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Arts & Letters Daily

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Problem/Solution Pattern


Reading - Problem-Solution Pattern

     Dr. Otto
Today, I am introducing you to another commonly used paragraph patterns: the Problem/Solution Pattern.  You guessed it, the Pattern has two parts: a problem and a solution. Readers are presented with …
YouTube Tutorial – click HERE
Text for Tutorial – click HERE
Sample – scroll down to Sample
Assignment – scroll down to Assignment
Answer Key – scroll down to Answer Key
Practice oral English – click HERE
ASK DR. OTTO – click HERE

Notes

The two most commonly used paragraph patterns are the Chronology Pattern and the Problem/Solution Pattern.  This Module is focused on Problem/Solution Pattern. It has two parts: a problem and a solution. Readers are presented with a problem and some facts or reasons why it is a problem. Of course, readers look for a solution for the problem. The closing statement or conclusion highlights the connection between the problem and the solution.

Sample

Silk

Legends record that about 2640 BC a Chinese Empress, Si-Ling-Chi watched the little silk worms spin cocoons in the mulberry trees. She unwound one of the threads from a cocoon. It was one very long strand of shiny thread. Silk has the longest strand of any natural plant or animal fibre. The challenge was to develop some kind of winding devise so that the silk thread could be made into cloth. No one knows for sure when the Chinese first developed silk winding machines. However, there is mention of such devices in Chinese dictionaries in the 2nd century AD. Actual spinning wheels, however, came much later, perhaps the 11th century AD. Even today, China is the world’s leading producer of quality silk cloth.

Template: Problem/Solution Pattern

What is the problem?

  • The challenge was to develop some kind of winding devise

Why is it a problem?

  • so that the silk thread could be made into cloth.

How can the problem be solved?

  • the Chinese first developed silk winding machines. Actual spinning wheels, however, came much later

Assignment

Assignment 1

 

Apply the Problem/Solution template to this paragraph.

Jackie Kersee

Jackie Kersee overcame asthma and extreme poverty to become a famous athlete. How could this happen? At first, Jackie denied that she had a problem. As a competitor in the seven-event heptathlon, she was used to being in complete control of her body. She felt it showed her strength and determination. Her asthma problem changed all that. After many disappointing competitions, she found ways to work with her problem rather than against it. She was the most dominant woman in the track and field competition at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. Eventually, the little girl became the ‘first lady’ of American sports.

Template: Problem/Solution Pattern

Apply the Problem/Solution Pattern to your paragraph.

What is the problem?

  • _____________________________________________________________________

Why is it a problem?

  • _____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

How can the problem be solved?

  • ______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

 

Assignment 2

 

Apply the Problem/Solution template to this paragraph.

Malnutrition in Niger

Malnutrition is a big health issue in Niger. Niger is located in Africa close to the Equator. It has extremely high daytime temperatures and very little rainfall. Yearly droughts threaten food production. As a result, many people starve.  With 10 million people to feed, they need a more reliable food supply. The challenge for people living in Niger is to develop hardy drought resistant crops. With ample food supplies, the people of Niger would experience better health.

Template: Problem/Solution Pattern

Apply the Problem/Solution Pattern to the paragraph.

What is the problem?

  • _____________________________________________________________________

Why is it a problem?

  • _____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

How can the problem be solved?

  • ______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

Assignment 3

 

Apply the Problem/Solution template to this paragraph.

Cyprus

Since Cyprus has been at the crossroads of European, Asian and African trade since 2500BC, its culture has been challenged. It has been ruled by many foreign powers who forced cultural changes on the people of Cyprus. This created problems for them because they could not maintain their native culture. Gradually, they adopted a creative solution. They blended the modern European culture brought by the traders with their ancient culture. Today, this cultural blend combined with the mountains and sunny beaches along the coast of the Mediterranean attracts many visitors. Cyprus has become one of Europe’s major holiday destinations.

Template: Problem/Solution Pattern

Apply the Problem/Solution Pattern to the paragraph.

What is the problem?

  • _____________________________________________________________________

Why is it a problem?

  • _____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

How can the problem be solved?

  • ______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

Answer Key

Problem/Solution Pattern

Assignment 1

Jackie Kersee

Jackie Kersee overcame asthma and extreme poverty to become a famous athlete. She was the most dominant woman in the track and field competition at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. How could this happen? At first, Jackie denied that she had a problem. As a competitor in the heptathlon she was used to being in complete control of her body. Heptathlon consists of seven competitions. She felt it showed her what she was made of. That had changed due to her asthma problem. After many disappointing competitions, she found ways to work with her problem rather than against it. Eventually, the little girl who had been named after Jacqueline Kennedy, America’s glamorous First Lady, became the ‘first lady’ of American sports.

 

Template: Problem/Solution Pattern

  • What is the problem?

Jackie Kersee overcame asthma and extreme poverty

  • Why is it a problem?

to become a famous athlete

She felt it showed her what she was made of

  • How can the problem be solved?

she found ways to work with her problem rather than against it

Assignment 2

Cyprus

Since 2500BC, Cyprus has been at the crossroads of European, Asian and African trade. Ever since that time, it has been ruled by many foreign powers. Foreign domination was a concern because of forced cultural changes. The situation has changed. Now Cyprus blends modern European culture with ancient enchantment. Countless visitors are attracted to the mountains and the many sunny beaches along the coast of the Mediterranean. With this mix of both ancient and modern cultures, Cyprus has become one of Europe’s major holiday destinations.

Template: Problem/Solution Pattern

  • What is the problem?

Foreign domination

  • Why is it a problem?

Foreign domination was a concern because of forced cultural changes.

  • How can the problem be solved?

Cyprus blends modern European culture with ancient enchantment.

Assignment 3

Malnutrition in Niger

Malnutrition is a persistent health issue in Niger. Niger is located in sub-Saharan Africa close to the Equator. Therefore, it has extremely high daytime temperatures and little rainfall. Yearly droughts threaten food production. Lack of food results in a malnourished population.  With 10 million people to feed, they need a more reliable food supply. The challenge for people living in Niger is to develop hardy drought resistant crops. With ample food supplies, the people of Niger would experience better health.

Template: Problem/Solution Pattern

  • What is the problem?

Malnutrition is a persistent health issue in Niger.

  • Why is it a problem?

Yearly droughts threaten food production.

  • How can the problem be solved?

The challenge for people living in Niger is to develop hardy drought resistant crops.