In this article, we are going to discuss the topic of the Rogerian Method of Argumentation briefly. Here below, you may find valuable information about the basic structure of a Rogerian Argument Essay. Moreover, several useful tips may come in handy while writing this type of essay.
General Idea of the Rogerian Argument
So, a Rogerian Argument is a particular way of leading debates; it provides a friendly approach to pursue the discussion. The aim is to build a common understanding, to open both opposing sides toward new ideas and thoughts, not only to change one`s mind. This method can help not to enter in a collision while conducting negotiations. In fact, in the modern high-technology world, it may sometimes be quite complex to agree as well as to present and explain logical arguments. The plurality of views exists, and it is fine.
The task is to encourage people to listen to each other and come to an agreement without derogating too far from their standpoints. With this purpose, a Rogerian Argument can be used. The Rogerian model of argumentation is considered to be adapted from Carl Rogers`s work. Carl Rogers is a well-known American psychologist who established the fundament for the strategy of this method of argumentation.
Composition scholars Alton Becker, Kenneth Pike, and Richard Young explain the process of this type of argumentation in their textbook “Rhetoric: Discovery and Change.” Indeed, this method may be applied in oral discussions and written form.
A Rogerian Method of Argumentation might help the opposing sides to reach a peaceful compromise. The purpose is not necessarily to get an ultimate victory and change the opponent`s mind but to persuade another side to respect your viewpoint. While other types of traditional arguments concentrate on the winning, the goal of the Rogerian Argument is to achieve a mutually satisfactory solution.
When a Rogerian Method Can Be Used?
In general, this type of argumentation may be effective while discussing highly controversial issues as well as when the sides might be quite emotional. The students who study social sciences or humanities, for example, may need to write an essay using this conflict-resolution technique. Of course, the Rogerian method can be applied in different areas of knowledge and subjects.
How to Structure a Rogerian Argument Essay?
Mainly, the writer, who would like to apply the Rogerian strategy, tries to perform the following things:
- inform the reader that he/she is understood;
- identify the area where the writer believes the reader`s stance to be valid;
- persuade the reader that the writer possesses similar moral standing as well as aspirations to find a mutually acceptable solution.
It should be highlighted here that these are not the stages of the argument, but only the tasks of it. The writers usually intentionally attempt to avoid conventional persuasive techniques and structures. It is considered that the Rogerian arguments have not got a conventional structure.
The aim of the Rogerian argumentation can be described as setting up a situation conducive to cooperation so that the format of the Rogerian Argumentation may vary. You ought to study this topic further and check all the necessary info according to a particular assignment.
While discussing your point of view with the people who already accept it, you use one type of rhetoric. In case of discussing your perspective with the opponents, it is essential to divide your position into the objective elements as well as to tone it down to help the sides find the area of common ground. The opposition should have more reasons to continue listening to your ideas and arguments.
While utilizing the Rogerian Method, the writer ought to be ultra-conscious of the opponents` point of view. The objective is to distinctly define the source of the conflict or opposing ideologies, to acknowledge the validity of the opponent`s position as well as to submit your argument as equally valid and worthwhile.
Let us present one of the options to organize the Rogerian essay:
- Introduction. Turn to the problem which is under review. Determine the source of the conflict, the reason(s) why there are numerous ways of looking at the issue. You should carefully study the information on how to start the essay, write the appropriate introduction, the thesis for the Rogerian Essay, etc.
- Stating the Opposing View. At this point, you may provide a brief overview of the opponent`s stance if this viewpoint is complex (this may depend on the topic being considered), then you can clarify later. If the opponent`s perspective can be described and explained in two-three paragraphs, you might entirely characterize it.
- Validating the Opponent`s View. Show your respect to such an understanding of the issue and why you think the opponent`s position is logical. State the viewpoint as you understand it and how you consider and acknowledge why somebody may think the way he/she does.
- Author`s Position. After you have clarified that you understand the opponent`s view, it is time to politely proceed with your position on this matter. Again, in case your stance is complex, you may simply formulate the overarching point in one-three paragraphs.
- Validating the Author`s Position. Analyze why your viewpoint is also meaningful. You should provide compelling evidence and sound reasoning towards why your argument ought to be considered as well. It is not recommended to explicitly state that your idea is better or more valid. The writer should try to convince the reader without losing respect and mutual understanding.
- Argument Back-and-Forth. Discussion of the Viewpoints. If the issue/problem is quite complex, it may be convenient for the readers to follow the segmented argumentation and navigate between the sub-arguments, finding their viewpoint convincing and ascertaining that your view is also very credible, persuasive as well as evidentially supported. The writer can argue his/her main viewpoint with the principal opposing standpoint. The author should always provide evidence to support these perspectives.
- Conclusion. Presenting Benefits of the Writer`s Position. You should summarize your viewpoint, leading the reader towards understanding why this position is beneficial in various ways. You can provide a solution which is a common ground between the opposing standpoints and your arguments, but trying to emphasize the benefits of your view. You should study the information on how to write a proper conclusion for a Rogerian Essay.
You may or may not persuade a person that you are right while arguing in the Rogerian method; however, the key aim is to at least show that you have got convincing reasons why somebody ought to respect your point of view. In case if you provide enough compelling evidence, you might even change the opponents` minds.
Rogerian theorist Douglas Brent says that it`s crucial not to be excessively prescriptive when writing in the Rogerian method. There is not a precise or concrete step-by-step formula. Nevertheless, pay attention that you should specify all the requirements, including the format, the necessary structure, and many other points by asking your professor, as there are a lot of various aspects regarding every particular assignment.
Specific Traits of a Rogerian Essay
Carl Rogers believed that people could find the proper solution to the issue of employing empathy. The conceptions of humanistic psychology have been supported by the rhetoricians. The key concept of the Rogerian argument is to understand the opponent`s viewpoint and then present your ideas. This approach can be extremely beneficial in achieving mutual understanding as well as finding a proper decision.
The aim of the Rogerian argument is completely different from the classical (the so-called Aristotelian argument). While using the Rogerian method, you should follow the next objectives:
- determine mutual areas of shared interest;
- find a possible starting point for further cooperative work and discussion;
- obtain the audience`s as well as the opponent`s trust;
- lay the foundation for an open interchange of ideas.
Here below, there are several basic features of the Rogerian essay. Please, note that this type of academic paper varies widely from the others. Keep in mind that this list is not an exhaustive one, so that you should study this topic in detail and check all the specific requirements.
The Rogerian essay should be written in a neutral and emotionless tone. Note that this essay is not a simple presentation or description of the issue. It differs from expository and descriptive essays, as mainly, the Rogerian paper does not explain the topic. While composing this kind of essay, the background information is provided concisely- the major focus is usually made on the argumentation.
You should seek a reasonable dialogue and avoid any aggressive strategies while writing a Rogerian argument essay. There is not a goal here to change someone`s mind. The thesis statement should be properly written to receive the readers` agreement. Readers with contradictory opinions should not face any psychological attacks.
The key purpose of the Rogerian essay is to achieve a consensus, so be objective and provide the opponent`s ideas and thoughts equally.
The important point in the Rogerian essay is to set a basis for a possible future dialogue with the imaginary opponent.
Things to Avoid
- Do not try to persuade the reader/opponent. The task is to look for a solution to an issue.
- Avoid any personal attacks.
- Avoid any distortion and misrepresentation of the opponent`s thesis (for example, you should not present the opponent`s thesis only partially to reject it easily, etc.).
- The argument ought to be self-evident and natural, so, avoid reaching an agreement only for a reason for your tiredness of discussing it.
Basic Steps for Writing a Rogerian Essay
We hope the following basic steps may come in handy while studying the topic of writing in a Rogerian method. Please, note that this is only an overall guide, so that be sure to investigate this topic further. Again, note that there are various alternatives to structure a Rogerian Essay so that you should specify all the requirements according to your writing task.
Choose an appropriate topic. The theme ought to be acute, narrow enough as well as interesting for you and your readers. When choosing the specified topic to debate around, ensure that you are aware of the theme. Sometimes, the topics may be provided by the teachers.
Collect all the necessary information. To become an expert in a particular topic, you should read specialized literature that can support your viewpoint as well as a controversial one.
Create an outline. This step is useful for any kind of academic assignments. It can help you establish the future structure of the essay, brainstorm ideas, etc. Planning is always helpful.
Begin with a shared belief. Thus, you may inform your readers that your objective is not to persuade them but to find common ground, even if having the opposite thoughts on a particular issue.
Present a brief overview of your stance. At this stage, mainly, you do not present any arguments, just express your own opinion as concisely and accurately as possible.
Carefully analyze the strong arguments of the other party. Be very attentive; you should not ignore the opponents` ideas. Remember to attain the principal purpose of the Rogerian essay and show respect to others` opinions. Do not miss anything so that the opponents won`t be able to accuse you of hiding or repudiating any crucial facts for their point of view.
Recognize the problem and define the conflicting arguments. You should be on the path to the solution.
Divide the differences between the contradictions into categories, classify them, investigate the origin, and explain the reasons. Some conflicting points may relate to different aspects (social aspects of the problem, the moral code, etc.) as well as they may have a different character. Not everything may be obvious, so you should investigate these aspects.
Indicate the meeting points. This step is crucial for further collaboration. Pointing out the meeting points is supposed to be the basis for further cooperation. So, after determining the differences between the two viewpoints, show the common things.
Gradually integrate your ideas. Your writing ought to be moderate without any aggressive or demanding character. Of course, your ideas require an appropriate presentation, using a neutral tone.
Include a common agreement in the conclusion. Try to formit in a manner that would be appropriate and sufficient for both sides. In case you are providing a speech concerning your argument, remember to mention the significance of further cooperation.
Useful Tips for Writing a Rogerian Essay
Define common grounds before writing. Ensure that there is something to discuss with the other party.
You should avoid logical fallacies. The arguments ought to be well considered. You should find the lists of logical fallacies and thoroughly check your essay. Of course, proofread the paper several times and edit when necessary. There should be no mistakes of any kind.
Use a neutral tone. Emotional expressions can call into question the writer`s objectivity. In this way, you do not have to persuade anybody of anything.
Maintain a balance. To write a harmonic and well-structured essay, you need to provide an equal number of arguments for both sides of the discussion.
Discover more about the opposing arguments. You should be open to other concepts and thoughts; such behavior can assist both sides in finding a better solution.
Do not show your superiority, disrespect, or patronization. Equality, respect, and trust ought to serve as a base for any Rogerian paper. You aim to establish a partnership with your readers/ opponents.
End on a positive note. Your final statement ought to sound optimistic, inspired, and hopeful of comforting your readers/opponents as well as to illustrate to them that your position and ideas are worth their trust.
So, please, pay attention that this brief guide is only for the general overview. You should thoroughly study this topic further, as multiple nuances and aspects vary depending on a particular assignment. Check all the requirements (concerning the required format, type, structure of the Rogerian argument essay and many other aspects) by asking your professor and strictly follow them. Get inspired and start creating a perfect, plagiarism-free essay.
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