ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY

VS.
ROGERIAN ARGUMENT
Finding common ground

ELEMENTS OF A TRADITIONAL ARGUMENT
 Strategies
 Persuade another to consider your viewpoint

 Setting the Scene for Arguable Assertions
 Creates a dialogue (conversation) between two different viewpoints
 Reveals the assertions – what’s really at stake beyond just Pro and Con arguments

ELEMENTS OF A TRADITIONAL ARGUMENT
 Zooming in on Claims and Evidence
 Claims – debatable statements
 Reasons – points that support the claims.

 Evidence – personal experience, outside authorities, facts, statistics that support
the claim and reasons.

ELEMENTS OF A TRADITIONAL ARGUMENT
 Example Argument:
Mr. X was an incredibly lazy teacher. (claim)
Almost every class, Mr. X sat at his desk while students watched movies
that had little educational value. (reason)
Some of the movies he showed included The Fast and the Furious
and Halloween IV. (evidence)
Mr. X used old tests that seemed to be designed to save him time rather
than to gauge students’ knowledge of material. (reason)
During two tests, there were eight questions on material he had
never covered. He told the students to skip all of those questions.
(evidence)

ELEMENTS OF A TRADITIONAL ARGUMENT
 Zooming in on Claims and Evidence
Evidence –
 What happened? Facts
 How it happened? Circumstances
 Who was affected? Relationships
 Why it’s a problem? Reasons
 Make sure your claim is supported by reasons and the reasons are supported with
evidence.
 You need to explain how the evidence supports your reasons and make clear, logical
connections.

ELEMENTS OF A TRADITIONAL ARGUMENT
 Focusing on Effective Organization
 Each paragraph is a mini-argument that includes a reason, supporting evidence, and a discussion of
how the evidence connects to the reason. Overall, each paragraph must connect to the original
argument.
Claim: Mr. X was not prepared to teach class.

Example
paragraph
for original
claim that
Mr. X was
an incredibly
lazy teacher:

Reason (context and background): Almost every class, Mr. X sat and at his desk
while students watched movies that had little educational value.
Evidence: Some of the movies he showed included The Fast and the Furious
and Halloween IV.
Analysis: These movies had nothing to do with the curriculum he was supposed to
teach.
Implications: Students coming out of his class were not prepared to pass state
exams.

Concluding Claim: Mr. X was an ineffective teacher

ROGERIAN ARGUMENT:
 “There are always three sides to any argument: your side, their side and the
truthThe goal in a Rogerian argument is not to prove you are right, but to reach an
agreement and a compromise with the opposing side.
 This is a dialogue/conversation between the two different sides. Each side is
expressed and explained fully.
 Attempt to really understand the other side and not hold on to your previous
beliefs.
 Acknowledge you understand the opposing side.

 Explain the validity of the opposing side.
 Show that you share common ideas with the opposing side.

ROGERIAN ARGUMENT
 Begin by introducing the issue at hand and give some background on the issue.
Explain how you and your intended audience are affected by the issue.
 Explain that there are two different opinions on the issue and then introduce each
claim.

 Rather than just focusing on the one side of an argument that you support, you
examine the claims, reasons, and evidence for BOTH sides of an argument.
 Show how both positions are valid and reasonable.
 Your tone, language, and word choice should remain neutral so that you are not
favoring or threatening either side.
 Pathos should be limited with an emphasis on logos to create trust, critical thinking,
and collaboration.
 Recommend a compromise. Acknowledge what both sides have in common. Explain
what each side could give up in order to be acceptable to all.