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Transcript of Consensual Argument
Traditional argument is focused on "winning" or proving the right-ness of your answer/solution. This should feel familiar at this point after writing your two traditional structures.
Consensual arguments, such as negotiations or mediation, are
about "winning" or being right. Instead, the are about recognizing and fully considering all angles of the issue and working together to find the best solution for all parties involved.
Say that in my traditional argument paper, I was making an argument that high school classrooms need to better utilize new technology in order to prepare students for college and the workforce.
That's Not a Claim!
You're right! It isn't. You
get to a claim near the end of a consensual paper, but not before you've thoroughly considered, with equal weight, all key sides of the issue.
This is key:
Before that claim (again, near the end of the paper), your reader should not be able to tell which side of the issue you favor. There should be NO hint of bias one way or another. It's all about balance.
The goal of consensual argument is to find a mutually agreeable solution that thoughtfully addresses everyone's concerns
The claim doesn't appear until all of the relevant views and concerns have been presented and fully discussed
Your own stance or bias should not be visible to readers through your word choice, the weight/space given to one side of the topic versus the other, etc.
Types of Consensual Structures:
There are several types of consensual argument structures. We will work with two this term:
Rogerian has a number of parts, so we'll look at that one in class, but delayed thesis is a good starting point that should help make Rogerian easier when we get to it.
Delayed Thesis Components!
Introduction (1-2 paragraphs): introduce issue and WHY it's an issue. What are the key groups/opinions in it?
Side 1 of issue, full discussion (2-3 paragraphs) : thoroughly and fairly discuss one side of issue. This can be the side you agree with or the side you disagree with, but either way just present the concerns of that side, do
argue for or against it!
Side 2 of issue, full discussion (2-3 paragraphs): Just as you did with side 1, you will now thoroughly discuss side 2 of the issue, but still without showing your personal stance on it.
Conclusion (1-2 paragraphs): after considering all the information for both sides, what is the best solution and why? Who should implement it? How does it best serve all concerns?
See last four bubbles for components!
This argument fits the traditional structure well because I can support my "winning" answer with examples, statistics, etc.
But if consensual argument isn't about winning or me having the right answer from the beginning, how could I use a similar topic in a consensual structure?
If I wanted to stick with the same topic for consensual structure, I would have to look at it differently, more as an exploration of the issue.
Rather than presenting my solution right away, I might say something more like, "This is a tough situation, because many people agree that it is important for students to be comfortable with technology, but there are also many challenges to bringing these tools to them."