Rogerian Argument Essay
The Rogerian form of argument was created by Carl Rogers, a twentieth-century psychologist.
Roger's method of argumentation emphasizes careful acknowledgment and understanding of the opposition since he believed that anyone who wishes to convince another person should minimize any hostility between them. He asserted that both sides should validate the position of the other side and reach a compromise based on common ground.
This type of argumentation is effective for topics that are emotionally-driven. In fact, Martin Luther King utilized this type of argumentation for his "I Have a Dream" speech that argued for equal rights for African Americans--an emotionally-charged social topic of the 1960's.
The Rogerian method includes the following components. Read how King used these components in his "I Have a Dream" speech:
- Introduction: in his introduction to his speech, Martin Luther King mentions the Emancipation Proclamation that promised freedom to the slaves at the end of the Civil War.
- Contexts: King explains that African Americans currently do not experience the goals of the Emancipation Proclamation. They have to sit in the back of buses, walk on opposite sides of the street, and drink from different water fountains.
- Writer's Position: King argues for equal civil rights for African Americans; in other words, he claims that all citizens should enjoy the fundamental freedoms protected by the U.S. Constitution.
- Benefits to Opponent: King argues that if African Americans achieve civil rights, then all peoples will benefit and social harmony will prosper.