The 5 canons of rhetoric


Inventio (invention)—method used for the discovery of the proper arguments to use; thought process to form an effective argument; the first direction of invention aims at deriving heuristic procedures to aid in discovering and generating ideas to write about; the second direction is how writers establish “voice” in writing.

Disposito (arrangement)—the system used for the organization of arguments into an effective discourse: introduction, the statement of the case, outline of the major points in the argument, the proof of the case, refutation of possible opposing arguments, and conclusion.

Elocutio (style) the mastery of stylistic elements to craft speeches and writing; the four ingredients necessary in order to achieve good style included correctness, clearness, appropriateness, and ornament. 

Memori (memory)—the discipline of recalling the arguments of a discourse; the orator has to have at his/her command a wide body of knowledge to permit improvisation, to respond to questions, and to refute opposing arguments

Pronuntiatio or actio (delivery)—the discipline of delivering speeches; the use of voice and gestures to deliver speeches; instructions on the proper modulation of the voice (volume and pitch), as well as the phrasing, pace, and emphasis of speech; the physical aspects of oration: stance, gestures, posture, and facial expressions.

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