People waste too much time arguing about things that they don’t actually understand. Wouldn’t it be better to stop arguing and try to find common ground? Imagine how much better this world would be if all of us would seek a peaceful compromise, not an ultimate victory. The same idea came to the mind of Carl Rogers, a famous American psychologist.
His works became a fundament for the interesting strategy that is called the Rogerian argument. Students who study humanities or social sciences often need to write a Rogerian essay based on this strategy. In our guide on how to write a Rogerian essay, we will figure out what the Rogerian argument actually is, when you should use it, and how to structure such an essay. Moreover, we’ll offer you a list of helpful tips that will simplify the whole writing process. Enjoy reading and score better grades with EssayShark.com!
What Is the Rogerian Argument?
Actually, Carl Rogers was not the one who invented this conflict-solving strategy. However, his ideas of humanistic psychology have inspired rhetoricians for creating a brand new approach to argumentation. He believed that with the help of empathy, people can find the right solution even when their statements are controversial.
The main idea of the Rogerian argument is that every person should understand the viewpoint of the adversary at first place, and then present his or her own ideas. When two opponents open each other’s worlds, it becomes easier to achieve mutual understanding and find a proper decision that would be sufficient for both sides.
While the main goal of the classical argument, or the so-called Aristotelian argument, is to prove the validity of your own statements and the weakness of those of your opponent, the purpose of the Rogerian argument is totally different. There are four main objectives this strategy is aimed at:
- Determining mutual areas of shared interest;
- Finding a possible starting point for further discussion and cooperative work;
- Winning the trust of the audience and your adversary;
- Paving the way for an open exchange of ideas.
How to Write a Rogerian Essay: Specific Traits
It is a good time to provide you with some information about the peculiarities of the Rogerian essay. Be attentive, as this kind of academic paper differs a lot from the others.
Although you can’t engage in dialogue with your readers, you can easily predict their reaction and imagine their answers in order to recreate your conversation. Of course, your imaginary adversary doesn’t have a real possibility to talk to you, but you should remember that any Rogerian essay may serve as a basis for a possible future dialogue.
Your main goal is to be absolutely objective and present your thoughts and ideas of your opponents equally. At first sight, it seems very hard to keep the balance when a temptation to win an argument is so high. However, you should remember the main goal of the Rogerian essay, which is to find a consensus.
When you write an argumentative essay, your thesis statement has to be proved, and it requires readers’ agreement. It can be considered a psychological attack on your readers who have a controversial opinion. The Rogerian essay is not aimed at changing someone else’s mind, so forget about aggressive strategies and look for reasonable dialogue.
Although your Rogerian essay should have a neutral, emotionless tone, it doesn’t mean that your writing is a simple presentation of the issue. In contrast to expository or descriptive essays, the Rogerian essay doesn’t describe or explain the topic. When you compose such an essay, you provide background information in a brief and concise manner, as the main part of your piece of writing is argumentation.
How to Write a Rogerian Essay: 11 Steps
If you are writing a Rogerian essay for the first time, the writing process might seem difficult and tangled. However, if you follow our simple instruction, your work will be much easier.
1. Choose a topic
Debating around the unspecified topic is a meaningless waste of time. Before you start your argument or essay, choose an appropriate theme. Make sure that you are knowledgeable enough to write a high-quality essay on the issue. The topic should be acute, narrow, and interesting both for you and your readers.
2. Collect information
We are sure that you’re an expert on the chosen topic. Still, you should read some specialized literature that supports your viewpoint, along with a controversial one.
3. Compose an outline
That’s a standard move for any kind of academic assignment. Planning makes the whole writing process easier as it helps with structuring your ideas and establishing the future structure of your text.
4. Start with a shared belief
Break the ice from the beginning! If you start with a shared belief, you’ll let your readers know that your goal is not to convince them but to find common ground even though your thoughts are opposite.
5. Provide a brief overview of your position
Before you start examining your opponents’ beliefs, don’t forget to mention your own. At this stage, you don’t provide any arguments; you just express your personal opinion as briefly and accurately as possible.
6. Analyze the other party’s strong arguments
Be very attentive while writing this part! Don’t miss a thing, because your opponents may accuse you of hiding facts that are crucial for their viewpoint. If you ignore a considerable part of the opponent’s ideas, you won’t achieve the main purpose of the Rogerian essay.
7. Define conflicting arguments
In order to find common ground, you should firstly determine what divides you and your opponent. Recognizing the problem is the first step on the path to the solution!
8. Classify the differences and explain their reasons
Contradictions might have a different character. Some conflicting points can be related to the social aspect of the issue, while others to the moral code, and so on. Dividing the differences into categories is not the end, as you should also investigate their origin, because it may not be obvious.
9. Point out meeting points
After you determine the differences between two positions, you need to show what is common about them. This stage is crucial for the whole piece of writing, as meeting points are the basis for further collaboration.
10. Integrate your ideas gradually
As the Rogerian essay is not a classical argument, and lacks an aggressive and demanding character, your writing should be moderate. No doubt, your ideas deserve a proper presentation, though you will use a neutral tone.
11. Put a common agreement in the conclusion
Finally, make the final step. You have everything needed to formulate a common agreement. Try to compose it in a way that would be sufficient for both sides. If you also are making a speech related to your argument, don’t forget to mention the importance of further cooperation.
The writing process is behind. We are sure that your Rogerian essay is awesome, but we still want to provide you with a few tips that will make your writing even better!
How to Write a Rogerian Essay: Helpful Tips
- Determine common ground before writing
Make sure that there is something to discuss with your opponents. Perhaps your positions are too controversial and don’t have anything in common. In such a case, your efforts will be useless.
- Avoid logical fallacies
Logical mistakes are a sign of a poorly considered argument. Check lists of logical fallacies on the internet, and proofread your essay thoroughly.
- Use a neutral tone
You don’t have to convince anybody of anything. Emotional expressions will spoil the overall impression from your Rogerian essay and make your readers doubt your objectivity.
- Keep balance
You should present an equal number of arguments for both parts of the debate. In such a manner, your essay will be well-structured and harmonic.
- Learn more about opposing arguments
In order to find common ground, you should know your adversary’s ideas well. Be open to new thoughts and conceptions, as this behavior will help both sides to find a better solution.
- Show no patronization or disrespect
Respect, equality, and trust should be the base for any Rogerian essay. Your main goal is to establish a partnership with your readers or your opponents, not to show your superiority.
- End on a positive note
Be optimistic about the further development of discussion. Your final statement should sound hopeful and inspired in order to comfort your opponents and prove to them that your ideas are worth their trust.
We strongly hope that our guide on how to write a Rogerian essay will be useful for you. Before writing your first draft, make sure that you’ve taken into account all nuances. If you still don’t feel confident about writing a Rogerian essay by yourself, contact our team at EssayShark.com. We are ready to help you with any kind of academic assignment 24/7! Our writers will provide you with great samples of essays, research papers, reviews, reports, and other papers at affordable prices