What Is a Rogerian Argument?

To put it simply, a Rogerian argument is a strategy of negation when we cannot identify common objectives. A writer explains the opposite ideas objectively; it is done in order to find an agreement and even common ground.

So, this model always tries to find the mutual and working solution for both sides, while usually one argument is supposed to win the discussion.

Rogerian argument model was created from works of Carl Rogers, a psychologist from the USA. Such scholars as Young, Pike and Becker composed it. It can be found in their book Rhetoric: Discovery and Change from 1970. You can see some instances and observations below.

If we talk about the traditional argument, then its main goal is to win. Because of the strong focus on winning, we often lose some important details in the debates. However, we know that we need the debates to establish the truth. We cannot really use the traditional argument since it’s going to be ineffective if we have different groups that want to resolve an issue. It will not work if people are too firm in their positions regarding the problem. It is much more useful and effective when we start applying Rogerian argument because it makes people listen to each other in order to see all the sides of the problem for better solutions. This argument also helps avoid emotional influence and focuses more on the objective presentations of various points of view.

The Aims of Rogerian Argument

Every time we use Rogerian argument, we also mean to do the following:

  • To show the reader that we can understand him or her.
  • To tell about the points, which the reader might consider to be valid.
  • To persuade the reader that the writer also has the belief in positive qualities and moral goodness, which are integrity, honesty, aspirations, and good will.

Therefore, we can clearly see that work is just an assignment and not the step of the discussion with the purpose of winning. Rogerian argument has nothing to do with the traditional structure we got used to. It is true that the users will do everything possible to avoid traditional techniques and methods in solving a problem. That is so due to the fact that the devices are created to show a sense of threat. It is something that the writer would definitely try to escape.

The Format of Rogerian Argument

Here you can see the typical format when working to persuade of the topics of Rogerian argument.

  • Introduction. In this section, you will not present the topic as an issue but rather as a problem.
  • Opposing position fair statement. Here, you should show and persuade the reader that you are totally aware of their opinions and understand everything properly. It is done in the way for readers to see that their position is accepted and everything is clarified.
  • Context stating where the opinion may be accurate. Here, you continue persuasion regarding your understanding of reader’s perspective. You are welcome to suggest contexts with some validity.
  • True statement of your own point of view. You are doing your best to make sure the reader is aware that you accept their opinion. Now it’s time to introduce your own position asking for understanding and support, the same as you did.
  • Stating the validity of your position in the context. Here, you show the reader your approach to the problem.
  • Statement that shows what benefits the readers will receive after adopting even minor aspects of your point of view. Here, you should work hard to make the readers be interested in your words. It can be long-lasting or have short-term effect. Also, here, you will change your opinion as promised not to create any threats.