summary of Classical essay format
This essay format divides the essay into six sections.
Section one of the classical rhetoric essay format: Exordium--in which the writer introduces his topic using anecdotes, analogies, quotes, statistics, short stories, comparisons, etc. in order to catch the reader's attention and connect the reader with the topic. Remember that in the exordium the writer proceeds from the general to the more specific.
Section two: Narratio--in which the writer clearly states in one or two sentences the point to be proven, the topic to be covered, or the thesis to be argued.
Third section: Divisio--in which the writer outlines in one paragraph the main points to be covered in the essay. This is a preview--telling your reader what you are about to tell him.
Section Four: Confirmatio--in which the writer--in an as many paragraphs as necessary--explains and defends the thesis using several arguments (often three).
Section Five: Confutatio--in which the writer anticipates the major objections to his points and refutes them.
Sixth Section: Conclusio-- in which the writer makes a concluding statement and summary. This is the place where (like we did in our other format) the writer can apply the topic to the world or life of his hypothetical reader. This is the place to explain why the topic is so urgent, why the writer's views should be adopted, and what the reader should do. In the concluding paragraph I might briefly restate the main arguments of my paper (like a reverse divisio--a review instead of a preview) or restate briefly my most trenchant point.