Identify and explain a problem and propose a solution for that problem.

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Your essay must include

  • corroborating information from at least 3 sources, that is, information that supports and strengthens your explanation of the problem and your proposed solution
    • Ideally the sources should be peer reviewed articles; however, articles and data from respected news and commentary sources are acceptable.


  • Select a problem related to issues of diversity that you believe needs a solution. (Examples: high school drop-out rates, domestic violence, child poverty, non-literacy, limited access to healthcare, homelessness, inadequacy of minimum wage, lack of affordable housing, gang violence, lack of equity in a workplace, lack of diversity in a workplace, etc.)
  • Narrow the focus of the problem by analyzing a specific group affected by the problem, a specific demographic, and/or location. You must narrow your focus to a local level since you will address a local audience in your essay (the city of Chicago, a suburb of Chicago, a specific neighborhood of Chicago such as Englewood, Logan Square, Lincoln Park or a specific workplace or school in the Chicago area).
  • Define the problem clearly. It must relate to the subject of this course.
    • Prove the problem’s existence on a national or global level. You can use statistics, qualitative or quantitative data to prove the problem exists.
    • Give evidence that the problem exists on a local level in the Chicago area. Keep the focus narrow. Keep in mind the slogan, “Think globally; act locally”).
  • Propose a possible solution to the problem and defend it. Your thesis is your proposed solution.
    • You will state your solution and justify it with reasons and evidence (using research).
    • Where appropriate, you will weigh alternative solutions, examine the feasibility of your own solution, and answer objections (counterarguments) to your solution.

Audience: You have read many essays in this class and participated in discussions that focus on issues involving race, class and gender. You have found a problem that you feel must be addressed immediately (exigency). Consider the following two scenarios:

  • You are writing an essay to present at a conference at UIC entitled Grassroots Ideas for a Better Tomorrow. At this conference, you will address people from many different walks of life. In attendance at this conference, there will be homeless people, community activists, local politicians, representatives of various non-for-profit agencies, and students, professors, and administrators from the university.
  • You have been asked to present your essay to a wide range of mid and upper level executives (or administrators) at a conference entitled Overcoming Diversity Barriers for Positive Change. Your goal is to persuade those in your field and those who have a vested interest in growth and development agree with you and undertake your proposed step(s).


  • To read essays and engage in discourse about a specific problem
  • To clearly define a universal problem and find local examples of its existence
  • To identify possible solutions to the problem at the local level
  • To appeal to a diverse readership by showing the problem is drastic and solutions are possible.

Ultimately, these abilities will contribute to the course objectives by enhancing your ability to identify and define a problem and solution to an issue in diversity. Additionally, by understanding how to present ideas to an audience that needs to be convinced of its significance, you will be prepared to transfer this ability to your workplace writing.


  • Length should be at least 6 full pages and no more than 7 full pages
  • Use at least 6 sources
  • Follow APA guidelines: 1 inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial font, and in-text citations
  • Include a cover page and reference page

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