THE MINTO PYRAMID
LOGIC IN WRITING
LOGIC IN THINKING
LOGIC IN PROBLEM SOLVING
LOGIC IN PRESENTATION
-SHACHI H PARIKH
• 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
• Finally logic in presentation is the amalgamation of logic in
writing, thinking and problem solving that help in clearer
thinking and rich information exchange.
• 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.
Given beside is a set of
List of items : Grapes, Oranges, Milk, Butter, Potatoes, Apples, Eggs, Sour
pyramids of logically
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
• Ideas in each grouping must always be logically ordered.
1.4 HOW TO BUILD A PYRAMID STRUCTURE
• The Top-Down Approach :
1.5 DEDUCTION AND INDUCTION : THE
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
Induction define group of ideas
reasoning that leads to a
or facts to be same kind of thing
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
2.1 ANALYTICAL ACTIVITIES PERFORMED BY THE
• 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 them1,2,3.
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
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
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.
3.1 THE MAIN SEQUENCE
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?
2. Where does it exist?
3. Why does it exist?
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
• Problem analysis generally proceed in a standard way :
• Devising Diagnostic Framework :
allergies, bad weather
water on the brain
• Tracing cause and effect E.g. Financial Structure, Task Structure,
• Classifying Possible Causes( create MECE classification, formulate
• Need for action is revealed by Decision tree and PERT diagram.
• Decision Tree
• PERT Diagram
4.1 REFLECTING THE PYRAMID ON THE
• Title or chapter
• Dash Points
• 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
• 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.