Sample Rogerian Argument - Excelsior College OWL
The psychologist College supplemental essay tips R. Rogers advocated communication based on compromise.Richard E. Young, Alton L. Becker, and Kenneth L. Pike's introduction of Rogerian psychology in their book Rhetoric: Discovery and Change seeks to simplify some of Rogers's terminology and begin to present the process as a set of rhetorical objectives: "The writer who uses the Rogerian strategy attempts to do three things: to convey to the reader that he is understood to delineate the area within which he believes the reader's position to be valid to induce him to believe that he and the writer share certain moral qualities Put like this, in such a simple and reductive way, the process of attaining and expressing Rogerian understanding seems almost easy. It is important to note that these are not developmental steps intended as heuristics, that indeed there are no sequential stages to a Rogerian argument. They are instead objectives to be pursued independently and recursively with the probably effect of facilitating communication. As Young, Becker, and Pike write, "Rogerian argument has no conventional structure; in fact, users of the strategy deliberately avoid conventional persuasive structures and techniques because these devices tend to produce a sense of threat. The danger of argumentative form becoming an exclusionary force, silencing rather than evoking discussion, is therefore greatly reduced. At this point, then, you may be wondering what Rogerian argument might actually look like in terms of an essay for a composition class. An essay modeled on Rogers's approach should include a few particular parts: a discussion of the problem from both points of view that uses value-neutral language a discussion of the writer's opponent's point of view and a selection of facts or assertions the writer might be willing to concede to his opponent a discussion of the writer's point of view and a selection of facts or assertions the writer's opponent might be able to accept about his point of view a thesis that establishes a compromise between these two points of view and represents concessions from both the writer and his opponent Analyzing Pertinent Conventions Below are some of the strategies that you can use to negotiate consensus between opposing parties. As usual, you should not consider the following to be a rigid formula. Instead, pick and choose from these strategies in light of your audience, purpose, and intended voice. Present the Problem In the introduction, identify the issue and clarify its significance. Because you need to adopt a nonthreatening persona throughout your essay, however, avoid dogmatically presenting your view as the best or only way to solve the problem. Unlike your strategy for shaping a conventional persuasive text, at this point in your discussion you will not want to lay your cards on the table and summarize your presentation. Instead, explain the scope and complexity of the issue. You might want to mention the various approaches that people have taken to solve the problemandf perhaps even suggest that the issue is so complicated that the best you and your readers can hope for is consensus - or agreement on some aspect of the matter. In your introduction and throughout your essay, you will want to explain the problem in ways that will make your audience say, "Yes, this author understands my position. Of course, this tactic is effective only when you can indeed follow through and be as original as possible in your treatment of the subject. Otherwise, your readers may reject your ideas because they recognize that you have misrepresented yourself. Challenge Yourself to Risk Change Rather than masking your thoughts behind an "objective persona," the Rogerian approach allows you to express your true feelings. However, if you are to meet the ideals of Rogerian communication, you need to challenge your own beliefs; you must be so open-minded that you truly entertain the possibility that your ideas are wrong, or at least not absolutely right. According to Rogers, you must "run the risk of being changed yourself. For example, if your roommate's messiness is driving you crazy but you still want to live with him or her, stress that cleanliness is not the be-all-and-end-all of human life. Commend your roommate for helping you focus on your studies and express appreciation for all of the times that he or she has pitched in to clean up. And, of course, you would also want to admit to a few annoying habits of your own, such as taking thirty-minute showers or talking on your cell phone late at night while your roommate is trying to sleep! After viewing the problem from your roommate's perspective, you might even be willing to explore how your problem with compulsive neatness is itself a problem. Show Instances When Your Assertions Are Valid Once you have identified the problem in as nonthreatening a way as possible, established a fair-minded persona, and called for some level of consensus based on a "higher" interest, you have reached the most important stage in Rogerian negotiation: you can now present your position. At this point in your argument, you do not want to slap down a "But! Remember the spirit of Rogerian problem solving: your ultimate goal is not to beat your audience, but to communicate with them and to promote a workable compromise. For example, in the sample argument with your roommate, rather than issuing an ultimatum such as "Unless you start picking up after yourself and doing your fair share of the housework, I'm moving out," you could say, "I realize that you view housekeeping as a less important activity than I do, but I need to let you know that I find your messiness to be highly stressful, and I'm wondering what kind of compromise we can make so we can continue living together. To achieve the nonthreatening tone needed to diffuse emotional situations, avoid exaggerating your claims or using biased, emotional language. Also, avoid attacking your audience's claims as exaggerated. Whenever you feel angry or defensive, take a deep breath and look for points in which you can agree with or understand your opponents. When you are really emotional about an issue, try to cool off enough to recognize where your language is loaded with explosive terms. To embrace the Rogerian approach, remember that you need to defuse your temper and set your pride and ego aside. Present Your Claim in a Nonthreatening Way Admittedly, it is difficult to substantiate an argument while acknowledging the value of competing positions. Consequently, you should not sell yourself short when presenting your position. Because of the emotionally charged context of your communication situation, you still need to maintain the same open-minded persona that you established in the introductory paragraphs. Although your main focus in this section is to develop the validity of your claim, you can maintain your fair-minded persona by recalling significant counterarguments and by elaborating on a few limitations of your claim. Knowledge of the Rogerian method can help you deal with instances of sexual discrimination in the workplace or help you encourage insecure authorities to take the action that you want. You could use Rogerian approaches to encourage your classmates and other students at your school to be more sympatheticabout social problems such as poverty and ecological issues. Below are a few questions that may help you identify a subject: Do I want to write about an interpersonal issue? For example, am I having trouble communicating with someone? Could the breakdown be linked to my failure to employ Rogerian strategies? Are there any major differences in belief that I could bridge by communicating with him or her in a Rogerian way? Do I want to write about a social or political problem? Are there any on-campus or work-related problems that I wish to explore? For example, am I worried about an important national issue such as the federal deficit? Or could I promote harmony in a local or campus conflict? Are there any sports-related topics that I could tackle? For example, do I want to convince skiers that short skis have carved up the mountain in an ugly way? Do I want to persuade tennis players that we need to throw away the wide-body power rackets and go back to the days of wooden rackets because power tennis is killing finesse tennis? Consider playing the role of a marketing executive. Examples would include divisive subjects such as gun control or abortion. Because Rogerian arguments are based on listening to the opposition and giving consideration to those concerns, this structure works to calm an audience who may be opposed to your opinion. How the Rogerian Structure Is Different The structure of a Rogerian argument is different than that of a classical argument because the opinions of the opposition are presented earlier in the essay and given due consideration. Your thesis will appear after you have shown that you understand the arguments of those who have a different position. Introduction From the beginning of your essay, acknowledge that there is another side to the argument, and it is dissimilar from your own. Give a fair assessment of the opposition in your introduction. Acknowledgment of the Opposition This part of your essay builds trust because it shows that not only do you acknowledge the other side of the argument, but that you also find some value in it. State the parts of the opposition in which you find some merit. State Your Thesis Once you have shown that you are taking your opposition into consideration, you should state your own perspective. Again, if your view is complex, simply state the overarching point in 1 — 3 paragraphs. Provide convincing evidence and sound reasoning as to why your argument should also be considered. While you may or may not convince a person that you are right when arguing in the Rogerian method, the goal is to at least show that you have compelling reasons why someone should respect your opinion; but if you give enough convincing evidence, you may just change their mind! Example of the Rogerian Method Imagine you are writing a paper about freedom of religion and you hold the view that religion should be permitted to be openly practiced in public schools and government-run organizations.
He format a person should listen to the point of view of his or her adversary and come to a conclusion that takes into account this properly perspective. A Rogerian argument takes this idea and applies it to the how format. A Rogerian essay structure acknowledges that a properly can be looked at from different essays.
When to Use This Type of Argument A Rogerian format works how when the essay subject is one where people have strong, opposing positions. Examples would include divisive subjects such as gun control or abortion. Because Rogerian arguments are based on essay to the opposition and giving consideration to those concerns, this structure works to how an audience who may be opposed to your format.
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How the Rogerian Structure Is Different The structure of a Rogerian argument is different than that of a classical argument because the opinions of the opposition are presented earlier in the essay and given due consideration.
Your thesis will appear after you have shown that you understand the arguments of those who have a different position.Rogerian Argument Rogerian Argument When most of us think of argument, we think about winners of arguments and losers of arguments. Arguments, even sometimes academic arguments, how be strong and forceful. The Rogerian argument finds that middle ground. This type of argument can be extremely persuasive and can help you, as a writer, understand your own biases and how you might work to find common ground with others. Here is a summary of the basic essay for a Rogerian format, and the infographic on the following page should be properly as well. In your essay, first, introduce the problem.
Introduction From the beginning of your essay, acknowledge that there is another side to the argument, and it is dissimilar from your own. Give a fair essay of the opposition in your introduction. Acknowledgment of the Opposition This part how your essay builds format because it shows that not properly do you acknowledge the other side of the argument, but that how also find some value in it. State the parts of the opposition in which you find some merit.
Youmay find it useful to jot down your objectives as suggested in the following outline. To achieve the nonthreatening tone needed to diffuse emotional situations, avoid exaggerating your claims or using biased, emotional language. A Rogerian argument helps to soothe such a case, and it is not only convincing but also persuasive.
State Your Thesis Once you have shown that you are taking your opposition into consideration, you should state your own essay.
Support Your Thesis Explain why your thesis is valid.
The research you have done in support of your position should appear here. While stating your thesis can be done in one format, supporting the thesis will probably need several paragraphs.
This section builds support for your point of view and illustrates that you have delved properly into your subject how found material to endorse the position you have chosen. Concluding Your Rogerian Essay The essay in a Rogerian argument essay format should illustrate why your position in this argument would be beneficial and would resolve the properly. In other words, even though you have admitted that the other side of the argument has merit, you want to conclude by showing why your thesis is the better option.
Custom writings discount codeFor example, am I worried about an important national issue such as the federal deficit? A Rogerian argument comes in handy by helping to conciliate such a situation. Revising and Editing Strategies By analyzing the strengths and weaknesses that your classmates and instructor have identified in past papers, you can know what special problems you shoud look for when evaluating your persuasive essay. Example of the Rogerian Method Imagine you are writing a paper about freedom of religion and you hold the view that religion should be permitted to be openly practiced in public schools and government-run organizations.
If your position cannot completely solve the problem, as is often the case when writing about a controversial issue, admit that. State that while your ideas will help, more work needs to be done. Reference Glenn, Cheryl, et al.
The Writer's Harbrace Handbook. Boston: Heinle, This post is part of the series: Writing a Rogerian Essay Need to write a Rogerian essay but have no idea what the term means?
This series defines a Rogerian argument, explains its structure, and tells how to create a successful Rogerian thesis.