A Rogerian argument is a type of argumentative essay that aims at finding a common ground between two parties with opposing viewpoints. The parts of a Rogerian argument include;
Introduction: Addresses the topic to be discussed, ending with the thesis statement.
Opposing position: Shows that you understand the opposing viewpoints.
Context for opposing position: This shows that you understand the context of the opposing viewpoints.
Your position: Addressing your viewpoint.
Context for your position: Showing the context under which your position is valid.
Benefits: Appeals to the opposition by showing how they would benefit by adopting the elements of your position. Basically, the benefits section focuses on convincing the opposition to adopt your position.
Example of a Rogerian Argumentative Essay.
Rogerian Essay: Gun Control
The issue of gun control is a controversial topic in the United States. While some people say that Congress should ban firearms, others state that the Congress should not ban firearms (Montgomery, French & French, 2018). The debate was heightened by Stoneman Douglas Highschool shooting on February 14, 2018, which left seventeen people dead and seventeen injured. Congress should enact stricter gun control laws to help in reducing gun violence.
Both sides agree that gun violence affects Americans. Among developing countries, the United States has the highest rate of gun violence. Research shows that people in the U.S are 25 times more likely to die from gun violence than other developed countries. According to Montgomery et al. (2015), the U.S experiences an average of one mass shooting per day, thus increasing the risk of death from gun violence. The mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas Highschool prompted the U.S President, Donald Trump, to call for a meeting with the stakeholders of the entertainment industry because research links gun violence to video games. President Trump thinks that violent video games cause an increase in gun violence. Wayne La Pierre, the Vice President of the National Rifle Association (NRA), advocated for armed guards at schools after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook and Stoneman Douglas schools.
Both sides also agree that Congress should adopt stricter gun control laws. There are concerns about the process of obtaining a gun. Gun ownership has become easier than getting a driving license. For instance, Nikola Cruz, the nineteen-year-old who shot at students at Stoneman Douglas Highschool said that he bought the gun online for $460. He used to work at a dollar store and saved some of the money which he used to obtain the gun (Montgomery et al. 2015). Therefore, Cruz was not subjected to background checks. The only reason he gave was that he wanted the gun for personal protection. Since the Constitution grants American citizens the right to bear arms, he felt good to acquire a firearm. Both sides, however, agree that those who wish to purchase firearms should be subjected to background checks. For instance, Cruz said that he had been hearing demons talking to him, telling him to harm and kill people. During the interview, he said that he needed a Psychologist because the demons were talking to him. If the NRA could conduct stricter background checks, there would be a reduction in gun violence. For instance, President Obama said that if it is possible to lock a phone and only switch it on by use of fingerprints, the same should be applied to guns.
Both sides agree that Congress should not ban firearms. This is because the right to bear firearms is granted in the Constitution. The citizens, therefore, are at liberty to carry firearms. The NRA blames violent video games for the increase in gun violence (Steidley & Colen, 2017). During a meeting at the White House with President Trump, Wayne La Pierre said that the entertainment industry is responsible for the increase in gun violence. Research shows that there is an association between violent video games and gun violence (Lewis, 2018). This is because violent video games arouse emotions associated with harm. According to the NRA, Congress should monitor the video games industry. Both sides that Congress should ban firearms. The reasons for prohibiting firearms include the increase in mass shootings. The problem of gun violence is a national problem and banning firearms will stop mass shootings. Congress can go on to adopt stricter gun control laws, but the guns may fall in the wrong arms. If there are no guns at all, the problem of gun violence will only exist in history.
The first solution would be: Congress should only ban firearms in high rate violent cities. Research shows that cities with high rates of gun violence include; St. Louis, Missouri, Baltimore, Maryland, Detroit, Michigan, and New Orleans, Louisiana. Congress should only ban firearms in these cities to reduce gun violence. Furthermore, Congress should enact strict gun laws in high-risk cities and states. For instance, no one should be allowed to enter the high-risk cities and states with a gun. Also, Congress should enact a law that bans the NRA from selling guns in high-risk cities. The second solution would be to adopt stricter gun control laws. This means that Congress should enact laws that prolong the period of assessing the buyer to complete background checks. The background checks should take at least three months for a person to be cleared for buying a gun (Spitzer, 2009). Although some individuals may argue that prolonged background checks deny American citizens the right to protect themselves in case of imminent danger. In this case, Congress should enact a policy that allows an individual to receive guards as he or she waits for clearance.
Congress should adopt stricter gun control laws. Enacting more stringent gun control laws such as prolonged background checks will help in reducing gun violence. Therefore, the common ground for the issue of gun control is enacting stricter gun control laws.
Lewis, J. S. (2018). The Relationship between Gun Control Strictness and Mass Murder in the United States: A National Study 2009-2015. International Social Science Review, 94(2), 1–23.
Montgomery, B., French, K. B., & French, T. (2018). The Gun Divide. Time, 192(2), 40–45.
Spitzer, R. J. (2009). Gun control: A documentary and reference guide. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.
Steidley, T., & Colen, C. G. (2017). Framing the Gun Control Debate: Press Releases and Framing Strategies of the National Rifle Association and the Brady Campaign. Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), 98(2), 608–627. https://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12323
The 30 cities with the highest murder rates in the US. (2017, November 13). Retrieved from https://bismarcktribune.com/news/national/the-cities-with-the-highest-murder-rates-in-the-us/collection_5a789407-4d43-5403-ad56-7c47880bda8e.html#1