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THE MINTO PYRAMID

PRINCIPLE
1.
2.
3.
4.

LOGIC IN WRITING
LOGIC IN THINKING
LOGIC IN PROBLEM SOLVING
LOGIC IN PRESENTATION

-SHACHI H PARIKH

OBJECTIVE
The 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 STRUCTURE

For 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 UP


Ideas 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


STRUCTURE
The Top-Down Approach :

1.5 DEDUCTION AND INDUCTION : THE


DIFFERENCE
Deduction and induction, these two forms of reasoning are the only patterns
available for establishing logical relationships between ideas.
1. Deduction presents a line of
reasoning that leads to a
therefore conclusion,
point above is a summary of that

Induction define group of ideas


or facts to be same kind of thing and
and the then makes a statement(or
inference) about the sameness.

line of reasoning, resting heavily


on the final point.
2. Deductive points arrive from each
other.

Inductive points do not arrive from each


other.

2. LOGIC IN THINKING

2.1 ANALYTICAL ACTIVITIES PERFORMED BY THE


MIND
Second 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 ORDER


Orders 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 :


1. 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 IDEAS


Act 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 SEQUENCE


Structure
Conduct the
Define
Form the
the problem
pyramid to

the analysis

analysis/find
the solution

communicate
the
ideas

3.1 DEFINING THE PROBLEM


Defining 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

2. Where does it exist?

problem

3. Why does it exist?

Structure

4. What could we do about it?

Find the

the

the analysis
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


PROBLEM
Problem analysis generally proceed in a standard way :
Gather

State

Draw

Data

Findings

Conclusions

Recommend
Actions

Devising Diagnostic Framework :


Physical

External

Head
weather

bruised head
allergies, bad

Hurts

Internal
Mental
stress,

brain
tension

Hypochondria

flu, cold
brain tumor
water on the

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


PAGE
Title or chapter
heading

Sections
heading

Subsections
headings

Numbered
paragraphs

Dash Points

Major Thought

Hierarchical headings
Underlined points
Decimal numbering
Indented display
Dot-Dash outlines
Summarizing sections
Making full conclusions
Stating next steps

4.2 PROBLEM SOLVING IN STRUCTURE-LESS SITUATIONS

DEDUCTION

INDUCTION

Case
Rule

Result
Case

Result

ABDUCTION
Rule
Result

Rule

Case

Where 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.

THANK YOU