Introduce the topic in an introduction paragraph. The introduction explains the problem. You must not try to influence your audience to agree with your views; merely present the background of the problem.
Don’t put a thesis statement in the introduction. (For this paper, your thesis isn’t revealed until the compromise.) You are just to introduce the problem.
II. Viewpoint / Argument #1 (Small version of Claim with Reasons)
This is the opposition’s side of the argument. You should present an objective, unbiased view of your opposition’s argument. To do this you have to understand and sympathize with the opposition. You do not have to agree but you should try to understand.
State the opposition’s claim. Discuss this position in a section that makes it clear where they stand on the issue. You should include reasons that the opposition holds this position and some evidence supporting their reasons. Again limit yourself to only a page to a page and half for this section. State it fairly, so that a reader would say that œYes, that is an accurate summary of the other position.
III. Show in which contexts and under what conditions you would be willing to
compromise with the opposition.
In this section, you’re conceding possible acceptance of all or part of the opposing side’s argument under certain limited conditions or circumstances. Try to think of conditions and contexts that your opponent might state and that you would be willing to agree with. This should be only a paragraph long.
Include 3 to 6 conditions or contexts. Try using sentence patterns like the following to state your conditions or contexts:
If (this is the case), then (the solution) may be valid.
When (this occurs), then (the solution) may be correct.
Provided (this is the situation), then (the solution) may be the best solution.
Provided that (this condition exists), then (the solution) may be necessary.
IV. Viewpoint / Argument #2 (Small version of Claim with Reasons)
This is one side of the argument, generally the side that you agree with. You should give an objective, unbiased view that does not attack or refute other possibilities.
State your claim. Discuss your position in a section that makes it clear where you stand on the issue. You should include the reasons you hold this position and some evidence supporting your reasons, but only spend a page to a page and a half for this section. Also, state it fairly, so that a reader would say that œYes, that is an accurate summary of this position.
V. Benefits to Society
State the benefits to society if the opposing sides would adopt some elements of each position and come to any compromise. The benefits may be to society in general or to a specific group. This should be about a paragraph long.
VI. Compromise / Resolution
The resolution recommends a compromise that possibly solves the problem to the satisfaction of both sides. Make an attempt to show that the two positions complement each other. Try to show that each position supplies what the other lacks. Explain how each side might agree with this solution. This should be around a page long.
Put your thesis statement here. In the thesis statement, clearly state your compromise position that you want your reader to agree to. This is what you are trying to convince your reader to believe. Underline your solution.
Wrap up the essay with an effective conclusion paragraph. One conclusion type that works well for a Rogerian essay is œlooking to the future. You could briefly envision a future when your compromise has been accepted and implemented and the problem you are writing about has been at least improved, if not solved.