Tap to Read ➤

How to Write a Rogerian Argument

Mary Anthony
The key to finding an effective solution to a conflicting problem between two parties or individuals is touching on a 'common ground' through communication, and a Rogerian argument suggests the same. This story provides a guideline on how to write your views in the Rogerian argument way.
The Rogerian Method of Argument is very helpful during a propositional elocution competition.

When an argument ensues, there is always a winner and a loser; the one who dominates and one who submits to a set of ideas. Traditionally, arguments have been part of human civilization since a long time. The earliest records being of Greek leaders trying to woo voters with their excellent oratory skills.
But it's not necessary that every argument must end on a bitter note where one feels exploited and the other elated. The Rogerian method of argument comes in handy at such situations where two opposing principals need to find a common ground. Given below is the guideline on writing an essay using this principle.

Introduction to Rogerian Argument

Carl Rogers, an eminent American psychologist, founded the humanistic approach towards psychology, and he stated that human speech and human noesis are interconnected with their success and failure dependent on each other.
Earlier, psychology was based on the scientific principals set by Ivan Pavlov and B. F. Skinner, who distinguished thoughts and feelings in a controlled environment. However, in a lecture delivered at the 'Centennial Conference on Communications' in Northwestern University, in1951, Carl Rogers revolutionized the way the world thought about an argumentative situation, and thus, the 'Rogerian Argument' model derived from his name was born.
According to his observations, he noted that people tend to form a basic judgment of the opposing party they are arguing with, instead of hearing out the differences and finding a solution to the problem they would constantly evaluate and get emotional about the topic, which would result in the failure of communication.
In order to eliminate this situation Roger proposed that both arguing parties 'listen with understanding' and take the risk of reaching a common ground for the topic, this in turn would open a positive dialog between two divergent parties.
Traditional controversial essays normally have a hostile tone towards the audience, in the Rogerian model, the writer identifies the ideas and beliefs along with a common ground for the audience.
The reason why the Rogerian Argument is also known as the 'common ground' argument is because it is the writer's job to establish commonalities with the intended audience and use them to argue further.
Often used in position essays, its main advantage is that the writer gains the confidence of the audience without letting them oppose the ideas, and instead persuades them into a mutual exchange of ideas.

Outline of Rogerian Argument

◆ Captivate the readers' attention by introducing an unbiased opinion towards the problem.
Present the opposing view in a non-judgmental style.
Expand on your views by stating your thesis with reasons and examples.
Suggest a common ground between the conflicting views and conclude by reaching a compromise.

Structure of a Rogerian Argument

Introduction: Begin with a precise, well-researched introduction that discusses the relevant views in a neutral language. The introductory paragraph must be comprehensive and should cover all the points of the opposing views.
Body: Present valid points acknowledging the opposing side without divulging in emotional debate, state the reasons with appropriate evidence. In the next paragraph, state your views with equal examples in a fair, balanced tone as this the crux of the Rogerian argument where you persuade the audience to take up a challenge in embracing new ideas. Capture the readers' attention by developing a common ground by laying down similar factors relating to beliefs, ideas, and views.
Conclusion: The focal point on the conclusion must be to take the positive ideas from both opposing views and presenting it to the reader as a solution to the controversial issue. It should creatively convince the reader to opt for a middle path and gain benefits rather than suffer from one-sided consequences.

Rogerian Argument Example

Helmets: A Boon or Bane during Snow Sports

People are constantly on a lookout for thrill and adrenaline rush and snow sports have always provided millions around the world the freedom to carve down an entire mountain, drop off a twenty-foot cliff into the white ice, weave through a patch of technical trees, or float down a steep face with supreme rush.
Snow sports are popularly depicted in movies like Extreme Days, Out Cold, several James Bond films, and Aspen Extreme, just to name a few. It's even promoted on X games on television and have been part of the Olympics, not to mention the extreme craze depicted in the marketing venture by Mountain Dew by commercializing it in the media.
Of all these, there is a growing concern about the resulting head injuries while divulging in these extreme sports. Although the percentage is relatively low, a mere 0.3-6.5 per thousand a day, one cannot ignore the safety factor undertaken by the ski resorts in introducing rules pertaining to the use of helmets while skiing or snow boarding.
Helmets, like all the other safety equipment, tends to get a negative review by the younger generation who consider it as nerdy or uncool, and don't really bother about the benefits of the same. The other featured drawback tends to be that helmet affects the peripheral vision and also prove to be uncomfortable while engaging in snow sports.
''Helmets are constricting'', argues former world champion snowboarder Amy Howat (Johnston) along with a number of other skiers voicing the same opinion. Another concern voiced by the skiers is that they need to hear the sound their board makes on the snow in order to adjust the speed, and a helmet makes that impossible.
Although these arguments hold a relevant point, it does not guarantee the safety of the skier with incidents where the skier has ended up losing his/her life or being in a vegetative state after a skiing accident. It's not just the novice who fall victims to ski accidents but also expert level skiers who try to push their athletic limits in order to achieve new goals.
People, these days, are starting to realize the risk factor associated with these sports, and the use of helmets has increased. The Snow Sports Industries Association of America reported that in the winter of 1996-97, sales of snow sports helmets tripled from 80,537 helmets to an astonishing 242,632 helmets.
In order to woo the skiers, reputed companies like K2, Burton, Boeri, and ProTec have introduced stylish helmets. Gone are the days when they were termed as cumbersome and bulky, helmets these days are sleek, stylish, and light-weight. They provide protection from the frigid winter days and ventilation during the sunny spring days.
The pros of wearing a helmet while skiing and snowboarding greatly outweigh the disadvantages, and hence, protective headgear must be made compulsory in all ski-resorts. These rules will save innumerable lives and minimize thousands of dollars spent on medical costs.
It would also provide a boon for the resorts against the legal expenditures incurred by them for the lawsuits pending on them made by the injured victims. Hope these laws be implemented soon in the future to ensure many safe years in snowboarding and extreme sports.
The Rogerian Argument is a good way to deal and negotiate on controversial topics to find a middle path solution and reap benefits.