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The Minto Pyramid PrincipleLogic in writingLogic in thinkingLogic in problem solvingLogic in presentation -Shachi H Parikh

objectiveThe main objective for having logic in writing, thinking, problem solving and presentation is to enhance clear communication to facilitate easy and correct flow of information.Logic in writing helps the reader get the clear picture about what he/she should expect from the content and get an idea about what the writer wants to convey. Logic in thinking trains our mind to think in a manner that is now easy to put on paper logically. Logic in thinking trains the mind to write logically.

Logic in problem solving, helps us find the optimum solution for a given problem and helps us facilitate our capability to think logically.Finally logic in presentation is the amalgamation of logic in writing, thinking and problem solving that help in clearer thinking and rich information exchange.

1. Logic in writing

Phrase coined by George A. Miller in his treatise, The magical number seven, plus or minus two is a pattern governing the process of our mind.Whenever we encounter a number of items the mind begins to group them into logical categories so they can be retained. The mind will automatically impose order on everything around it. This tendency of the mind is nicely illustrated by the Greeks who grouped stars into figures instead of pinpoints of lights.

1.1 why a pyramid structureFor example : the following list items are to be remembered.List of items : Grapes, Oranges, Milk, Butter, Potatoes, Apples, Eggs, Sour Cream, Carrots.Given beside is a set of pyramids of logically related items.The point of grouping was not just to move from set of 9 to separate sets of 4, 3 and 2, it was to move above the 9, to 3.

1.2 thinking from bottom upIdeas at any level in the pyramid must always be summaries of the ideas grouped below them.Ideas in each grouping must always be the same kind of idea. which means that the ideas in grouping must fall in the same category.Ideas in each grouping must always be logically ordered.

1.3 vertical and horizontal relationship

1.4 how to build a pyramid structureThe Top-Down Approach :

1.5 deduction and induction : the differenceDeduction and induction, these two forms of reasoning are the only patterns available for establishing logical relationships between ideas.1. Deduction presents a line of Induction define group of ideas reasoning that leads to a or facts to be same kind of thing and therefore conclusion, and the then makes a statement(or point above is a summary of that inference) about the sameness. line of reasoning, resting heavily on the final point. 2. Deductive points arrive from each Inductive points do not arrive from each other. other.

2. Logic in thinking

2.1 analytical activities performed by the mindSecond rule of Minto Pyramid Principle is that, ideas in any grouping must be in logical order.This makes sure that ideas brought together truly belong together and none has been left out.Mind can perform only 3 analytical activities :1. Determine the cause of an effect :

2. Divide a whole into its parts :

3. Classify like things :

2.2 imposing logical orderOrders can be applied singly or in combination, but one of them must always be present in a grouping to justify its existence.Different types of order :TIME ORDER : It would seem to be the simplest order of all to understand, for it is certainly the most pervasively used as the basis of grouping of ideas. Time-ordered grouping reflects the steps a person must take to achieve a particular effect, in the order in which he must take them-1,2,3.

2. STRUCTURAL ORDER : It is the order which reflects what you see once you have visualized something either by diagram or by map, by drawing or photograph. While creating a structure following things should be taken care of :1. Mutually exclusive pieces (No Overlaps).2. Collectively exhaustive in terms of the whole (Nothing Left Out).3. DEGREE ORDER : This order is imposed on a grouping when it brings together a set of things that have been classified as being alike because they possess a characteristic in common, it is also the most commonly called order of importance.

2.3 Summarizing Grouped IdeasAct of summarizing = Act of completing the thinking.Avoid intellectually blank assertions : They are deadly for the reader because they do not anchor his mind, they are not stimulating to read and they present the very real danger that he will not grasp what you are trying to say.State the effect of actions.Look for the similarity in conclusions.

3. Logic in problem solving

3.1 The main sequenceDefine Structure Conduct the Form the the problem the analysis analysis/find pyramid to the solution communicate the ideas

3.1 defining the problemDefining a problem begins the process of Sequential Analysis, a particularly efficient problem solving technique that involves finding the answers to a series of questions in logical sequence. 1. Is there/is likely to be a problem? Define the 2. Where does it exist? problem 3. Why does it exist? Structure the analysis 4. What could we do about it? Find the solution 5. What should we do about it?

Laying out the Elements.Converting to an Introduction.The Starting Point/Opening Scene.The Disturbing Event. -The Disturbing Event is what happens or what could happen or would likely to happen in the near future to threaten the relatively stable situation described in the opening scene.

3.2 Structuring the analysis of the problemProblem analysis generally proceed in a standard way : Gather State Draw Recommend Data Findings Conclusions ActionsDevising Diagnostic Framework : Physical External bruised headHead allergies, bad weatherHurts Internal flu, cold Mental brain tumor stress, Hypochondria water on the brain tension

Tracing cause and effect E.g. Financial Structure, Task Structure, Activity Structure.Classifying Possible Causes( create MECE classification, formulate yes-no question).Need for action is revealed by Decision tree and PERT diagram. Decision Tree Decision Point Chance Event PERT Diagram Event Activity

Logic in presentation

4.1 reflecting the pyramid on the pageTitle or chapter Major Thought headingSections headingSubsections headingsNumbered paragraphsDash Points

Hierarchical headingsUnderlined pointsDecimal numberingIndented displayDot-Dash outlinesSummarizing sectionsMaking full conclusionsStating next steps

4.2 problem solving in structure-less situationsDEDUCTION INDUCTION ABDUCTION Case Result RuleRule Case Result Result Rule CaseWhere you start determines the form of thinking you will see.Deductive arguments are needed when the reader is incapable of understanding the action without prior explanation.Inductive reasoning is used when hypothesis or ideas already exist and we just establishing probabilistic grounds for them.Abductive reasoning is used to generate inference networks : the skillful combination of relevance and credibility characteristics of evidence. Example : medical diagnosis.

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