Not all essay writing is designed to press the point of an argument with no regard for the other side. In fact, when it comes to writing a Rogerian essay, the goal is to find a way to bring both sides of an issue together. This essay writing style is named for American psychologist Carl Rogers, who developed a non-confrontational approach to counseling and psychotherapy. Unfortunately, this type of essay can be challenging to write for many reasons, including:
- You have to be able to see both sides of the issue, even if you don’t agree with either.
- You’re not trying to score points or win an argument; you’re looking for common ground.
- It can be difficult to stay impartial.
For students struggling with this type of assignment, we’ve created a detailed guide breaking down the fundamentals of Rogerian essay writing and included 50 Rogerian essay topics to help get the creative juices flowing.
Fundamentals of Rogerian Essay Writing
A Rogerian essay’s tone and writing style will differ from the more aggressive style of an argumentative essay. In a Rogerian essay, the writer starts by acknowledging that there is another side to the issue at hand and that valid points can be made for it. They then build on this common ground to further explore the issue. This means that students will need to do more research and pay closer attention to the other side of the problem.
The fundamental structure of a Rogerian essay is:
- Introduce the issue at hand, making sure to mention that there are two sides to it.
- Acknowledge the validity of the other side’s argument while also stating your own position.
- Present your solution to the issue, making sure that it considers both sides of the debate.
- Discuss any potential objections to your solution and how you would address them.
- Summarize your argument and reiterate that common ground has been found.
The Introduction: Start by Stating the Issue
Your Rogerian essay will begin with an introduction in which you state the issue at hand. It’s essential to make sure that you mention that there are two sides to this issue so that your audience knows what they’re getting into. For example, if you’re writing about whether or not the government should fund Planned Parenthood, you might start your essay with something like this:
“There has been much debate surrounding the government’s role in funding Planned Parenthood. Some argue that the government has a responsibility to provide this kind of health care to its citizens, while others believe that doing so would be an endorsement of abortion. In this essay, I will attempt to find common ground between these two sides and explore a potential solution to the issue.”
Presenting Both Sides of the Argument: The Body paragraphs
Now that you’ve stated the issue at hand and acknowledged that there are two sides, it’s time to start exploring these sides in more detail. In the body paragraphs of your Rogerian essay, you will want to:
- Present each side of the issue fairly and impartially.
- Discuss the points that each side is trying to make.
- Point out any areas where the two sides agree with each other.
- Explore the implications of each side’s position.
For example, if you’re writing about the government funding Planned Parenthood, your body paragraphs might look something like this:
“Those who argue in favor of government funding for Planned Parenthood typically do so because it is a health care provider and that all citizens have a right to health care. They also point out that Planned Parenthood offers a variety of services beyond abortion, including cancer screenings and STD testing. Those who oppose government funding for Planned Parenthood typically do so on the grounds that they believe it should not be an endorsement of abortion. They also argue that other health care providers can offer the same services as Planned Parenthood.”
“It is important to note that both sides of this debate agree that all citizens have a right to health care. They also both agree that Planned Parenthood offers valuable services. Where they disagree is on the question of whether or not the government should be involved in funding this organization.”
Finding a Solution: The Conclusion
In the conclusion of your Rogerian essay, you will want to:
- Present your solution to the issue.
- Discuss any possible objections to your solution and how you would address them.
- Summarize your argument and reiterate that common ground has been found.
For example, if you’re writing about government funding for Planned Parenthood, your conclusion might look something like this:
“I believe that the government should provide funding for Planned Parenthood. I think that this is the best solution because it would allow all citizens to have access to the health care services that they need. It would also be an endorsement of the important work that Planned Parenthood does. However, I recognize that some object to this solution because it would be an endorsement of abortion. To address this concern, I would point out that the government already funds various organizations that provide abortions, such as hospitals. I believe that funding Planned Parenthood would simply be an extension of this policy.”
50 Rogerian Essay Topics
With the wiring guide above, you should be feeling a little more confident in your ability to write a Rogerian essay. However, if you are struggling to come up with a topic, here are 50 potential Rogerian essay topics to get you started:
Rogerian Essay Topics About Social Issues
- Should the government do more to combat climate change?
- Should the death penalty be abolished?
- Do gun laws need to be stricter?
- Is police brutality a problem in the United States?
- What can be done to reduce the number of mass shootings in the United States?
- Do we need to reform our immigration system?
- Does the welfare state do more harm than good?
- Should the government do more to protect the environment?
- Do zoos do more harm than good?
- Is animal testing ethical?
- Should the drinking age be lowered?
Rogerian Essay Topics About Education
- Is homeschooling a viable form of education?
- How can we improve the education system in the United States?
- Is college worth the cost?
- Should the government do more to make college affordable?
- Should students be required to take physical education classes?
- Are standardized tests an effective measure of student achievement?
- Should the use of computers in classrooms be limited?
- How can we ensure all students have access to quality education?
- Should schools do more to teach students about different cultures?
- Should creationism be taught in schools?
Rogerian Essay Topics About Technology
- Is too much reliance on technology a bad thing?
- Should we be concerned about the amount of time we spend on our phones?
- How can we balance our use of technology and our need for face-to-face interaction?
- Is social media making us more lonely?
- Should there be limits on the use of social media?
- Is the internet making us less intelligent?
- How can we make sure our kids are using technology responsibly?
- Should there be more regulation of the internet?
- Is technology changing the way we think?
Rogerian Essay Topics About Health Care
- Do we need to reform our healthcare system?
- How can we ensure everyone has access to quality health care?
- Should the government do more to combat the obesity epidemic?
- What can be done to reduce the number of cases of heart disease?
- How can we make sure our aging population is healthy and happy?
- What can be done to reduce the number of suicides in the United States?
- Should the government do more to combat mental health issues?
- Is our current approach to treating addiction effective?
- What can be done to reduce the number of cancer cases?
- How can we improve the quality of care in nursing homes?
Rogerian Essay Topics About Family and Relationships
- Is divorce a problem in the United States?
- How can we make sure all families have access to quality child care?
- What can be done to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies?
- Should parents be more involved in their children’s education?
- How can we make sure all children are raised in a loving home?
- What can be done to reduce the number of divorces?
- Should single parents receive more support from the government?
- How can we ensure all families have access to quality health care?
- What role does religion play in family life?
- Are families getting stronger or weaker in the United States?
These 50 Rogerian essay topics should help you get started on your next essay. Whichever one you pick, be sure to argue both sides of the issue in a way that is fair, balanced, and respectful of your opponent’s point of view.