by Harrikid Durland | Dec 23, 2017 | Communication/Rhetoric, Technique, Thinking Strategically | 0 comments


Everyone that is analysis this has, at some point, taken apart somepoint, examined the pieces, then put them together again—sometimes in a various means. For some, it might have been some old computer or furniture. For many type of others, it might have actually been toys such as legos. Yet, also if you somejust how have never done this via physical objects, you have inevitably done so with abstract ideas such as language.

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The human being is full of identifiable pieces and patterns, whether they are physical (e.g. components, threads, elements) or non-physical (e.g. principles, ideas, trends). Thanktotally, we don’t should constantly ponder every one of the molecules we eat or what defines the activity of “eating” in order to operate; we usage “shorthand” or “fast reasoning,” as Anna recently composed around, to summarize day-to-day things and also processes in the human being approximately us. Yet, that very same practice of shorthand have the right to extremely regularly lead us to misunderstand or mischaracterize fact, especially once we start to acquire right into the more-complex, more-controversial topics we consistently encounter in conflict. In many type of locations, some civilization do not constantly try to look deeply sufficient to study and also evaluate the “pieces” that underpin our principles or ideas. Instead, we can tfinish to oversimplify, mix up the pieces, or otherwise conduct faulty analysis; we sometimes count on heuristics or fall prey to cognitive biases. In addition, many people’s implies of communicating certain concepts often seem to have actually comparable fregulations, in regards to efficiency and also accuracy. In brief, the situationally-proper balance between shorthand also and also structured/analytical (“slow”) thinking and communication must be struck, however it isn’t always. The problem is multifaceted, and also I definitely can’t totally resolve it in this one short article, yet I can and also will study the issue of inadequate structure in thinking and interaction. More especially, I will certainly 1) further define and also illustrate the distinction, 2) provide a general justification and also exhortation for higher framework in particular instances, and also 3) administer specific examples tools/methods we can use even more often.

Structured vs. simple: outlining and also portraying the distinction

If I were blindly adhering to “structure and all its glory,” I would try to come up via some rigorous, facility definition/difference for what I intend. However before, I recognize that wouldn’t really be helpful; it would probably be boring and/or needlessly confutilizing. So rather, I’ll try to paint the general idea.

Basically, it is thinking/connecting in a method such that someone (consisting of you) can more clearly identify the “ingredients” to your believed process, so regarding also sepaprice them if necessary; it is the concept of not mixing principles together and also judging based off of an “impression” or “instinct.” More generally, it also requires the fads by which you interact or think. As simply one example of such fads, imagine if this post were not written through any kind of sections or even paragraphs. Of course, we generally acknowledge the value in fundamental paragraphs; the issue at hand is wbelow we don’t think around feasible “next steps” in structured analysis/communication. The adhering to subsections will cover 2 more examples to illustrate what I intend.

Communicating (and also thinking) in pieces: Kialo

Consider the distinction in between Kialo and IDebate, or Kialo and this Washington Blog post write-up. In both situations, the style of analysis/interaction offered by Kialo is far even more structured and also allows even more depth and breadth. This is particularly the instance when one examines the Washington Blog post article: professor Hurwitz is a more-knowledgeable writer, and he writes in a more-acquainted essay style. Yet, his depth, breadth, and also visible framework are rather “weak” compared to Kialo; Hurwitz only supplies a solitary level of headers (the “three major points”), and also on multiple occasions simply asserts necessary ideas without trying out them. This is not to say that Hurwitz’s evaluation is necessarily “inferior”; one have to consider the purpose and also context of the communication: Hurwitz is mostly trying to simplify the worry and provide his own opinion/conclusions on the topic, whereas the Kialo discussion is trying to unload the intricacy in order to accurately identify fact, regardmuch less of whether most of the audience cares to evaluation the issue in its whole. Kialo might be even more structured, but as I’ll define in the following section, that isn’t necessary; the suggest I’m trying to make below is that Kialo’s argument-block structure is an excellent instance of a method that we might even more logically and also structurally method concerns.

Thinking (and communicating) in pieces: “Pros and also Cons” vs. the Stock Issues

Even many type of non-debaters understand also the idea of “making a list of pros and also cons” for a decision. On the one side, you list out the pros of a decision, and on the other side you list out the cons. Simple, right? Sometimes, yes, but policy debaters (generally) understand that this doesn’t constantly work-related. Instead, they go past this, by using the stock issues to break dvery own the principle of a “pro” into smaller sized pieces, such as inherency, significance, and also solvency. Policy debaters also (generally) understand also the basic parts to a “con” (disadvantage): including uniqueness, link, and also influence.

In short, theories choose the stock problems are helpful in breaking down ideas favor “benefits” right into its logical components. As probably many kind of plan debaters will certainly attest to, this process is essential for complicated questions of government plan, for factors disputed in the following area.

When and Why: Structure vs. Freedom


Both the Bible and a well known tree professor agree: tright here is a time and location for every little thing. However before, I carry out not recommend that human being emphadimension framework to the suggest of confusion or inperformance. Ultimately, one’s goal must not be to accomplish structure for structure’s sake; the purpose of utilizing structure in thinking/communication is to think/communicate more effectively—to be more specific and also construed. Therefore, I mostly would certainly just imply “nudging the boundaries” as soon as appropriate: you deserve to go beyond outlines, and usage believed procedure diagrams; ask yourself probing concerns to pick acomponent an assumption or question; usage more section—and sub-section—headers fairly than conforming to repetitive-paragraph-styles in papers/esstates (if your teacher is okay via it!); etc.


I’ve already pointed out some of the reasons for this, yet I’ll more directly state them here. Some of the main justifications include:

Better catch/protect against mistakes in your thinking. Breaking a question into its components have the right to sometimes be more time consuming, however it deserve to likewise expose important difficulties or gaps in ones’ reasoning. Furthermore, if you were wrong on something, it have the right to assist you diagnose your errors and also change for the future.More properly analyze worries. Breaking a question right into its components have the right to occasionally be much less time consuming, if you recognize what type of pattern to follow. For example, we currently do this somewhat through the 5-paragraph essay structure.Clearer and/or more-effective interaction. Earlier, I stated a reasonably clear instance of this: making use of charts and graphs to current data rather of utilizing sentences/paragraphs to perform so. Even less-acquainted debate frameworks such as Kialo or thesis diagrams for lengthy and also complex academic articles can also be useful to this end.Etc.

At some point, structure and also intuition/free-reasoning need to balance, and the balance counts on the instance. However before, to attend to complex problems or concerns, we shouldn’t count on dubious, unclear foundations of thought, and also we shouldn’t usage amorphous or ambiguous interaction.

Tools/Methods for Structure: Historically

Imagine never finding out to flow in an arranged method. Imagine never before learning the stock concerns in plan controversy, or worth theory in value conflict. More broadly speaking, imagine never before discovering the 5-paragraph framework for esstates. Imagine if nobody ever used timelines. Imagine if nobody ever before thmust use graphs or charts. In fact, imagine if nobody ever before thought to usage grammar in created interaction. Without these tools, teachings, and so on it would certainly be rather tough to communicate or critically examine information. Yet, these points haven’t existed for every one of world. In fact, simply centuries back, some of them (e.g. graphs/charts) were not even invented. Perhaps some of these ideas can have actually been rejected as being “also complicated” or “not advantageous.” In the 2first century, we could look ago with upturned noses, however probably we must look in the mirror. Imagine someone living in the year 2400 AD: what makes us think that they won’t look back much in the same way we currently look back on a human being without bar charts, timelines, the regular table, and also the stock problems in policy debate? What could we be absent now?

A few available—but under-appreciated—tools for structure

We are relocating right into an era wright here tright here are large amounts of indevelopment obtainable, and also the devices at our disposal are likewise promptly broadening in line via the growth of the computer and internet. Yet, it doesn’t seem prefer many human being are really getting to out to even check out the potential. Just a couple of examples of such tools and also approaches include:

Section and also sub-area headers;

And more! If you are trying to understand or describe somepoint complicated, don’t be afraid to ask “might tright here be something out tright here that deserve to aid with this?” or “is there a general pattern I can apply to these questions?” (e.g. the stock issues).

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It’s not simply that tbelow is a human being of tools/approaches out there to boost or support our analytical abilities and the interaction of our thoughts; we seem to be shying amethod from or flatly ignoring structured thinking tools/and so on simply bereason they seem “unimportant” or “also complicated.” We have to remember that not also long back, people were doing the same point to fundamental critical thinking methods and also indevelopment presentation devices. No doubt, not eincredibly single tool/and so on will certainly be handy for eexceptionally perkid in every little thing they perform. However, people have to strive to strike the proper balance, because without solid foundations, it’s tough to resolve bigger difficulties. Tbelow are a plethora of tools out tright here, but it appears human being too frequently acquire stuck on simplistic ideologies choose the 5-paragraph essay. Whether it is in interaction or reasoning, take into consideration looking beyond the simplifications that shorthand/fast reasoning has created: it might not be “basic,” however it deserve to be vital in being more clear and also much less wrong.