This essay assignment will allow you to location, evaluate, and synthesize information from sources representing diverse perspectives in order to explore multiple points of view in response to a topic about privacy, and find a common ground between them. The Rogerian approach to argument allows you to act from a position meant to unify sides, rather than take them.
The purpose of this assignment is to help you practice the following skills that are essential to your success in navigating arguments you’ll encounter in your academic, professional, and personal lives. In this assignment you will:
- Demonstrate your understanding of the Rogerian style of argument
- Avoid problems in logic through your argument
- Incorporate sources of value to you
- Understand the rhetorical moves that help us find common ground between various interests
This assignment will also help you to become familiar with the following important content knowledge in critical thinking and reasoning:
- That there is an approach to argument that strives to foster cooperation
- That an argument requires getting into depths to find creative solutions to complex conflicts
To complete this assignment you should:
- Review the Rogerian model of argument, and select a topic where Privacy is of (or should be a) concern. We want to be specific here, so it’s not like “internet” or “smart phones,” but maybe something having do with the who can access video from Ring door bells, or maybe about who owns data your create while using your home internet, or maybe about GPS or phone integration in a car.
- Write an introduction where you make the topic about privacy clear to the reader, identify the issue you’re addressing, and making it clear who you’re trying to find common ground with.
- Use body paragraphs to summarize where various sides stand on the issues, being sensitive to the rhetoric you’re using, and explaining where conflicts arise between different points of view, and advancing what you think is necessary to find a clearly stated common ground. It seems you might do one of two things. Either you’re finding common ground with someone, OR you’re looking at two arguments that are in disagreement and finding their common ground, acting as a mediator (if you do the latter, you have to appeal to both of those audiences).
- When the sides/points of view/different interests have been given appropriate attention, make it clear what you believe the common ground is between them, and explain in detailed body paragraphs why this common ground is reasonable for the sides involved.
- Incorporate evidence and text from sources as you move through the paragraphs, but be mindful to not allow other voices to overpower your own. Consider the templates I’ve given you to incorporate sources.
- Cite all sources in a Work Cited page at the end of the paper.
- Add a reflection after the essay where you answer these questions:
- What helped you adopt a tone to communicate with someone with whom you disagree?
- How did you arrive at your common ground?
- What was your process for reviewing your paper after writing a first draft.
Criteria for Success:
You’ve written a paper presenting an issue related to the idea of Privacy that demonstrates an understanding of the Rogerian style of argument; addresses multiple points of view on the issue; clearly frames those points of view in a way that is sensitive and understanding; clearly understands the conflict and concerns of various points of view; body paragraphs are clearly structured to advance points; sources/evidence are incorporated where necessary; MLA format is used both in text and also in a Work Cited page at the end