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01 Overview

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

Our diagram of the Six Elements of a Proposition shows the  texture of each element's relationship to the other five.

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

While written and spoken words are necessarily linear, their structure is not required to be linear. Three dimensional, interrelational structure makes the six elements of a proposition special.


.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.