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“I do not seek applause, nor to amuse the people, I want to convince them.” —Abraham Lincoln

Advance Praise for The Tyranny of Public Discourse:

"I knew for sure the six elements of a proposition really worked when I started receiving student writing assignments. Not every student was at the same sophistication level, but each had significantly improved persuasive writing skills. Writing a six element proposition takes away the 'I feel' and focuses on the 'I know.'"
Jon Parrott, High School U.S. History Teacher, Urbandale, Iowa

In 1859, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in Columbus, Ohio, speech to support the Republican Party:

There are two ways of establishing a proposition. One is by trying to demonstrate it upon reason; and the other is, to show that great men in former times have thought so and so, and thus to pass it by the weight of pure authority. Now, if Judge Douglas will demonstrate somehow that this is popular sovereignty—the right of one man to make a slave of another, without any right in that other, or any one else, to object—demonstrate it as Euclid demonstrated propositions—there is no objection.1

1Abraham Lincoln, “Speech at Columbus, Ohio, September 16, 1859,” The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Basler, Roy P., ed., (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 3:416-417.

    Our pyramid diagram of the Six Elements of a Proposition shows each element in relation to the other five.

    The pyramid visually displays how the six elements are different from introduction, facts, argument, and conclusion. And are different from a Greek funeral oration. And are different from, "tell them what you are going to tell them" "tell them" "tell them what you told them".

    Written and spoken words are necessarily linear. Six element structure, whether written or spoken, is more. It is textured and multi–dimensional.

.Earth tone is factual foundation. Green is logical direction. Red is argument.

1. Enunciation “The enunciation states what is given and what is being sought from it.”

2. Exposition “The exposition takes separately what is given and prepares it in advance for use in the investigation.”

3. Specification “The specification takes separately the thing that is sought and makes clear precisely what it is.”

4. Construction “The construction adds what is lacking in the given for finding what is sought.”

5. Proof “The proof draws the proposed inference by reasoning scientifically from the propositions that have been admitted.”

6.Conclusion “The conclusion reverts to the enunciation, confirming what has been proved.”

The definitions are from Proclus, A Commentary on the First Book of Euclid’s Elements, Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Glenn R. Morrow [Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1970], 159.

The six elements permit one to focus on real content. The goal is no longer soundbites. Ironically some of the best soundbites ever can naturally result from the structure of the six elements of a proposition.

The six elements of a proposition provide the ideal structure to persuade. The elements also tend to eliminate writer's block, make it easier to create, and even make it easier to delegate. The six elements of a proposition are the DNA of persuasive power.