The Rogerian Argument is based in large part on the ideas of 20th century psychotherapist Carl Rogers. Rogers believed that we tend to emphasize our own feelings and views first, thereby subjugating others in the process. Indeed, traditional, or “classical,” rhetoric requires us to present our position first, then later address counter-arguments (i.e. the “naysayer”). In contrast, the Rogerian Argument asks us to first summarize the views of those who disagree with us, to establish and discuss the common ground we share, and then talk about about our position—all in a fair manner. Our goal in a Rogerian style paper is not to prove we’re right and others who hold different perspectives and stances are wrong. Instead, our goal is to find common ground and explore possible solutions to our problem that all sides can agree on—a compromise, possibly, or a presentation of alternative modes of thinking, working, or solving problems in ways our audience may not have considered or known about. Some people mistake a Rogerian Argument for a ‘middle ground’ argument, in which we summarize the main positions on an issue and propose a solution for the parties involved, as a moderator might. To avoid giving the impression we are playing moderator, we can use personal pronouns and metacommentary to identify that we are looking at our critics’ views, and to identify that we are examining our position (such as, ‘In contrast, I believe that . . . ‘). Even the sciences use these kinds of moves to identify authors’ positions.Assignment:Using the Rogerian model and the main question you want to answer through your argument, write and structure an essay which makes an argument about an issue or problem in your major. You may continue on the topic or theme you used in your earlier essays or choose a new topic.Your target audience should be the audience of a specific peer-reviewed journal in your field, whom you can assume are familiar with, and possibly experts in, the issue you have chosen to write about, and who likely know the main sources for your issue. They disagree with at least a part of your position on this issue, and you will need to demonstrate that you understand their views as well as anticipate how they may respond to yours. Use appropriate language and form, and keep in mind their existing knowledge of your field.You are also required to use at least one visual, whether it be a graphic, picture, or video. Be sure to label your visual(s) correctly and document appropriately.Goals and expectations:5-7 pages typed and double-spaced, with an appropriate heading and descriptive title.works cited/reference pages do not count toward the page requirement.Clear establishment of the issue or problem, its importance, and appropriate context to frame your approach.Application of the Rogerian Argument organizational format, as discussed in class, to include but not limited to:an introduction with a clear establishment of the context for the arguments you will presenta clear summary of opposing viewsstatement of the common ground you share with your oppositiona detailed statement of your positionstatement of strengths, drawbacks/limitations for your opposition and/or for your positionA conclusion which makes an effort to establish a solution that your audience and you may be able to agree on; be specific in what you are willing to give up or concede and what you will ask others to concede or give up, and what all parties will gain as a result, or in how all parties benefit from your alternative.A clear effort to examine and respond to perspectives not your own, which goes beyond a summary of those perspectives.Use of an appropriate amount of evidence and appeals,with at least four credible sources to support your claims, warrants, and qualifiers.One of the four sources must be a government or tertiary source.No more than 50% of your total evidence may come from outside library sources (i.e. the internet; please note the online databases from the library do not qualify as “internet sources” and therefore may be used beyond the 50% requirement). Clear use of MLA or APA documentation styles to document all ideas not your own. Drafts without a works cited/reference page will not be accepted.Revised drafts should demonstrate careful proofreading and revision, including but not limited to revising claims, support, organization, grammar, and sentence mechanics. Your draft must include a half-page to full-page Draft Reflection, in paragraph form, on:the publication you think would be an appropriate audience for your argument, and whythe main question(s) you hope to answer by the endhow you believe your essay will contribute to the conversationyour draft’s strengthsyour draft’s main areas for improvementyour plan for revision.Our overall goal for this essay is to expand our look at rhetorical conventions, to engage in discourse in such a way that mitigates traditional confrontation, and to work with alternative rhetorical strategies that may allow us to reach consensus and a solution to issues and/or problems we share with others.Final Note: All essays will be randomly checked for plagiarism. Any and all sources may be randomly checked to verify credibility and authenticity. Use washington state university library to find sources
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