Think about what problem would you like to see solved. You should pick something that will be motivating to you, something that you are passionate about. Why? For one, it will make it easier for you to research and to keep yourself motivated to do the research. For another, it will make it easier for you to write on and make your paper more engaging for others to read. Your paper and the research it documents should be impactful to those who read it.
Important: make sure that you pick a problem that really has possible solutions. The same considerations apply to picking a topic for this paper as for any other -- the topic can't be too broad or too narrow, and it has to be something that can actually be researched. For more information on choosing a topic, check out this webpage on finding problem topics and useful ways to approach finding solutions to those problems.
Not sure what to research for your topic? Take the topic you have selected and turn it into a research question. For instance, if your topic is "obesity in America," you could frame that into research questions like "What are measures that prevent weight gain?" or "What are the most sustainable diets for weight loss?" (Tip: Avoid search terms like "best" or "worst" because they are very vague and subjective. Choose terms that are more specific and quantifiable in meaning.)
Still stuck on how to create a research question? Check out this video for more help:
Now that you have a research question, do some preliminary research to give you direction on breaking your problem down in to feasible solutions. Choose more specific Browse the library's databases, skim through a book, or search the web for possible information.
Keep these questions in mind as you search:
Using the research you gathered from your research question(s), create a claim indicating what solutions you plan to propose in your paper. What three solutions are you proposing to the problem? The topic you submit in your proposal cannot be changed, but the research process is still ongoing, so your solutions may change if you find better ones in your ongoing research. This is a tentative thesis; you can make some changes to it later if you need to.
Now that you have taken some time to seriously think about and research your topic, you are ready to present your trajectory/proposal (intentions) for the research project. The proposal must contain your final subject/topic for the research project.
Not sure how to put together a thesis? Watch this helpful video that breaks it down for you:
A problem-solution paper is exactly what it sounds like. First, an issue or obstacle is posed, then a solution or series of solutions is suggested to resolve that issue or obstacle.
Problem-solution essays can be structured differently depending on the nature of the topic. (For instance, if there is important historical information to your problem that is a bit too long for your intro, then you might want to spend a paragraph between your intro and your solution body paragraphs to give your audience that history.) Most essays, however, follow this basic formula: