Different rhetorical stances are expected whenever different writers from different backgrounds write about the same topic. This is because the writers view similar matters from different perspectives. These perspectives are greatly influenced by their surroundings and the way they have grown up.
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Therefore, it is common for such writers to take conflicting rhetorical stances when writing about the same topic. This essay will discuss the rhetorical stances of a similar topic that relates to conflict resolution in both a professional journal and an online magazine.
The writers of the article in the online magazine prefer to approach the topic in an amicable manner as opposed to the writers in the professional journal who adopts a stricter and less friendly way of dealing with the same topic. This essay will also look at how each of the writers meets the criteria recommended for effective writing.
The articles used in this essay are “Resolving Interpersonal Conflicts: An Analysis of Stylistic Consistency” by Sternberg and Dobson from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and “Conflict Resolution Skills: Building the Skills That Can Turn Conflicts into Opportunities” by Jeanne Segal and Melinda Smith from the Help Guide online magazine.
Sternberg and Dobson hail a rational and diplomatic approach to conflict resolution. Jeanne Segal and Melinda Smith on the other hand are of the idea that such an approach requires the dedication of the conflicting parties to end the conflict hence lengthening the period of conflict resolution.
The two pairs of writers discussed above present their articles in a captivating manner appeals to any reader who seeks to arrive at the most appropriate way of solving a conflict. The language used in both articles is fluent and the vocabulary is also easy to fathom.
The articles further avoid the use of technical jargon that could hamper the comprehension of some readers. This feature has made the articles to be appropriate to all individuals of varying intellectual levels. The use of the same language style also makes the comparison and contrast between these two articles easier.
Secondly, both articles have adopted the use of vivid description to create real life circumstances of conflicts and conflict resolution. The vivid description employed by the writers makes it easy for the reader to understand every technique of conflict resolution discussed.
The instances of conflicts described also make it easy for the reader to apply the techniques as per the relevant situations. This aspect has therefore enhanced an easy understanding and application of the methods of conflict resolution by the readers.
However, the most significant and most conspicuous feature used by the writers is the smooth transition from one part of the article to the other.
There is a smooth transition from the introduction to the body paragraphs and finally to the conclusion. There is also a cohesive flow of ideas that keeps the readers engaged. This smooth transition also contributes to the easy comprehension of the articles by the readers.
Despite the similarities shared between the articles as far as effective writing criteria is concerned, the two pairs have different rhetorical stances. First and foremost, Segal and Smith suggest that for an effective solution to be reached in a conflict resolution and within the shortest time possible, one need to give priority to the interests of the other person and to further consider the possibility that the former may be on the wrong.
However, Sternberg and Dobson are of the idea that each conflicting party should fight for its own interests in the conflict. The writers of the article in the professional journal hold the point that although their method of conflict resolution may take a longer time, the resolution arrived at will take care of both parties’ interests.
The second difference between the rhetorical stances of the two articles is their different suggestions on how individuals should react while caught in a conflict.
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While Segal and Smith suggest that everyone involved in a conflict should be non-defensive and calm with no disrespectful reactions (Segal and Smith 1), Sternberg and Dobson point out that a little aggressiveness in a conflict will help either party to recognize the seriousness of the situation hence respecting the interests of the other party.
Smith and Segal argue that such a reaction may worsen the situation and minimize the possibility of arriving at an appropriate solution.
Segal and Smith support the idea that conflicts are necessary in any professional relationship. This is because they provide the parties involved in the conflict with an opportunity to know each other better thereby leading to a mature relationship.
The conflicts reveal the real character of either part when exposed to such situations and sheds light on the traits they could be hiding from each other. On the contrary, Sternberg and Dobson suggest that conflict avoidance is the best approach.
They support this statement by saying that a relationship that has never experienced any conflicts or disagreements is likely to be healthier than one that has undergone these conflicts.
In addition to that, Segal and Smith hold that conflict resolution is a voluntary process that happens between the conflicting parties only. The availability of a third party such as a mediator is deemed unnecessary because the solution arrived at may be biased.
The two writers believe that the best solution can only be arrived at if the two conflicting parties only sit and agree on a common binding solution that takes into account the interests of each one of them.
On the other hand, Sternberg and Dobson support the presence of a third party to oversee the conflict resolution process. Furthermore, the two writers suggest that it is not compulsory for the process to be a voluntary exercise (Sternberg and Dobson 796).
Where the two parties fail to reach a solution, it is up to the mediator to help them reach an agreement. The mediator can also make an independent decision that should be accepted by the two parties if they fail to come to an agreement.
Finally, while Segal and Smith suggest that it is possible for one conflicting party to influence the decision of the other, Sternberg and Dobson oppose that two conflicting parties with opposing interests can influence each other’s decision in the conflict resolution process.
The latter take this stance because according to them, the different interests are in fact the root of a conflict and cannot therefore influence the decision made.
From the foregoing discussion, it is evident that the writers of the two articles have met the criteria for effective writing through the use of appropriate language style. The writers have also adopted opposing rhetorical stances on the topic of conflict resolution. Above all, the two articles manage to convey their message to the reader in an effective way.
Segal, Jeanne and Smith, Melinda. “Conflict Resolution Skills: Building the Skills That Can Turn Conflicts into Opportunities.” Help Guide 3.1 (2011): n. pag. Web.
Sternberg, Richard and Dobson, David. “Resolving Interpersonal Conflicts: An Analysis of Stylistic Consistency.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52.6 (1987): 794-812. Web.