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Chapter Four. Outlining and Organizing > Working in thought modules - Pg. 30

Outlining and Organizing 30 It's not a bad idea, though, to tell the audience early what you're going to talk about and then to end with a brief summary. One popular organizational form is based on cause-and-effect or problem-and-solution. That's where you state some problem that's pertinent to the speech thesis, give the cause of the problem, then describe its effect and suggest a solution. This does not necessarily imply a simplistic approach such as the following: Government regulations increase the cost of doing business, which makes it difficult for businesses to make job- creating investments [problem]. This exacerbates the unemployment problem in the United States [effect]. Re- ducing the government regulatory burden on business would go a long way toward alleviating the unemployment problem [solution]. In real life, the problem-solution will rarely be so straightforward. Most often, problems, causes, effects, and solutions will be commingled. For example, let's suppose that the imaginary speech we outlined above contained the following passage: We will need to create ten million jobs in this country over the next few years just to provide employment for new workers coming into the workplace and, frankly, as a business executive, I can't see where these jobs are coming from. We already have an unacceptably high unemployment rate that, in my opinion, is due in large measure to burdensome government regulations. Government regulations increase the cost of doing business, which results in high prices for consumer goods and a shortage of expansion capital. This, in turn, expands the unemployment rolls, putting a serious strain on state and federal social systems. Costs of welfare, unemployment compensation, health care, and other benefits skyrocket, while tax collections drop. If you read the passage carefully, you see that it includes several problem statements: the need to create ten million jobs, unacceptably high unemployment, strained social systems, reduced tax col- lections. The main problem, based on the speech's thesis and statement of purpose, is government regulations. Some of the things mentioned as problems, then, become effects. The suggested solution begins with a negative, a statement of what the solution isn't , and concludes with a simple, strong expression of your solution that ties directly to the thesis: