Rogerian Argument

Taken from the principles of psychologist Carl Rogers

Origins of this
principle

Based on Carl Rogers’ theory that people involved in disputes should not respond to each other until they fully and fairly state the other person’s position.

4 Parts of the Rogerian Argument

1. Introduction

2. Contexts

3. Writer’s position

4. Benefits to opponent

1. Introduction

The writer describes an issue well enough to show that he/she fully understands and respects the alternative position.

“Let’s meet in the middle.”

2. Contexts

The writer describes cases/contexts in which the alternative position may be legitimate.

“You may be right sometimes…”

3. Writer’s
Position

The writer states her/his position and presents circumstances in which it is valid. This is where the writer supports her/his views with evidence.

“This is why my position is right.”

4. Benefits to
Opponent

The writer explains to the opponent how he/she would benefit from adopting the writer’s position.

“See what you might gain by agreeing

with me?”

Summation

  • Rogerian arguments steer clear of incendiary and stereotypical language.
  • They emphasize how both sides of the argument might benefit by working together.
  • They advocate a win-win outcome.