How to Write a Rogerian Argument

Posted by Splice, Essay Tips Chief Writer

In order for you to write/make a good Rogerian argument in your essay, it is important to keep in mind some important outlines and pointers as well keeping in mind your Rogerian argument topics and ideas. While conventional wisdom might tell you to simply consider the common grounds between your proposition and the opposing argument, it is likewise crucial to get a formidable grasp of what you're really trying to argue and the opposing views to it. Here are a few tips for writing a Rogerian argument that you can use for writing your own examples, arguments that are not only convincing but also enable you to drive home your point with conviction.

  1. Know your audience well. Or better yet, know the opposing argument(s) well. A knowledge of both your audience and the opposing point will help you a lot in formulating the arguments you want to push through in the end. But before that...

  2. You should be able to determine the "common ground" between you and your audience. One way to do this is to outline your main points and compare it with the main points that you anticipate your audience, reader, or instructor to have. Remove opposing ideas from the list until you arrive at the meeting points between the two. But if you can't find common grounds among the main points you have listed...

  3. Try to make an extended list of all the possible premises. The list should include the minor or sub-premises and its more minor points. For example, the major premise "poetry is an art" should further be divided into smaller premises or supporting ideas such as "poetry is an art because it requires mastery of words" or "poetry is an art because it requires the poet to go beyond immediate sensory experience" and other related supporting ideas.

  4. Now that you know the proposition that you and your audience or reader share, use that shared belief to start you essay. That way, you'll be able to attract the attention of your audience without having to argue while introducing the topic. Be sure to use words that you know your audience can easily relate to and absorb. The task is to come into terms with your audience first and foremost.

  5. Right after establishing the "common grounds," continue by slowly integrating your position. Remember to avoid engaging your audience into a disagreement yet. Simply try to make a brief introduction of your position in one or two short but concise sentences. After that...

  6. You should now integrate your supporting arguments for your main position. This can be done by immediately placing your evidences after you have stated your main point. Take note that you should not write down supporting arguments that negate the position of your audience in an obvious way. For instance, avoid using "it is not true that poetry is not an art." Rather, it would be better for you to provide remarks which support your position that "poetry is an art." A good example is for you to write "poetry is like painting because the poet has to weave words together that are colorful" instead.

  7. The next step is for you to point out the obvious conflicting arguments between you and your audience. After recognizing the conflict of arguments, persuade your audience that your position is more valid or more sound by telling your audience why their position or argument is weak. Point specifically to the arguments rebutting yours which have weak evidences or which lack supporting arguments. This is the part where you should expect your audience or your reader to either accept or reject your position. If your position is accepted, good job. If not...

  8. Try to reiterate the "common grounds," but this time merge it with the evidences you have as to why your position is acceptable, or outweighs the other position.

  9. Finally, conclude your essay, or argumentation, with a short summary of your position and a brief reminder of those "common grounds."

How to write a good Rogerian argument essentially depends on your ability to "locate and isolate" the beliefs that you share with your audience. You have to remember that you should not immediately introduce your position as this will disrupt your attempt to bridge your audience towards you and your arguments. The key is to identify those "common grounds" and capitalize on it to your best advantage without having to abandon your arguments altogether.

You may also want to read some Rogerian Argument topics.

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