How to Write a Rogerian Essay: Complete Guide and Sample Essay
A Rogerian essay is a type of argumentative essay. It was named after American psychologist Carl Rogers, who proposed a new theory of argumentation. This approach can be successfully used for sensitive and highly controversial issues. It allows the arguer to persuade the public with minimal risk of hostility. The main idea of this theory is to show respect to other sides of the issue and find a compromise.
What is the difference between the middle ground argument and a Rogerian argument? The middle ground argument takes a middle position between the main opposing positions on the issue. The Rogerian argument instead finds the optimal position for disagreeing sides with the aim to find a compromise that will suit all parties.
So, let’s see what you need to do to write an excellent Rogerian essay in the next section.
6 Simple Steps – How to Write a Rogerian Essay
To write a good Rogerian essay you will need to pass through the following six steps.
1. Find the topic. Commonly, teachers give a certain topic, but sometimes students are allowed to pick the topic by themselves. Find an interesting and quite controversial topic like tobacco advertising, euthanasia, social media dependence, etc. Make sure that the topic is also interesting to your intended audience.
2. Write the introduction. Attract the reader with a catchy beginning. Then you need to depict the problem (or issue) and how it affects both you and your readers. Give background information on the issue and add as many details as you can to make a full picture of the discussed issue. Don’t criticize or use bias.
3. Describe the opposing point of view. Here you need to represent the issue from the common perspective, including beliefs and ideas of your intended audience. Define the circumstances when the opposing point of view is valid. Keep a neutral tone. Find out the following points:
- the claim
- the warrant
- the main reasons for each viewpoint
- the beliefs and values of each party
4. Present your own point of view. In this section you can state your own position. Define the circumstances when your point of view is valid. Add support and the main reasons to support your position. Think what values and beliefs you share with the opposing side. Make sure that the opposition will feel comfortable with how you present your position.
5. Write the conclusion. It’s time to show off the compromise. Here you need to state how adopting your position or moving at least towards it will benefit the audience. Show how you position will meet the values of both sides.
6. Proofread the first draft. Is the paper well-structured? Are grammar and spelling correct? Are references cited correctly? Is the paper a pleasure to read?
Rogerian Essay Structure
Each argumentative model has its own structure to lead the conversation and reach the desired aim successfully. The typical structure of a Rogerian essay consists of four parts.
- Introduction. Why should we care?
- Summary of opposing views. Why do others care about the issue?
- Statement of position. Why do you care about the issue?
- Resolution. What can be done to resolve the issue considering all sides?
Let’s see how the Rogerian essay may look on a brief example to understand the structure. The essay below is written about the issue of whether models should be skinny. Each section has a heading to help you better understand the essay structure. Consider that assignments usually don’t require a title to each paragraph.
The modern fashion industry follows specific parameters of models. These parameters have changed over the years, and recently most fashion models are between 172cm to 180cm and wear extra small to small sizes. Models feel the pressure of the fashion industry and use all possible ways to remain skinny and meet the standards. As a result, many of them struggle from anorexia and bulimia.
Opposite point of view.
It is crucial for the design houses that all the models fit one size, as fashion houses create the collection in one size. Designers can’t make clothes to fit a particular model, unless it’s a supermodel. Moreover, most of the clothes look good on skinny, tall, and well-shaped women.
Personal point of view.
A recent study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders has shown that models experience serious eating problems due to the unhealthy weight control in fashion houses. Today topics about fashion models are associated with anorexia and bulimia. Girls and young women feel the pressure of being skinny, and as a result struggle from eating disorders and suicide.
If the society wants to fix the situation that has occurred in the fashion industry, fashion houses around the world should apply other principles in the fashion industry to control the health of models and pay great attention to creating the right image of models. People need to understand that to be a model you need to keep a healthy lifestyle, take regular exercise, and have a well-balanced diet.
In this example the author has earned the credibility of the audience by presenting the opponent’s position and presenting facts from the recent studies to justify their own point of view. The author demonstrates and understands the situation in the fashion industry and delicately proposes the solution.
Tips on How to Write a Rogerian Essay
- Don’t choose a topic you are passionate about. It will be more likely that you won’t be objective.
- Always research about opposite beliefs. Don’t rely on your knowledge about the common thought.
- Find common ground to pin down common values and goals. To make everything clear, you need to acknowledge the opposite position fully.
- Point out the shared values of opposing viewpoints and your own. This will honor the opposing side and show that you are interested in earnest conversation.
- Pick a controversial issue for the Rogerian essay. It will be much easier to find a compromise for a case when the sides are far apart.
- Keep a neutral, objective, and fair-minded attitude to the opposing point of view. Avoid judging and rebutting the opposing side.
- The final “product” of the Rogerian essay is a compromise. It’s not a one-sided resolution, as it can’t be beneficial only for one side.
- Consider the drawbacks to all of the sides. This will show that you are viewing the situation from various sides and seek an optimal solution.
- Always show the benefits of your argument even if it cannot entirely solve the issue. Point out the work that should be done to achieve the desired solution.
Rogerian Essay Example
Here we are glad to share with you a full sample of a Rogerian essay written by one of our authors. The essay topic discusses the use of mobile phones while driving.
People Using Mobile Phones While Driving on the Highway
Mobile phones have interfered in almost every sphere of modern life and have become an essential part of our culture. They appear to be a convenient way to stay in contact. Whether people decide to have dinner, visit the cinema, or go to the supermarket, mobile phones pursue them everywhere. However, there are some places where using a cell phone is not only undesirable but also impermissible. Drivers who use mobile phones put at risk themselves, their passengers, and all people on the road.
A mobile phone is considered to be a distractive factor which disturbs a person who drives a car. Distractive factors also include smoking, eating, and other people in the car. It is stated that in 2009, “a total of 995 people died in fatal crashes that involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction” (“Traffic Safety Facts Research Note”). A temptation to answer a phone call may confuse even experienced drivers who usually respect traffic rules. The driver who killed Jennifer Smith’s mother had never been punished for speeding and was sober at the moment of the crash, but he hadn’t even noticed the color of the traffic light on the crossroads (“Think Before You Speak”). It is very hard to acknowledge that a simple phone call can end someone’s life. A terrifying fact is that the usage of mobile phones only increases, and the number of accidents increases as well. Unfortunately, the relevance of this problem is undoubtable and will remain so in the nearest future.
Nevertheless, public opinion on this problem is somewhat controversial. About 68 percent of the respondents believe that drivers mustn’t use mobile phones (“Should People Be Able to Talk on Their Cell Phone While They Are Driving?”). It is emphasized that in the case of an emergency, drivers have only a few seconds to perform a maneuver. Not every driver can react properly in this situation, even without distractions. And the usage of a mobile phone in an emergency situation deprives the driver of valuable seconds to make a decision and significantly increases the risk of an accident. But about 32 percent disagree with their opinion. They claim that a mobile phone is only one of the distractive factors, and its impact is not bigger than adjusting a radio, eating while driving, or talking to passengers. Some of them allege that speaking on the phone with family members helps to keep themselves focused during long, exhausting trips. But even those who support the idea of free usage of mobile phones while driving agree that texting must be explicitly forbidden. There are several other positions which are accepted by both of the parties to the conflict. There is a consensus that drivers should be allowed to use mobile phones in emergency situations. For example, when someone’s life depends on the call, a driver must be able to call 911 to report about the accident. Also, both groups are inclined to believe that the Bluetooth technology, which gives drivers an opportunity to use a mobile phone without hands, may be a good solution to the problem.
Even though people have certain beliefs concerning the problem of the usage of mobile phones while driving, many of them are rather doubtful. It is necessary to notice that the distraction itself is manifested in two ways. A mobile phone becomes an additional item in the driver’s hand, so that the driver has only one hand to control the vehicle. But the main problem is that the conversation deflects the driver’s attention. The Bluetooth technology may be useful to free the driver’s hands, but it doesn’t make talking on the cellphone equal to talking with a passenger. A passenger is able to monitor the situation on the road and to understand whether speaking with the driver is safe or if it is better not to distract them. Furthermore, it was found that “merely listening to somebody speak on the phone led to a 37% decrease in activity in the parietal lobe, where spatial tasks are processed” (Spice). As a result, speaking on the mobile phone places an additional burden on the human brain. The Bluetooth technology does not remove the risk of a crash entirely. Furthermore, a delusion of safety attracts people who are originally against talking on mobile phones while driving. As a consequence, hands-free conversation technology only increases the number of traffic accidents.
The danger of mobile phone use while driving cannot be overvalued, but placing an outright ban on it seems to be impractical. Such law would be very difficult to control. It is almost impossible to distinguish whether the driver looks down, or uses a cellular phone for texting. Drivers should have an opportunity to use a mobile phone in some specific cases. And that is how another problematic issue arises. Police will face a variety of complexities identifying whether the use of a mobile phone is justified. Even current data on the number of crashes involved using a phone is not accurate enough because not every driver admits to using a phone. Although there is no definite solution to this problem, it still must be regulated by the government.
If the government is unable to control the use of mobile phones by drivers, some alternative variants should be reviewed. As mentioned earlier, delegating the phone’s tasks to a car is not a good idea. It only creates new objects of distraction for a driver. Instead of this, a good idea would be to limit cell phone functions which distract the driver the most. For example, a special program could be implemented that starts when a car begins to move and restricts the access to calls, social media, texting, and other distractive applications. As a result, it will “disable all communication between the phone and the outside world, with the exceptions of GPS, navigation apps, and emergency notifications” (Chabris). Unfortunately, drivers will not appreciate such innovations. Consequently, they must be motivated to use it. Moreover, this innovation must be introduced in driving schools and enshrined in traffic rules.
Numerous crashes that included mobile phones as a distractive factor stress the relevance of the problem. The use of mobile phones during driving puts in danger all road users. It may be as dangerous as drunk driving. Despite the fact that the use of mobile phones during driving cannot be banned entirely, the government must take measures to reduce the number of victims of traffic accidents. Perhaps officials should pay attention to alternative solutions. Anyway, the situation is unlikely to change until drivers become entirely aware of their responsibility. When they realize that answering a call is not as important as human life, the number of traffic accidents will significantly decrease, and thousands of people will continue to enjoy their lives.
Chabris, Daniel. “A Simple Solution for Distracted Driving.” WSJ, 2018, www.wsj.com/articles/a-simple-solution-for-distracted-driving-1446218317. Accessed 16 Aug 2018.
“Should People Be Able to Talk on Their Cell Phone While They Are Driving?” Debate.org, 2018, www.debate.org/opinions/should-people-be-able-to-talk-on-their-cell-phone- while-they-are-driving. Accessed 16 Aug 2018.
Spice, Byron. “March 5: Carnegie Mellon Study Shows Just Listening to Cell Phones Significantly Impairs Drivers.” Cmu.edu, 2008, www.cmu.edu/news/archive/2008/March/march5_drivingwhilelistening.shtml. Accessed 16 Aug 2018.
“Think Before You Speak.” The Economist, 2011,
www.economist.com/united-states/2011/04/14/think-before-you-speak?story_id=18561075. Accessed 16 Aug 2018.
“Traffic Safety Facts Research Note.” Crashstats.Nhtsa.Dot.gov, 2010, crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/811379. Accessed 16 Aug 2018.
Finding the compromises will help you in your life. We hope that our guide and samples will help you create a strong Rogerian essay. If you will find it hard to write the essay on your own, you can always ask our experts for help. EssayShark writers can create well-written and argumentative essays on any topic. Fill out the order form and get prompt help 24/7.