Rhetorical Précis (Definition: a concise summary of essential points, statements, or facts ) From Reading Rhetorically By John C. Bean, Virginia A. Chappell, and Alice M. Gillam How to Structure a Rhetorical Précis Sentence 1: Name of author, genre, and title of work, date in parentheses; a rhetorically accurate verb (such as “claims,” “argues,” “asserts,” “suggests”); and a THAT clause containing the major assertion or thesis statement in the work. Sentence 2: An explanation of how the author develops and supports the thesis, usually in chronological order. How to Structure a Rhetorical Précis (62) Sentence 3: A statement of the author’s apparent purpose, followed by an “in order to” phrase. Sentence 4: A description of the intended audience and/or the relationship the author establishes with the audience. In his funeral oration for Julius Caesar, Marc Antony suggests that Caesar was a great benefactor of the Roman people who was wrongfully murdered. Marc Antony makes this assertion through an increasingly bitter and ironic characterization of Brutus as a “noble man” and by listing Caesar’s many generous acts, concluding with the legacies Caesar left to the Roman people in his will. Antony’s purpose is to incite a riot against the conspirators in order to avenge Caesar’s death and prevent the conspirators from taking control of Rome. Because the audience is emotionally vulnerable and volatile—and is initially sympathetic to Brutus—Marc Antony first pretends to share his audience’s regard for Brutus before turning the crowd against Caesar’s killers.