rogerian essay format
No, there is no difference between the Rogerian essay and the Rogerian argument essay.
It is good to read about the view of your opponent prior to having the discussion (or writing the argument). It is also recommended to speak to your opponent in order to clarify their ideas. If you cannot do it, then it is better to rely on what your opponent, or the institution/side they represent, have written.
Glenn, Cheryl, et al. The Writer’s Harbrace Handbook. 2nd ed. Boston: Heinle, 2004.
To understand the Rogerian argument essay structure, you need to understand what defines this type of argument. The psychologist Carl R. Rogers advocated communication based on compromise. He felt a person should listen to the point of view of his or her adversary and come to a conclusion that takes into account this other perspective. A Rogerian argument takes this idea and applies it to the essay format. A Rogerian essay structure acknowledges that a subject can be looked at from different standpoints.
Here is a summary of the basic strategy for a Rogerian argument, and the infographic on the following page should be helpful as well.
- In your essay, first, introduce the problem.
- Acknowledge the other side before you present your side of the issue. This may take several paragraphs.
- Next, you should carefully present your side of the issue in a way that does not dismiss the other side. This may also take several paragraphs.
- You should then work to bring the two sides together. Help your audience see the benefits of the middle ground. Make your proposal for the middle ground here, and be sure to use an even, respectful tone. This should be a key focus of your essay and may take several paragraphs.
- Finally, in your conclusion, remind your audience of the balanced perspective you have presented and make it clear how both sides benefit when they meet in the middle.
Even though the goal isn’t necessarily to change the person you are speaking to’s mind, the Rogerian method is still considered a form of argumentation since you are persuading your opponent to at least respect your point of view.
Rogerian theorist Douglas Brent has stated that it’s important to not be too prescriptive when writing in the Rogerian method. There isn’t a precise step-by-step formula, though it may help to look at the steps below to think about how you move from problem to opposing position to your position to conclusion.
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