April 28, 2009

Problem solving writing exercises

The following exercises will help you practice problem solving writing. Read all of the following writing exercises and then write on the three that interest you most. If another idea occurs to you, write a free entry about it.

  1. As a student assistant for a campus residence hall, you have just listened to the twenty-third student this week complain about noise in the hall. You decide to create a policy that will solve the problem, but before you can implement it, you must present your idea at a student resident-assistant meeting. Write out the proposal you will present to the other student assistants at that meeting.
  2. Read Frank Trippett's analysis of the scofflaw problem. Write a letter to the city council recommending a solution to one of the problems Trippett identifies — a solution that the city council has the power to implement.
  3. Eldridge Cleaver once said, "You're either part of the solution or part of the problem." Examine one of your activities or pastimes — sports, shopping, cruising, eating, drinking, or even studying. How does what you do possibly create a problem, from someone else's point of view? Explain.
  4. After being away from your high school for a while, you can see more clearly its specific problems. Brainstorm or freewrite about the most important problems students faced in your high school. Write a letter to the school principal, explaining one specific problem that could and should be solved. Then propose your solution.
  5. "Let the buyer beware" is a time-honored maxim for all consumers. Unless you are vigilant, you can easily be ripped off. Write a letter to the Better Business Bureau explaining some consumer problem or rip-off you've recently experienced and suggest a solution that will prevent others from being exploited.
  6. Changing the rules of some sports might make them more enjoyable, less violent, or fairer: introducing the 30-second clock in NCAA basketball, using TV instant replays in professional and college football and basketball, imposing stiffer fines for brawls in hockey games, requiring boxers to wear padded helmets, giving equal pay and media coverage for