Rogerian Argument Essay

Rogerian Argument Essay

Your argumentative essay allows you to take a position on an issue and present support for your position following the Rogerian argument pattern.

1. What is a Rogerian argument? Watch this presentation:
Rogerian Argument Presentation

(The embedded videos are a bit long; watch a few minutes of each to understand the gist/nature of the interview, and then click to the next screen if you like.)

2. For additional information about Rogerian arguments (v. traditional argument forms), review:
Argument: An Alternative Model

Writing Specs

Essay 4: Rogerian Argument Essay. 1200-1500 words (roughly 5-7 pages). Your topic will be the SAME topic used for Essay 3.

You will use much of the same research you presented in Essay 3, although you may choose to supplement your original research with additional research to help you present the best information available for your argument. Use of UMUC’s Information and Library Resources databases is required, to ensure you are relying on credible, peer-reviewed resources.


Making a claim
A poor argumentative claim is one that boils down to personal preference/opinion:

Poor Examples:
Cats are better pets than dogs.
College football is more entertaining than Pro football.

What does “better” or “more entertaining” mean, really? What criteria could one possibly use that another person would agree is appropriate to making this claim? Rather than stating a personal preference, consider how you can make an arguable claim.

Better Examples:
It is easier for a busy owner to care for a cat than for a dog.
The variety of plays in collegiate sports are more diverse and surprising than those in pro sports.

When writing a Rogerian argument, you’ll need to present clear, tactful understanding of your opponent’s views, as well as be able to clearly articulate your own views. Five (or more) credible sources must be used for this essay, with three from peer-reviewed publications. Use of UMUC’s Information and Library Resources databases is required.

You’ll cite each one correctly using MLA style, and include a Works Cited page that also follows MLA style. Chapter 14 of your textbook shows many examples of MLA style for citing sources and building a works cited page.

Please, do not “google” essays on the topic you choose, and copy from existing essays. A handful of students try this every semester, and when they borrow information without citing it, their essays receive a failing grade. How do I know when they do this? The shift in writing style gives it away every time… Or, the essay is full of quotes and statistics with no citations. This also suggests that the essay is little more than a copy/paste hack job from 6 different websites. DO NOT go there… instead, try your brain at some original thinking. Only include facts/figures when it makes sense to use them; otherwise, work on your ability to make a logical argument and convince your readers of giving your views some additional thought.

What’s in a Rogerian argument? What does it look like?
There isn’t a single “correct” way to organize a Rogerian argument; however, there are a few elements that need to be present, regardless of how you organize your ideas. In the following outline examples, do you see recurring elements?

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