Problem-Solution Speech [Topics, Outline, Examples]

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Written By Jim Peterson

Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class.

problem solutionWhen you are assigned to write a problem-solution essay or research paper, choosing a good topic is the first dilemma you need to work out. The world is full of issues that need to be resolved or could be improved upon, and unlike the Konigsberg Bridge problem from the 1700s, most of them have a potential solution.

There are no shortages of topics to write on, but selecting one that you are passionate about and believe you can coherently articulate a solution for is not always easy. On this page, you will find a wide selection of good problem-solution topics, organized by category. Use these topics as presented to write your problem-solution persuasive essay or research paper, or as a starting point to develop your own topic ideas.

Problem-Solution Outline

What to include in your problem-solution speech or essay?

Problem-solution papers employ a nonfiction text structure, and typically contain the following elements:

Introduction: Introduce the problem and explain why the audience should be concerned about it.

Cause/Effect: Inform the audience on what causes the problem. In some cases, you may also need to take time to dispel common misconceptions people have about the real cause.

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Thesis Statement: The thesis typically lays out the problem and solution in the form of a question and answer. See examples below.

Solution: Explain the solution clearly and in detail, your problem-solving strategy, and reasons why your solution will work. In this section, be sure to answer common objections, such as “there is a better solution,” “your solution is too costly,” and “there are more important problems to solve.”

Call to Action: Summarize the problem and solution, and paint a picture of what will happen if your final solution is adopted. Also, let the reader know what steps they should take to help solve the problem.

These are the most used methods of developing and arranging:

Problem Solution Method
Recommended if you have to argue that there is a social and current issue at stake and you have convince the listeners that you have the best solution. Introduce and provide background information to show what is wrong now.

List the best and ideal conditions and situations. Show the options. Analyze the proper criteria. And present your plan to solve the not wanted situation.

Problem Cause Solution Method
Use this pattern for developing and identifying the source and its causes.

Analyze the causes and propose elucidations to the causes.

Problem Cause-Effect Method
Use this method to outline the effects of the quandary and what causes it all. Prove the connection between financial, political, social causes and their effects.

Comparative Advantage Method
Use this organizational public speaking pattern as recommendation in case everyone knows of the impasse and the different fixes and agrees that something has to be done.

Problem-Solution Examples

Here are some examples of problems you could write about, with a couple of potential solutions for each one:

Marriage Problem: How do we reduce the divorce rate?

Solution 1: Change the laws to make it more difficult for couples to divorce.

Solution 2: Impose a mandatory waiting period on couples before they can get married.

Environmental Problem: What should we do to reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?

Solution 1: Use renewable energy to fuel your home and vehicles.

Solution 2: Make recycling within local communities mandatory.

Technical Problem: How do we reduce Windows error reporting issues on PCs?

Solution 1: Learn to use dialogue boxes and other command prompt functions to keep your computer system clean.

Solution 2: Disable error reporting by making changes to the registry.

Some of the best problems to write about are those you have personal experience with. Think about your own world; the town you live in, schools you’ve attended, sports you’ve played, places you’ve worked, etc. You may find that you love problem-solution papers if you write them on a topic you identify with. To get your creativity flowing, feel free to browse our comprehensive list of problem-solution essay and paper topics and see if you can find one that interests you.

Problem-Solution Topics for Essays and Papers

Criminal Justice

  1. How do we reduce murder rates in the inner cities?
  2. How do we stop police brutality?
  3. How do we prevent those who are innocent from receiving the death penalty?
  4. How do we deal with the problem of gun violence?
  5. How do we stop people from driving while intoxicated?
  6. How do we prevent people from texting while driving?
  7. How do we stop the growing child trafficking problem?
  8. What is the best way to deal with domestic violence?
  9. What is the best way to rehabilitate ex-cons?
  10. How do we deal with the problem of overcrowded prisons?


  1. How do we reduce binge drinking on college campuses?
  2. How do we prevent sexual assaults on college campuses?
  3. How do we make college tuition affordable?
  4. What can students do to get better grades in college?
  5. What is the best way for students to effectively balance their classes, studies, work, and social life?
  6. What is the best way for college students to deal with a problem roommate?
  7. How can college students overcome the problem of being homesick?
  8. How can college students manage their finances more effectively?
  9. What is the best way for college students to decide on a major?
  10. What should be done about the problem of massive student loan debts?


  1. How do we solve the global debt crisis?
  2. How do we keep countries from employing child labor?
  3. How do we reduce long-term unemployment?
  4. How do we stop businesses from exploiting consumers?
  5. How do we reduce inflation and bring down the cost of living?
  6. How do we reduce the home foreclosure rate?
  7. What should we do to discourage consumer debt?
  8. What is the best way to stimulate economic growth?
  9. How do we lower the prime cost of manufacturing raw materials?
  10. How can book retailers deal with rising bookseller inventory costs and stay competitive with online sellers?


  1. How do we prevent kids from cheating on exams?
  2. How do we reduce the illiteracy rate?
  3. How do we successfully integrate English as a Second Language (ESL) students into public schools?
  4. How do we put an end to the problem of bullying in schools?
  5. How do we effectively teach students life management skills?
  6. How do we give everyone access to a quality education?
  7. How do we develop a system to increase pay for good teachers and get rid of bad ones?
  8. How do we teach kids to problem solve?
  9. How should schools deal with the problem of disruptive students?
  10. What can schools do to improve reading comprehension on standardized test scores?
  11. What is the best way to teach sex education in public schools?
  12. How do we teach students to recognize a noun clause?
  13. How do we teach students the difference between average speed and average velocity?
  14. How do we teach math students to use sign charts?
  15. How can we make public education more like the Webspiration Classroom?


  1. How do we stop pollution in major population centers?
  2. How do we reduce the negative effects of climate change?
  3. How do we encourage homeowners to lower their room temperature in the winter to reduce energy consumption?
  4. What is the best way to preserve our precious natural resources?
  5. How do we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels?
  6. What is the best way to preserve the endangered wildlife?
  7. What is the best way to ensure environmental justice?
  8. How can we reduce the use of plastic?
  9. How do we make alternative energy affordable?
  10. How do we develop a sustainable transportation system?


  1. How can we provide quality health care to all our citizens?
  2. How do we incentivize people to stop smoking?
  3. How do we address the growing doctor shortage?
  4. How do we curb the growing obesity epidemic?
  5. How do we reduce dependence on prescription drugs?
  6. How do we reduce consumption of harmful substances like phosphoric acid and acetic acid?
  7. How can we reduce the number of fatal hospital errors?
  8. How do we handle the health costs of people living longer?
  9. How can we encourage people to live healthier lifestyles?
  10. How do we educate consumers on the risk of laxatives like magnesium hydroxide?


  1. How do we end political corruption?
  2. How do we address the problem of election fraud?
  3. What is the best way to deal with rogue nations that threaten our survival?
  4. What can our leaders do to bring about world peace?
  5. How do we encourage students to become more active in the political process?
  6. What can be done to encourage bipartisanship?
  7. How can we prevent terrorism?
  8. How do we protect individual privacy while keeping the country safe?
  9. How can we encourage better candidates to run for office?
  10. How do we force politicians to live by the rules they impose on everyone else?


  1. What is the best way to get out of a bad relationship?
  2. How do we prevent cyberbullying?
  3. What is the best solution for depression?
  4. How do you find out where you stand in a relationship?
  5. What is the best way to help people who make bad life choices?
  6. How can we learn to relate to people of different races and cultures?
  7. How do we discourage humans from using robots as a substitute for relationships?
  8. What is the best way to deal with a long-distance relationship?
  9. How do we eliminate stereotypical thinking in relationships?
  10. How do you successfully navigate the situation of dating a co-worker?


  1. How do we deal with America’s growing drug problem?
  2. How do we reduce food waste in restaurants?
  3. How do we stop race and gender discrimination?
  4. How do we stop animal cruelty?
  5. How do we ensure that all citizens earn a livable wage?
  6. How do we end sexual harassment in the workplace?
  7. How do we deal with the water scarcity problem?
  8. How do we effectively control the world’s population?
  9. How can we put an end to homelessness?
  10. How do we solve the world hunger crisis?
  11. How do we address the shortage of parking spaces in downtown areas?
  12. How can our cities be made more bike- and pedestrian-friendly?
  13. How do we balance the right of free speech and the right not to be abused?
  14. How can we encourage people to use public transportation?
  15. How do we bring neighborhoods closer together?


  1. How can we eliminate steroid use in sports?
  2. How do we protect players from serious injuries?
  3. What is the best way to motivate young athletes?
  4. What can be done to drive interest in local sports?
  5. How do players successfully prepare for a big game or match?
  6. How should the revenue from professional sports be divided between owners and players?
  7. What can be done to improve local sports venues?
  8. What can be done to ensure parents and coaches are not pushing kids too hard in sports?
  9. How can student athletes maintain high academic standards while playing sports?
  10. What can athletes do to stay in shape during the off-season?

Teen Issues

  1. How do we reduce teen pregnancy?
  2. How do we deal with the problem of teen suicide?
  3. How do we keep teens from dropping out of high school?
  4. How do we train teens to be safer drivers?
  5. How do we prevent teens from accessing pornography on the Internet?
  6. What is the best way to help teens with divorced parents?
  7. How do we discourage teens from playing violent video games?
  8. How should parents handle their teens’ cell phone and social media use?
  9. How do we prepare teens to be better workers?
  10. How do we provide a rational decision-making model for teens?


  1. How do we keep companies from mining our private data online and selling it for profit?
  2. How do we prevent artificial intelligence robots from taking over society?
  3. How do we make high-speed internet accessible in rural areas?
  4. How do we stop hackers from breaking into our systems and networks?
  5. How do we make digital payments more secure?
  6. How do we make self-driving vehicles safer?
  7. What is the best way to improve the battery life of mobile devices?
  8. How can we store energy gleaned from solar and wind power?
  9. What is the best way to deal with information overload?
  10. How do we stop computer makers from pre-installing Internet Explorer?

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