultural institutions, and each has important issues needing attention. If you have an idea for your essay that is not on the bulleted list, please work with your instructor to make sure it is appropriate.
Length: Your paper should be at least 1,500 words.
Sources: At least five high-quality sources must be cited in text in your essay.
Format: This essay will be written in APA style. Use the APA essay template provided in the Files area.