definition of a social problem

definition of a social problem, explore and select one social problem for as the
main topic of your paper. You are not only allowed but encouraged to explore and
explain how your selected social problem is imbricated with other social
problems, which our textbook calls “contributing factors.”.
Describe how the major sociological theories or perspectives can “explain” your
selected social problem.
Research the social-science literature to find and critically compare a range of
proposed solutions to the problem
Select “the one best solution” and provide a rationale for choosing it from the
many other choices
Offer a social-political-economic plan for implementing (“bringing about”) that one
best solution Suggestions for Selecting Your Topic
When writing any essay or paper, the first problem you might face is deciding on
what topic to choose, which is pretty ironic if you’re writing a Problem-Solution
Paper. The way out of that dilemma is to choose an issue that you’re really
interested in or passionate about, like one of the problems you wrote about for
your Social Problems Interests essay in Week 1. Or choose a social problem that
has or is impacting you personally or is impacting your current workplace, or a
workplace you know about (note: you’ll directly address this topic in the Week 5
Critical Essay).
Proposing solutions to social problems might seem challenging, especially when
the issues seem so entrenched. Yet, the point of a good Problem-Solution Paper
is to suggest solutions that are actionable–something that your readers can do.
Addressing a specific problem will lead to specific, well-articulated solution and to
the most interesting and compelling papers. Instead of addressing, say, poverty
in the US, a more engaging topic might be poverty among US military veterans.
Structuring Your Paper
A “proposal claim” is at the core of every successful Problem-Solution Paper.
Proposal claims ask the audience to act in a certain way – to do something
based on the information you provide and the argument you make, and the
claims are often stated as “should/should not” statements. The claim of a
proposal argument urges an action to occur, usually a “solution” or other
response to a social problem. The reasons in the argument justify why the action
is to be taken.
When you’re ready to begin writing, start with the problem section first. It’s the
easiest and most logical place to start, and it should be the component of the
paper on which you have the most information. Take the following steps to define
the progression of your “problem” paragraph(s): Define the nature of the problem: Establish its existence by explaining what has caused or led to the
problem, and who thinks that it’s a problem that needs to be addressed
and solved Describe how sociological theory might “explain” the problem Explain the extent or consequences of the problem Explain its effects and why it is an issue that needs to be solved Warn readers about future effects if no solution is offered
Your middle section must establish common ground. You’ve addressed the
problem, but before anyone will accept your solution, you need to show you’ve
taken the concerns of others to heart. To do so, you’ll need to explain how others
(including professional sociologists) view the problem and the concerns of those
people when it comes to trying to solve it. Address opposing arguments, and
anticipate your audience’s questions and concerns.
Before you propose your solution, address other alternatives first. Show you’ve
put some serious thought into your solution by acknowledging and critiquing
other possible solutions to your selected social problem. Explain your reasons for
rejecting them. Your goal: make your solution appear to be the best solution.
Propose a plan for implementing your solution. Don’t assume that any good
solution automatically includes an implementation plan. For example, many
social problems solutions are educational in nature, but they don’t necessarily
offer a plan for how the educational system can be changed to bring about the
solution. In other words, make sure it’s clear to your readers not only what you’d
do, but also how you would do it. Clearly describe your solution and
implementation plan so that your audience can imagine what it will be like.
Justify your solution. Convince the reader that the proposal should be adopted.
Address the potential arguments your opposition might have to your solution.
This is accomplished by doing the following:
Show your solution is “feasible”: Write 1-2 paragraphs arguing that your proposed solution is feasible.
Feasible means doable financially, legally, and morally. Is it capable of
being carried out. Use a minimum of two sources to support your arguments.
Show your solution “solves the problem”: Write 1-2 paragraphs that argues how your solution will solve the problem. Use a minimum of two sources to support your arguments.
Show your solution “stands up to objections”:
1. Write 1-2 paragraph that addresses any potential competing or opposing
views that may arise and your counter arguments to those objections. 2. Use a minimum of two sources to support your arguments.
Conclude with a “call to action”: Encourage your audience to accept your views and join the cause. Use projection: show your audience what your community (city, state,
country) will be like if they do or do not adopt your solution. Or ask them to take simple steps to bring about the change you desire.
Help them continue the fight.

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