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ENGL 1301 | Dual Credit (TWCPHS)

Problem/Solution Research Project


Problem/Solution Research Project  

For this project, you and your Group will investigate a problem in society. You will need to conduct research in order to examine alternative solutions and propose the most effective solution(s) using supporting evidence.

  1. Describe the problem and explain why the problem needs to be addressed.
  2. Propose your solution(s). Make it clear how your plan would work with details that highlight the need for your plan.
  3. Address what your opponents might say about your plan and defend it as practical, feasible, cost-effective and/or workable. You must have evidence that your solution is viable.

You may not choose from the following topics: abortion, the death penalty, same-sex marriage, bullying, legalizing drugs, gun control, any topic that does not have a clear problem/solution, or the topic you wrote about for your Response to Argument Essay.

You will choose a debatable topic from the Lone Star Databases. You may use the databases, Google Scholar, or books from the library to conduct your research. Your argument must include your own insight about the solution. Do not just quote and paraphrase your sources. If you do not correctly document your sources (in-text citation, Works Cited), you do not have a research project, and it will not be graded. This is plagiarism as you are taking credit for someone else’s work.

This project will be completed in 2 parts. See details in tabs below.  

Step 1: Annotated Bibliography (.5 Major Grade)  

Each member of your group will look for two sources (minimum) related to your topic. You cannot repeat sources. You will include your group's thesis statement, and for each source, the MLA citation and a brief summary of the work and brief explanation of how you can use this source in your presentation.


  • MLA Format
  • 2 sources minimum
  • 1 paragraph per source; 4-5 sentences each minimum
  • Correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • Verify due date in Canvas

See MLA citation and paragraph example in Canvas.

Step 2: Visual Essay & Script (1 Major Grade)  

Your group will bring your findings together to present this project to the class in the form of a visual essay. A visual essay uses minimal words in the visual part of the assignment, but you will elaborate on the essay in your spoken presentation and script. You will also be required to write a script of your presentation that will be submitted on the same day your project is due to Turnitin on Canvas.

You may use the following tools: Infographic, Canva, GoogleSlides, AdobeSpark, or any other tool to create and present your project.


  • Presentation: 6-8 minutes in length
  • 5-7 sources minimum - you may use more, but they must be clearly documented. Your sources must come from your Annotated Bibliographies. If you choose to use more than what you found, you will need to get approval.
  • Script with correct MLA Works Cited
  • In-text citations in your presentation
  • Correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • Minimal words on visual product; Use text, images, graphics, color, music (Your thesis and any direct quotes are not included in the “minimal words” requirement.)
  • Sign up to present and post the link to the project on Google Doc; see Canvas for due date
  • One person in your group will submit the script and project to Canvas

Your presentation should include the following:

  1. Title slide with original title and your name*
  2. A brief overview of why this issue is a problem*
  3. Clearly state your thesis: your proposed solution to the problem (No more than 10-15% of your presentation should be # 1-3.)*
  4. Discuss your unique solution(s) to this issue and defend it as practical, feasible, cost-effective and/or workable with evidence to support your plan, which could include addressing what opponents may say. (This is what you’re researching and 80-85% of your presentation should be #4.)
  5. Conclusion that summarizes and includes why this is an important conversation/why this matters (No more than 5% of your presentation should be #5)
  6. Works Cited in correct MLA format (This should be your last slide.)

*Items 1-3 should be presented in that order.

These are just examples and do not adhere to our requirements. Their purpose is to give you some idea of what you can do.

Need help getting started?

View the pdf below for more information on the various ways to solve problems. 

Video Tutorials

Below are video tutorials to help you navigate some of the library resources.

Reference Databases

The following resource will provide you some resources for background information. Doing background research will not only help you narrow your focus, but will also help you identify keywords to use when searching the databases for scholarly articles. 

Video Tutorials

Below are video tutorials to show you tools for searching in the databases. 

Boolean Operators 

Using Boolean operators in a database is highly recommended, as this approach usually generates the most useful results.  Databases are not "intuitive" like search engines (e.g., Google) - they must be "told" how to process a search query.  Boolean operators let you "tell" the database what you want to see in your results.  


Use AND to connect KEYWORDS - Retrieves sources with both/all terms [refines search]

Example: diabetes AND adult AND self-management 


Use OR to connect SYNONYMS & LIKE CONCEPTS - Retrieves sources with either/any term(s) [broadens search]

Example: heart attack AND (female OR women) AND symptoms


Use NOT to EXCLUDE word(s) - Eliminates sources with the word(s) following NOT 

Example: Omega-3 fatty acids NOT fish oils 

Identifying Keywords

When you are conducting your background research on your topic, consider the who, what, when, where and why of what you are reading, and highlight or write the main points down. You can use those as keywords in the databases!

Who, what, when, where and why

Reference Databases

Research Databases




Other Resource Guides