Please note: Read the directions for the Rogerian Argument essay BEFORE completing this outline.
Choose a topic on which you wish to develop a middle ground for compromise or discussion. Try to choose a topic on which you have some ownership, something you have experienced and know enough about to write a Rogerian essay. In any case, choose a topic that you care about, so you will care about writing the essay, and the reader will be able to care about grading it.
Also, the Rogerian argument and the research paper are two entirely different arguments that you will be writing this semester. The Rogerian argument presents two sides of an issue and the common ground or compromise between the two sides. You will not take a stand on the issue.
Please review the lecture notes on Rogerian argument before completing this assignment.
For this assignment you will complete a topic outline (phrases that indicate the main points and supporting points to be used in the research paper). Use Roman numerals for the main point and capital letters for the supporting points. A working thesis needs to be included in the outline.
A. A brief background of the topic
B. Explore the common ground (briefly)
C. state the issue question and set a neutral tone
II. Explain key supporting points on the issue
III. Explain key supporting points for the alternate side of the issue
IV. Explain a balanced view of the issue by reviewing valid points from the two sides (common ground)
A. Describe a balanced and concise summary of the main points that represent the sides of the issue
B. Present a middle ground position/common ground
C. Reprise the middle ground position and present a position that will benefit both sides.
As you are presenting a Rogerian argument you will need to have clear thesis placed in the conclusion. Remember, as this is a Rogerian argument, the thesis should not take a stand on the issue. You will need to present both sides of the issue and a section that shows how the two sides do have some common ground. The paper also will need to have a conclusion that wraps everything up for the reader and presents the common ground. Remember, for the actual paper you will need to have more than five paragraphs in the paper.
(“hook” strategies: a scenario or an example, a related current event in the news, a startling statistic, a provocative question or statement)
Rhetorical context/brief synopsis of the discussion surrounding the issue
Issue stated as an issue question to set neutral tone of inquiry and investigation
Two or three paragraphs to examine key supporting points that support one prominent position on the issue
Two or three paragraphs to examine supporting points that support an alternative position, opposing the above viewpoint
(The writer’s use of transition/signal sentences, such as On the other hand, critics argue . . . ; or, Despite these compelling arguments for . . . , many persons strongly oppose . . . helps prepare readers for the writer’s switch from examining one position to an opposing viewpoint.)
Paragraph which presents a balanced and concise summation of the most compelling points representing different sides of the argument
Closing paragraph which presents the writer’s middle-ground position, drawing elements from each position examined earlier
(A common ground value appeal can lay the groundwork for a united front in approaching a resolution to the issue; e.g., In the debate over legalization of physician-assisted suicide, we can all agree that we wish to make the process of dying more humane and comfortable for the individual person who is suffering from a terminal illness. Even so . . . . Also, as illustrated, the writer may choose to use the inclusive first-person, plural point of view, we, to reinforce the collective spirit of his or her proposal.)
Example of Topic Outline Format
Several aspects must be considered in writing a topic outline.
Recall that all headings and subheadings must be words or phrases, not sentences.
Also, the wording within each division must be parallel.
Finally, as in any outline, remember that a division or subdivision cannot be divided into one part; therefore, if there is an “A” there must be a “B,” and if there is a “1” there must be a “2.”
I. Family Problems
A. Custodial: Non-custodial Conflicts
B. Extended Family
C. Adolescent’s Age
II. Economic Problems
A. Child Support
B. Women’s Job Training
C. Lower Standard of Living
D. Possible Relocation
1. Poorer Neighborhood
2. New School
III. Peer Problems
A. Loss of Friends
B. Relationships with Dates
Analyze, interpret, and evaluate a variety of texts for the ethical and logical uses of evidence.
Write in a style that clearly communicates meaning, builds credibility, and inspires belief or action.
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