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http://www.12manage.com/images/picture_minto_pyramid_principle.gif

Using the Minto Pyramid, should I order the paragraphs of my paper by going through the rows of the pyramid like this?

Thesis > Why > How > Where > A > B > C > D > E

Or should I start at the top of the pyramid and follow one branch down to the end leaf, then go up one step and repeat?

Thesis > Why > A > B > How > C > D > Where > E

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I would think the latter, at least in the general case, to avoid the gap between, say, Why and A & B. But I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer; it could depend on a number of factors, such as the topic or the length of the work. –  J.R. Jul 2 '13 at 22:23
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I think the more complete answer would be to discuss all necessary dependencies (maybe B is imperative for understanding Why while A isn't as much) and save the other low-level points for an 'Origins' or 'Development' section that's to come after the higher-level ones are finished. –  Mussri Jul 3 '13 at 11:28
    
How large a paper? How many "nodes" at each level? How many cross-dependencies? These are all factors that seem relevant. –  Monica Cellio Jul 4 '13 at 1:42
    
The paper will be between 2-5 pages. With about 6 nodes at the 2nd level and around 2 child nodes for each of those. Only 3 levels, including Thesis. –  Pat Meeker Jul 5 '13 at 17:33

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