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How To Answer Essay Topic 4 In The applySUNY App: Problem

> How To Answer Essay Topic 4 In The applySUNY App: Problem
Blake Mischley
• Updated: September 29, 2023 • 10 min read

Are you applying to a SUNY school and struggling with answering the essay topic 'Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma— anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution'. Don't worry, you're not alone!
In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of answering the applySUNY essay topic and help you craft a compelling and thoughtful response. Let's dive in!

Understanding the Essay Question

Before diving into writing your essay, it's crucial to fully understand the essay question. This will help you approach the topic effectively and ensure that your response aligns with the expectations of the applySUNY essay prompt.

The essay prompt asks you to describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. Take some time to carefully analyze the question and consider its various components. Here are a few key points to consider when understanding the essay question:

1- Identify the type of problem: Determine whether you are going to write about a problem you have already solved or a problem you would like to solve in the future. This will help you structure your essay and provide a clear focus.

2- Define the scope of the problem: Consider the scale and scope of the problem. Is it a personal issue, a community problem, or a global challenge? Understanding the scope will help you provide context and demonstrate the significance of the problem.

3- Recognize the desired outcome: Reflect on the desired outcome of solving the problem. What would be the ideal resolution or impact? Understanding this will help you articulate the importance of the problem and your motivation to address it.

4- Identify key keywords: Pay attention to any specific keywords or phrases in the essay question. These can guide your approach and ensure that you address all aspects of the prompt. For example, if the prompt asks for a problem related to a specific field or discipline, make sure your response aligns with that requirement.

By thoroughly understanding the essay question, you will be able to approach the topic with clarity and precision. This will help you develop a well-structured and focused essay that effectively addresses the prompt. Now that you have a clear understanding of the essay question, let's move on to the next step: identifying a problem that holds personal importance.

How to Identify a Problem That Holds Personal Importance

When it comes to answering the applySUNY essay prompt, it's important to choose a problem that holds personal importance to you. This will allow you to convey your passion, commitment, and genuine interest in the topic. Here are some steps to help you identify a problem that resonates with you:

1- Identifying Intellectual Challenges: Think about the intellectual challenges you have encountered in your life. Consider the subjects, topics, or issues that have sparked your curiosity or ignited your desire to learn more. Reflect on the problems you have encountered within these areas and how they have influenced your thinking.

2- Identifying Research Queries: Explore the areas of research that you find intriguing or meaningful. Consider the questions or problems within these fields that have captured your attention. Think about the potential impact of finding solutions to these problems and how they align with your academic and career goals.

3- Identifying Ethical Dilemmas: Reflect on the ethical dilemmas you have encountered or witnessed in your life. These can be personal experiences, societal issues, or global challenges. Consider the problems that have made you question existing norms, values, or practices and motivated you to seek change.

4- Why the Problem Should Be Personally Significant: Evaluate why the problem you choose should be personally significant to you. Consider how it connects to your values, interests, or experiences. Reflect on how solving this problem can contribute to your personal growth, the betterment of society, or the advancement of a particular field.

By following these steps, you can identify a problem that not only aligns with the applySUNY essay prompt but also holds deep personal importance to you. This will enable you to write an essay that showcases your genuine passion, commitment, and ability to make a meaningful impact. Now that you have identified a problem, let's move on to the next section: explaining the significance of the problem.

Explaining the Significance of the Problem

Once you have identified a problem that holds personal importance to you, it is essential to convey its significance effectively in your essay. This section will guide you on how to explain the importance of the problem you have chosen, emphasizing your personal connection to it and why it matters to society. Here are some key points to consider:

1- Understanding Your Personal Connection to the Problem: Reflect on your personal experiences, values, or beliefs that connect you to the problem. Consider how the problem has impacted you on a personal level and why it resonates with your own journey, passions, or goals. This will help you establish a strong personal connection to the problem, making your essay more authentic and compelling.

2- Conveying the Importance of the Problem: Articulate why the problem is significant beyond your own personal connection. Consider the broader implications of the problem on society, communities, or specific groups of people. Highlight the potential consequences of not addressing the problem and the positive impact that solving it could have on individuals or society as a whole.

3- How to Effectively Communicate Your Thoughts in Writing: Use clear, concise, and persuasive language to convey the significance of the problem. Provide concrete examples, statistics, or anecdotes to support your claims and make your argument more compelling. Use storytelling techniques to engage the reader and help them understand the emotional and practical implications of the problem.

By effectively explaining the significance of the problem, you will demonstrate your understanding of its importance and showcase your ability to think critically and analytically. This section of your essay is crucial in capturing the attention of the reader and conveying the relevance and urgency of the problem. In the next section, we will delve into detailing the steps you've taken or could take to solve the problem.

Detailing the Steps You've Taken or Could Take to Solve the Problem

In this section, you will detail the steps you have taken or could take to solve the problem you have identified. This will demonstrate your problem-solving abilities, critical thinking skills, and proactive approach to addressing the issue. Here are the key points to consider when detailing the steps:

1- Outlining the Steps You've Taken: If you have already taken steps to solve the problem, provide a clear and concise outline of the actions you have taken. Explain the strategies, methods, or initiatives you have implemented and the results or progress you have achieved so far. Include any challenges or obstacles you encountered along the way and how you overcame them.

2- Imagining Potential Solutions: If you have not yet taken steps to solve the problem, brainstorm potential solutions based on your research, knowledge, and expertise. Consider innovative approaches, best practices, or lessons learned from similar situations. Outline the steps you would take if given the opportunity to address the problem, taking into account the resources, support, and collaboration required.

3- Conveying Plan of Action in Writing: Clearly communicate your plan of action in a logical and organized manner. Break down the steps into a sequential order, highlighting the rationale behind each step and its expected impact. Use persuasive language to convince the reader that your approach is practical, feasible, and effective in addressing the problem.

By detailing the steps you've taken or could take to solve the problem, you demonstrate your ability to think critically, develop strategic plans, and take proactive measures. This section of your essay will showcase your problem-solving skills and highlight your potential to make a positive impact.

Reviewing and Refining Your Essay

After writing your essay, it is crucial to review and refine it to ensure its effectiveness and cohesiveness. This section will guide you through the process of reviewing and refining your essay to make it the best it can be. Here are the key steps to follow:

1- Reviewing Your First Draft: Begin by reading your essay from start to finish. Pay attention to the overall structure, clarity of ideas, and coherence of your arguments. Identify any areas that need improvement, such as weak transitions, unclear statements, or repetitive content. Take note of any grammar or spelling errors as well.

2- Editing and Refining Your Essay: Once you have identified areas for improvement, start editing your essay. Revise sentences and paragraphs to enhance clarity and flow. Ensure that each paragraph contributes to the overall coherence and progression of your ideas. Trim any unnecessary or redundant information to keep your essay focused and concise.

3- Getting Feedback on Your Essay: Seek feedback from trusted individuals such as teachers, peers, or mentors. Share your essay with them and ask for their honest opinions and suggestions. Consider their feedback and insights to make further improvements to your essay. This external perspective can provide valuable insights and help you identify blind spots or areas that may need more clarification.

4- Polishing Your Essay: Once you have incorporated feedback and made necessary revisions, polish your essay to ensure it is error-free and engaging. Proofread for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Pay attention to the tone and style of your writing, ensuring it is engaging and appropriate for the target audience. Consider adding compelling introductory and concluding paragraphs to frame your essay effectively.

By reviewing and refining your essay, you ensure that it is well-crafted, coherent, and impactful. Taking the time to edit and seek feedback will result in a stronger and more compelling essay that effectively conveys your ideas and problem-solving abilities. In the final section of this blog post, we will summarize the key points and provide some closing thoughts.

Final Thoughts

Addressing the applySUNY essay topic effectively requires a thoughtful exploration of a significant problem, a clear understanding of its relevance to you, and a detailed account of the steps taken or envisioned to reach a solution. Begin by selecting a problem that genuinely matters to you, ensuring it reflects your experiences, values, or aspirations. Clearly convey its significance, articulate your personal connection, and present a structured plan of action to solve it. Crafting your essay with clarity, sincerity, and depth will not only meet the requirements of the prompt but also showcase your reflective, analytical, and problem-solving skills, enhancing the strength of your application. Good luck in your writing and application process!


I hope you found this guide useful. Navigating campus life can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. Once you're accepted into college, hop onto MeetYourClass – your go-to platform to find roommates, friends, and your community. Connect with like-minded students, find your perfect roommate, and immerse yourself in campus culture. As you embark on your application journey, remember: your next chapter of friendships and experiences is just a click away. Best of luck, and we hope to see you soon on MeetYourClass!

Chief of Content @ MeetYourClass. University of Michigan '25.
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