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ENGL 100 - Mitchell: Home

Some tips on navigating Essay Four (Problem/Solution Essay)

Navigating the Problem Solution Essay

Before you launch your research, take some time to examine the essay prompt. Being familiar with your instructor's guidelines is key to your success on any research project. Review prompt often as you research and write your essay to make sure you are on track. 

Step One: Choose a Meaningul, Appropriate Topic

Carefully review the topics choices your professor has listed for Essay 4. Which one is most interesting or meaningful to you? If necessary, do some basic web searches on the suggested topics to learn a little more about them. Gale eBooks is another great place to learn more about topics. Librarians are happy to help you brainstorm potential topics. Have your assignment description ready when you meet with a librarian to facilitate the experience.

Step Two: Do Some Preliminary Reading

Once you've decided on a topic, do some background reading to get more acquainted with it. Begin to identify the problems related to your topic. Which of these problems would  you like to address? Which ones can be addressed? Preliminary reading is a great help in developing your main points (problem, causes, effects, solutions), as well as identifying useful search terms for future database searching. The point is not to start gathering your actual sources -- though you may very well find some along the way -- but to get comfortable with your topic by consulting engaging, easy to understand sources.


Step Three: Create Some Questions to Guide Research

Create some basic questions to guide your inquiry and get you to start thinking about the structure.

Step Four: Find Your Sources

The MJC Library & Learning Center subscribes to roughly 100 databases. Listed below are some of our most popular databases; an MJC research librarian will be happy to point you toward the best database(s) for your given topic. A complete list of MJC Databases can be found under the Articles and Databases link on the MJC Library & Learning Center home page. 


Step Five: Evaluate ALL Sources Before Use

CRAAP Test criteria

Step Six: Cite Your Sources Appropriately

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