ECHO: Rogerian Argument Outline
Purpose: Help people with differing opinions understand each others views and reduce conflict. The key is to acknowledge the discord between the two sides of an issue and reach common ground. It is useful in psychological and emotional arguments where pathos (values & beliefs) and ethos (credibility) are predominant.
- State the problem to be resolved giving opposing views - be objective, neutral, and accurate.
- State the issue as a question
- Examine key points that support one side of the issue. Acknowledge these differing viewpoints have merit within particular contexts. Educate the reader and verify that you as the arguer understand the opposing view correctly. (cite supporting evidence)
- Examine the points that support an alternative (opposing) position. This is the meat of the paper. Explain the key evidence which supports the reasons you have for choosing your stance, while maintaining neutrality.
- Find common ground. Achieve dialogue during the process of discovery to establish trust. The result is change for both sides.
- This step is essential for the success of the Rogerian method.
- Use transitional phrases such as: On the other hand….. Critics argue….. Many persons strongly oppose …. to prepare the reader for a change in position.
- Present a fair and concise summary of the strongest points of both sides of the argument. Craft a resolution that takes the best from both sides and offers conformity. The solution should satisfy all parties.