We are all different and perceive certain issues from diverse perspectives; hence, as a writer, you need to understand that your audience may oppose or ultimately doubt you. Your logic may be tested and thus, it is important to cultivate persuasive ways of consolidating and presenting your arguments. In essence, a Rogerian argument is a negotiating strategy. It is used in essay writing to identify common goals while presenting opposing views objectively to reach a mutual understanding. Unlike a conventional argument which centers on winning, this method seeks a solution that is mutually satisfying.
As a student, you might be finding it difficult to write on a controversial subject without being biased. Ironically, you may have participated in arguments in which you are on the losing side but still can’t change your opponent’s mind on certain issues. Hence, you attempt to reach a consensus from both arguments. A Rogerian essay helps students to understand matters objectively by finding a common ground in opposing views. It aims to present issues from different perspectives.
How To Write A Rogerian Essay
It is important to organize your introduction by ensuring that the initial sentence is a hook which aims to grab the attention of readers. Thereafter, you should state the problem description, background information about the subject of discussion, and a thesis statement. It is crucial that you capture the reader’s mind.
Here are several forms of a good hook bound to attract the reader:
- A rhetoric question
- A quote
- Unexpected facts
- Relevant statement
Your subject of discussion should have two different perspectives so that your readers can understand the views from the start of your essay.
Your introductory section needs to bring out the effect of the issue in discussion, different views on it, and recognize the weight of other arguments. You should not be biased; otherwise, your reader will drift away. Therefore, always use an objective approach in your introductory paragraph.
This is the main part of a Rogerian essay which usually uses unbiased language in describing the issues. You need to be accurate in representing the reader’s point of view. In this paragraph, your aim is to define the reader’s perception of the issue in discussion. Most importantly, do not manipulate the reader! Furthermore, you should acknowledge the context in which the reader’s view is convincing.
1st Body Paragraph
In this section, ensure that you present an accurate and fair perspective of the issue in discussion. You need to be clear and unbiased, which is possible if you support your argument with sufficient evidence while developing the body of your essay. Be accurate in stating the opposing views; if you are objective, the reader will feel that you are able to make balanced judgments.
2nd Body paragraph
It is important for the body to present valid statements. You need to demonstrate your understanding of the validity of opposing views in certain circumstances. In order to write a good Rogerian essay, ensure that you acknowledge precise areas of the contrasting views that you feel are valid. Also, acknowledging and finding value in arguments other than your own is important.
3rd Body Paragraph
You have already informed the reader about the other perspective in preceding paragraphs. Thus, by stating your position, you need to present your own fair view now. Describe your standpoint accurately to the reader; ensure that your reader understands the merit of your perspective within different contexts. As a writer, you need to be open-minded since people might or might not accept your views.
When concluding a Rogerian Essay, ensure that there is transitional flow from the last 3rd body paragraph. In this section, you propose a solution to the problem you described in your essay. This is a conclusive paragraph, and hence you should end it with a powerful closing remark. It should include the benefits of both parties concerning the problem, but not present your solution to the issue in discussion. In addition, this section should not show the readers that your perspective is at the forefront. But combining your ideas with the thoughts of others will definitely help to solve the issue in discussion.
Tips on Writing a Rogerian Argument
When incorporating a Rogerian argument in an essay, the goal is not to dominate your opponent, but to achieve a mutually benefiting solution through understanding each other’s perspective. Remember, this can only be achieved with an objective mind.
In order to write a good Rogerian argument, you must remember standard outlines. Also, you need a neutral view when choosing your topics and ideas for discussion. While in a conventional understanding, you might consider finding a mutual solution between your suggestions and your opponent’s argument, it is essential to get a challenging comprehension of your argument and the contrasting view of it.
Here are some tips for you to consider when writing a Rogerian argument. Your essays will be not only convincing, but also full of conviction to enable you to drive your point home.
You should know your target audience in order to grab your reader’s attention with ease. Having first-hand information about your audience provides you with clarity on the issue and how it directly affects them. It is also important to know your opponent’s views. This will assist you to formulate the arguments you want to present in the end.
Ensure that you are able to define the common ground between you and the readers. To do this, you need to outline your ideas while comparing them to the views your readers might have. Therefore, remove contrasting ideas until you reach a meeting point.
You need to make an extended list of possible perspectives on the problem. Include minor explanations of ideas on your list. For example, if your major idea is ‘Music is an art’, it should be broken down into supporting concepts like ‘Music is an art since it involves lyrical organization.’
Use the Shared Perspective
After knowing the perspective that you share with your readers, you can now use it as a basis for writing your essay. This way you will introduce your essay with a captivating hook that will grab your readers’ attention without arguing. Also, ensure that your words are clear and relatable. Most importantly, your mission is to connect with your target audience before you develop your arguments in the essay.
Do Not Use Negative Language
Using negative language will put off your readers. Do not banish their ideas, rather acknowledge them and find a common understanding of the problem in discussion.
Integrate Your Position
After finding the common ground in your essay, slowly integrate your views. Do not engage your readers in disagreeing with you. Moreover, your introductory views should be concise.
Support your Arguments
After stating your main point of view, you can now assimilate all your supporting arguments. Present your evidence but do not contradict your reader’s position directly. For example, avoid phrases like, “it’s not true that music isn’t an art”. Instead, provide statements that support your view that “music is an art”. You can say this, “music is like painting since the musician turns the words into a beautiful symphony” instead.
Evident Conflicting Arguments
Identify and state conflicting arguments that are obvious in the essay. Furthermore, you need to persuade your readers that your perspective is valid and reasonable while presenting the weakness of your reader’s position. To do so, highlight the opposing arguments which are weak or without supporting evidence that contradict your point of view. This is the point where the readers may accept or reject your views.
Avoid Controversial Topics
People are different, and most arguments are founded on religion, emotions, or logic. Therefore, if you know that your discussion will be perceived negatively, then steer away from the topic. You should find a constructive topic for the benefit of your audience.
Reiterate Mutual Ideas
You need to repeat the common grounds you identified earlier in your essay. At this point, gather all the evidence and merge facts with your personal ideas. Demonstrate why your perspective is valid or outweighs your opponent’s position.
Adopt a Neutral Perspective
The conclusive part of the argument should be persuasive to readers by reminding them of the common grounds shared earlier in your essay. Therefore, make your point simple without ambiguous terms. Be objective and precise.
Example: Outline of A Rogerian Essay
- Explore the shared views
- Background Information on the topic
- Problem description: Grab the reader’s attention
- Explain major points supporting the issue
- Explain the points for the opposing perspective
- Review both valid points: explain the issue without being biased
- Write a balanced summary of main points representing both views
- Create a common ground from each perspective
- Repeat the issues: present mutual positions and benefits of opposing views.
Writing a good Rogerian argument should not be a daunting task if you are able to find and separate the opinions you share with your target audience. Also, keep in mind that you should not present your position in your introduction section because this will divide your reader’s attention. It creates a gap between your argumentative perspective and the reader’s position. The secret lies in identifying the common grounds and exploiting the issue in your favor. Eventually, you will maintain your perspective in arguments and thus end up with a good Rogerian Essay.
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