10 Steps to Writing a Rogerian Argument
- Find common ground — Because a Rogerian argument will help you find common ground with your audience, you should consider this style of argument when you have a difficult or controversial topic and want to use a connection with your audience as a part of your persuasive style. But what is common ground? Finding a common ground involves meeting your opposition in the middle.
- Know your audience — Is your audience going to be reluctant to change on this issue? If so, a Rogerian argument can be persuasive. It is also going to be a wonderful exercise in helping you see things from your audience’s perspective, as your goal is to understand the other side of an issue and then meet your audience in the middle. Some brainstorming can help you as you think about how you are going to approach your audience and find the common ground you need.
- Introduce the problem — When you begin your argumentative essay, you should introduce the problem or issue in a way that makes it clear to an opposing audience that you understand their position.
- Acknowledge other side — Unlike some other argument structures, in a Rogerian argument, you should address the opposition in the very beginning of your essay. After your introduction, you should explain the contexts in which your opposition’s viewpoints make sense and are valid.
- State your position — It’s now time to present your side. Your goal is to evenly and carefully make the case for your position in order to be as persuasive as possible to the other side. Explain the contexts in which your side of the issue makes sense.
- Bring two sides together — After you present your position, your next step is to explain how the opposition would benefit from considering at least certain parts of your position. Focus on the value of your position while remembering the value of the other side.
- Reach a conclusion — As you reach the end of your Rogerian essay, remember to remind your audience of your main points and try to leave your audience with something to consider, even if they are still not convinced by the balanced presentation on the issue you have presented.
- Not finished yet — You now have your draft completed, but there is a world of work left to do in terms of revision and editing. Before you edit, you should revise the content of your work. To help with revision, it is a good idea to get feedback.
- Hear from the other side — Get feedback from as many people as you can. It is helpful to participate in a peer review if your course offers one. But it is a good idea to go beyond that peer review as well. Try to get feedback from those who disagree with your position. Not everyone is going to agree with your argument, but the feedback helps you grow as a writer.
- Edit and polish — Once your essay content has been revised, it is time to edit. Editing involves addressing things like grammar, spelling, and checking on your citation. A good editing process involves many passes. You can’t catch all of your errors in one pass. Remember that effective editing takes time!
Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to a strong Rogerian argument essay!