Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

Classical Arrangement

  • Page ID
    186160
  • Screen_Shot_2014-01-30_at_10.52.28_AM_52ea91a336798.png

    • Classical arrangement is probably one of the oldest organization strategies used. Teachers of rhetoric have used the classic arrangement because it provides a good outline for a general argument and because it tends to work well when your audience is very mixed.
    • This arrangement often has 5 or 6 parts. For this class, we will be using the 5 part classical arrangement like we discussed in the webinar
    • Read through each part of the classical arrangement below
    • Make sure to take notes, you will use them to identify parts of the classical arrangement in the assignment to follow.

    1. Introduction (exordium)

    The introduction serves two purposes: to inform the audience of the subject of the discourse, and to make the audience likely to accept to the speaker or writer's argument. Consequently, the speaker or writer's ethos is particularly important here.

    2. Statement of Fact (narratio)

    This section informs the audience of the circumstances that must be known before the formal argument is presented. It is advised that this portion of the discourse be brief and plausible. 

    3. Confirmation (confirmatio)

    The core of discourse, in which the argument is presented and proven. Generally, it is not advisable to present arguments in descending order of strength, as it has a debilitating, anticlimactic effect. The proper sequencing of arguments depends on the particular disposition of the audience, the subject, the occasion, and the subjective tastes of the speaker or writer. 

    4. Refutation (refutatio)

    Refutation can be achieved in a variety of ways, including logical appeal, emotional appeal, ethical appeal, wit (joke, humor, sarcasm, puns), etc. This is also the spot where you might way to point out areas where you could agree with the other side. However, you mostly want to refute the other side and break down their arguments. It should be noted that at times it will be appropriate to present a refutation before one’s confirmation. For example, if an opposing speaker is well received, it will be valuable to refute his arguments before offering one’s own. 

    5. Conclusion (peroratio)

    Aristotle teaches that the conclusion ought to do four things:

    • Restate the facts and arguments
    • Amplify the force of one’s points and diminish that of one’s opponent’s
    • Inspire through one’s character (ethos)
    • Rouse appropriate emotions (pathos)


    Image source: Rhetoric www.slideshare.net