arrangement dispositio
The five canons: invention  |  arrangement  |  style  |  memory  |  delivery

Arrangement (dispositio or taxis) concerns how one orders speech or writing. In ancient rhetorics, arrangement referred solely to the order to be observed in an oration, but the term has broadened to include all considerations of the ordering of discourse, especially on a large scale.

Arrangement of a Classical Oration
1. Introduction exordium prooimion
2. Statement of Facts narratio diegesis
3. Division partitio
4. Proof confirmatio pistis
5. Refutation refutatio
6. Conclusion peroratio epilogos

Cicero aligned certain rhetorical appeals with specific parts of the oration. In the exordium or introduction, it is necessary for one to establish his or her own authority. Therefore, one employs ethical appeals (see ethos). In the next four parts of the oration (statement of facts, division, proof, and refutation), one chiefly employs logical arguments (see logos). In the conclusion, one finishes up by employing emotional appeals (see pathos).

Related Figures

See Also
  • Four Categories of Change: Transposition
  • Virtues of Style: Clarity
    The proper ordering of material aids stylistic clarity.
  • Stasis
    This has to do with following the correct order of composing an argument by ascertaining first what is the point at issue, the stasis.

Sources: Arist. 3.13-19; Cic. De Inv. 1.7; Cic. De Or. 1.31.143


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Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
Please cite "Silva Rhetoricae" (