the introduction, or exordium The term exordium is Latin for "the beginning". In the exordium, the speaker gives their main argument, and all the relevant information.
the statement of the case, or narratio. Quintilian explained that in the narratio "we shall for instance represent a person accused of theft as covetous, accused of adultery as lustful, accused of homicide as rash, or attribute the opposite qualities to these persons if we are defending them; further we must do the same with place, time and the like".
the outline of the major points in the argument, or divisio (sometimes known as partitio). It has two functions: to name the issues in dispute and to list the arguments to be used in the order they will appear.
the proof of the case, or confirmatio. It confirms or validates the material given in the narratio and partitio.
the refutation of possible opposing arguments, or confutatio. If the rhetor anticipates that certain people in his audience may disagree with his speech, he must be prepared to refute the argument that could possibly be presented in opposition to his original speech.
the conclusion, or peroratio. Cicero taught that a rhetor can do three things in this step: sum up his arguments, cast anyone who disagrees with him in a negative light, and arouse sympathy for himself, his clients, or his case.