Cicero's Classical Format for Persuasive Argument

Classical arrangement (simplified):

  1. The Introduction is where you introduce your standpoint.

  2. The Statement of Facts is put in terms that even your opponents cannot deny.

  3. The Division is a discussion of at what exact point you stop agreeing with the opponent, and start disagreeing (what it is you REALLY disagree on).

  4. The Proof is where you present the  arguments and evidence you have to support your standpoint.

  5. The Refutation is where you bring up your opponents' main arguments and prove they are wrong.

    Caution: Refutation is not about YOU, it is all about your OPPONENTS and their arguments (and why they are wrong).

  6. The Conclusion may include an appeal to emotion (pathos). In modern argument, it may also include a discussion of what good things will happen if the audience accepts your argument, what bad things will befall them if they do not agree, and a clear statement of what you want your audience to do.


O.W. Rev. 10/13

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