CR: Chapter 4

Chapter four focuses on all the various parts of the art of rhetoric. For most of the chapter, the five Canons of rhetoric are discussed. These canons are called invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. In present times, these five parts would be known as prewriting/brainstorming, drafting, revising, and editing. This is, for the most part, the modern writing process. Then the chapter explains Stasis Theory, something thought of by the greeks and romans. Mostly Aristotle and Quintilian. Stasis means that the opponents of an argument agree about their disagreement. Stasis theory is made up of four main questions; What are the facts – What is the meaning or nature of the issue – What is the seriousness of the issue – What is the best plan of action or procedure? This can also be used with kairos, the moment when the rhetor, audience, issue, and current situation provide opportunities and constraints for each other. This helps with the timeliness of using stasis theory to ask the write questions at the right time when analyzing an issue. The chapter also includes free writing and artistic/inartistic proofs as parts of the Invention canon.

I never really realized that I use all these aspects of rhetoric until I learned about them. Some come naturally and are simply how you have to clarify a point. But others, like style have to be fine tuned and are more specific to the rhetor. Now stasis theory is something I have never used or heard of before reading this chapter. To me, stasis sounds like the phrase “let’s agree to disagree” but more specifically, about the same subject area of the argument. Everything in this chapter focused on the process of writing rhetorically and how to use the specific skills to your advantage to make your piece more effective.

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