Writing an Excellent Rogerian Argument Essay. Steps and Tips
Throughout their education, students receive numerous assignments when it comes to debating and providing arguments. There are many ways to organize such pieces. In this article, we will have a closer look at the method suggested by Carl Rogers, aiming to make opposing sides listen to each other and reach a compromise. Rogerian Argument method can be used for both oral and written discussions. This essay type is quite common for students who study sociology and humanities. Keep on reading to find helpful tips and a detailed explanation of the writing process and main elements of this essay type.
What is a Rogerian Essay?
Let us begin with the definition of a Rogerian argument essay. This paper follows a special technique that can be used for solving arguments and finding common ground between different viewpoints remaining in the same position. It is not as argumentative as a classic 5-paragraph essay, and it gives more insight into the opinion of the opposite side but does not persuade anybody to change their mind. This essay type encourages respecting and considering all points of view on a certain problem.
The aims of Rogerian argument essay
To understand the aim of this method more deeply, let us compare it with an ordinary argumentative essay. The common argument aims to prove that your point of view is more valid and reveal the weaknesses of your opponent. On the other hand, the Rogerian method aims to:
- Define mutual interests
- Determine a starting point for future communication and cooperation
- Exchange thoughts openly
- Win the readers’ trust and attention
When to Use the Rogerian Method?
This approach is far from being universal for any argument paper. It is especially helpful while discussing the highly arguable issues when people can be subjective and emotional. This method helps opponents avoid false claims, opinionated ideas, and offensive arguments and understand each other better. If you are about to deal with this method, be ready that it is extremely different from all the conventional papers you have written before.
The Key Characteristics of Rogerian Essays
Now that you know what this method is, let’s pay attention to its specifics.
To prepare for writing this essay, you need to imagine who your readers are and what their possible questions and concerns may be. Organize the whole paper as a conversation with your audience.
You should find an optimal way to present not only your thoughts but also your opponents’ thoughts equally. Balancing between them is challenging, but you can be objective only if you treat both points of view equally and find common ground.
Although it is still an argumentative assignment, the author shouldn’t persuade the readers to follow his point of view, and this is the biggest peculiarity of this assignment. It is unacceptable to attach your audience and impose your opinion of them. Better, start a reasonable conversation with them.
While writing this essay, stay on a neutral and objective side. However, this doesn’t mean that your piece should be simply descriptive or explanatory. It is necessary to give the context of the researched problems, but the main part should be providing arguments and having a dialogue with your readers.
The Paper Structure According to the Rogerian Method
The structure of this paper is specific and requires much attention to the opposite point of view. Before you move on to writing, study it thoroughly and define common ground. Here are the main parts to include in a Rogerian essay:
Introduce the problem and highlight why there are opposing viewpoints and numerous approaches to it.
Present the general approach to the investigated issue. Then, move on to the opposing thoughts. If they are complex, describe them briefly and give more details later. In case it is straightforward, explain it right away in a few paragraphs. Consider these things when you write this part:
- Be fair and present these thoughts as if they were yours
- Don’t provide too many details
- Refer to credible literary sources where this viewpoint is described in detail.
Highlight why the opponent’s viewpoint is rational and logical. Show respect and understanding of these ideas and that you understand why some people may think so. Analyze the strong arguments and accept that they are reliable. Be attentive and make sure you don’t miss anything important to avoid being accused of hiding facts.
After you clarified the opposite perspective, move on to yours. Firstly, present a common belief so that the audience knows that you don’t aim to pressure them. Give details and describe your opinion accurately in a few paragraphs.
Mention why your viewpoint is also worth the readers’ attention and give substantial evidence and facts to back it up. Don’t be convinced that your opinion is better, more rational, etc. On the contrary, be respectful and focus on supporting your ideas with credible evidence.
The problems discussed in such papers are complex, so it is better to divide them into narrower points. Single out the conflicting points and explain the grounds for them. Then, contrast your and your opponent’s arguments to a certain subject segment. Make sure to represent both sides equally. Such organization is more logical, and the different sides will be more clear for readers.
Define the common points
After presenting the contrasts, single out the similarities. They will serve as a meeting point for future collaboration.
Advantages of your position
At the end of the paper, sum up all the significant points and slightly move the readers towards accepting your position rather than the opposing one.
4 Best Tips to Write an a-Grade Rogerian Argument Essay
As you see, this method of organizing an essay is very different from conventional ones. That’s why it can be a challenge for many students to deal with it effectively. Here are the tips that will simplify the process and make it more effective.
Define the similarities and contrasts beforehand
Before writing, make a simple chart of common and different ideas. If there is nothing mutual between you and your opponents, such a method won’t work out for your piece.
Add the same number of arguments and evidence for both sides. This way, the structure will look more balanced and organized.
Stick to the neutral and objective side. No need to convince the audience and reveal your disrespect as you won’t seem reputable and objective to the readers.
End with a positive perspective
Make optimistic prognoses towards continuing the discussion. The final sentence should show your interest in it and encourage opponents for further argument exchange.
3 mistakes to avoid
Now that you know what to do and what to include let’s talk about don’ts in the Rogerian argumentative essays
Arguments with no evidence
Unless your idea is not supported by credible evidence, don’t add it to your essay: this indicates subjectivity and a lack of professionalism.
Free interpretation of the opposing thoughts
Don’t misrepresent or distort the opposite ideas; simply rephrase them and don’t try to manipulate.
Don’t make unclear conclusions
Don’t stop exchanging arguments and reach the natural outcome of your discussion. Include all the important points and only then reach the common ground. The summarizing should be clear and emerge logically from the argument exchange.
To Wrap Up
This essay type is a real challenge for most students, especially inexperienced ones. We hope that all the information and pieces of advice we provided were useful and helped you deal with this demanding assignment. If you still think that you need more expert help, you can find it on this website.
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