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2.3: Statement of the Problem

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  • In one statement, summarize the problem for which you intend to propose a solution.

    Rule of Thumb

    The problem should be “local,” in the sense that you are already connected personally with it.

    This statement is a poor statement of a problem:

    Schools do not have designated smoking areas.

    It is not connected to anyone or any place. A better statement of the problem is:

    East High School does not have a room for students who smoke to study or a place for students who smoke to hang out.

    This statement assumes it is “local” (if I attended East High School) and personal (if I know the situation from my own experience).

    In my own experience, which is teaching writing, teachers often tell me that they think students should be better writers when they graduate. I think I can help out. First, however, I must articulate the problem if I ever hope to propose a solution. For example:

    Example \(\PageIndex{1}\):

    Statement of Problem

    Students leave Newman University without professional writing skills.

    It is something I am connected with personally and something I think I can offer a solution for. I will start with that statement.

    Rule of Thumb

    Assume that the “Statement of Problem” will change constantly while you are writing your other sections.

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