PSR – Problem Solution Result

Consider this advice.  When writing a fact-and-advice article, you might consider using a writing technique I learned many years ago working for publishers McGraw Hill in New York.

The technique is called PSR.  It means problem, solution, result.

First introduce a real person, say, Margaret Smith, 45, a lab technician and mother of three from Dubbo in NSW.  You need details like this to “flesh out” the person.

Say what this actual person’s problem was, explain the solution, and give details of what the result meant to this living, breathing human being.

That is, always relate information and advice to PEOPLE.  Don’t give endless information in a vacuum.  If what you’re writing about relates to human beings, then tell your readers about human beings.  People (your readers) care about what happens to people in stories, particularly in a well-researched, fact-filled, advice-filled story.  For instance, here in short form, you state first the Problem, then the Solution and then the Result:

Margaret couldn’t sleep at night. [ PROBLEM ]

It was affecting her marriage.

She followed advice from Dr Smith

and drank a glass of warm  milk

half an hour before bedtime.  [ SOLUTION ]

She had no more trouble falling

asleep, woke in a better mood,

and her marriage was saved. [ RESULT ]


In other words, tell a problem-solving, successful anecdote about a HUMAN BEING.  Tell it in that order: P…S…R (much longer of course).

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