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Why We See Colors: A Rogerian Argument (GEW 101) (Essay Sample)


GEW 101: Ancillary Assignment Five

A Rogerian Argument

This essay should demonstrate a Rogerian-style argument regarding an issue about which you have strong opinions. Your task is to defend the opposing position, defending a claim with which you personally disagree strongly. Your assignment in the essay is to accomplish the goals of Dialectical Argumentation as discussed in class using the writing strategies we have developed together. You may write on a personal or political issue, but it must be something in which you are directly involved. No abortion, right to bear arms, women in the military, capital punishment, or other universal complex issues are allowed, and all topics MUST be cleared with me before you begin writing.

Your grade will be determined by several factors.

  • Content: Your faithful application of the strategies used for composing Rogerian-style dialectical arguments. Be sure that every step is well represented.
  • Form: The clarity of the essay, including grammar and spelling.
  • Resources: Find factual evidence to support your claims; cite at least ONE SOURCE in addition to Everything’s An Argument.

The 6-Steps to Consider:

1. An introduction to the problem that divides the writer from an "opponent."

2. A demonstration that the opposing position is understood (done with a fair, generous, and

neutral representation of that position).

3. A statement of the contexts in which the opposing position may be valid or correct. (Note,

this does not mean explaining the position away or dismissing it.)

4. A statement of the writer’s initial position.

5. An articulation of those things that the writer and the opposing side share (assumptions,

experiences, perceptions, insights, values, principles.

6. Moving forward. An explanation of the way in which, because of considering the opponent’s

position and the writer’s initial position, the writer’s original position has been improved.

(This may include understanding that the opponent’s position may compliment the writer’s,

or that the opponent’s position offers a way to correct the writer’s initial position. It may even

include ways in which the writer’s original position was correct in ways the writer did not

understand or see, or it may include ways in which the opponent’s original position can

benefit from the writer’s.)


Your discussion should end with an explanation of areas of further (mutual) discussion, exploration, and investigation.

Assignment Requirements:

                ● 3 pages in length

                ● 12 point font (Arial, Calibiri, or Times New Roman)

                ● Double-spaced

                ● 1” margins

                ● MLA formatting

Due Dates: The essay must be submitted Cougar Courses ( before class on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Late papers will not be accepted.

Note:  Using the Writing Center while writing this essay will add 5 POINTS to your semester score.

I have attached two papers with the instructions on how to write the paper. Though, for the argument/issue of the paper, I would like it to be about an argument I had with my sister, though, since you don't know the whole argument, I will be broad about it and allow your to elaborate however you like. I was arguing with my sister about Color, I was saying that we can see color only because of the sun, which projects UV rays towards the earth, and those UV rays reflect off of molecules on objects in the earths atmosphere, whereby my sister said "no, it isn't because of the sun, it is because of what is in the atmosphere" and she was being stingy about it. Elaborate however you feel is suitable.

Why We See Colors: A Rogerian Argument
Recently I had an argument with my sister about how we are able to see the color of objects. My argument was that we see color because the sun's light reflects off the molecules on an object. What we see, therefore, is the light that is radiated off an object, and not the color itself. However, my sister had a different opinion. She countered that we do not see color because of the sun's light, but because of what is in the atmosphere.
To an extent, I concede that she has a point. The human eye cannot see through a solid mass, but through open space, which is essentially the atmosphere. In any case, the sun's light travels through the atmosphere, and we can only see an object if there is open space (atmosphere) between the object and the eye. The sun's light cannot be anywhere else other than in the atmosphere! Secondly, when the sun's light reflects of an object, we can only see it because it travels back to the human eye through the open space between the object and the viewer. I'm imagining a situation where one is looking at a picture on a wall. For all practical reasons, there must be some sort of distance between the picture and the viewer to be able to see the picture properly. If one was to press his or her face against the picture, he/she could not see the picture because there is no open space through which the reflected light can travel back to the viewer. In a way, therefore, my sister could be right in her observation that we see color because of what is in the atmosphere.
A number of examples can demonstrate that my sister's position has some merit to it. I'm imagining an instance where a person is looking at a bird perched on a tree. The viewer's vision must travel through the open and clear space between the bird and his or her eyes. Secondly, it is practically impossible to tell the appearance of an object in total darkness. This is because there is nothing visible in the atmosphere for the eye to see. My sister's argument that we see color because of what is in the atmosphere is supported by the fact that absence of light means there is nothing in the atmosphere, and therefore we cannot see the object.
Returning to my initial position, I maintain that the sun's ultra-violet light is necessary for one to see the color of objects. The benefit of sunlight is not only in helping us make out the shape and size of objects, but also non-dimensional features like shade and color. It does this by picking and reflecting the pigments on an object. The sun's rays contain "visible-light photons" (Comins 86) radiates off objects, reflecting the different hues and pigments that the human e...
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