SCQA

*S*ituation *C*omplication *Q*uestion *A*nswer

A way of structuring writing to clearly communicate an idea introduced by Barbara Minto in The Minto Pyramid Principle.

I’ve found this greatly improves my business writing and it’s easy to coach others to do.

See also:

  • How to Write More

    The way I write more is by doing it every day. I write first thing in the morning (journaling and note taking) and publishing my notes (like this one). For work, I write product briefs to clarify the situation, my interpretation of the facts, and what we should do about it. I write memos for the team for anything important. I write investor updates. I do it without thinking—even when drafting a tricky email I’ll write it out to understand what I’m trying to do.

  • Shape of Stories

    A lecture from Kurt Vonnegut about how to analyze and critique fictional stories. By graphing the plot along two axes, Good to Bad and Beginning to Entropy, you can visualize the story and compare their shapes to other stories. It also shows that stories seldom tell the truth that we don’t know what the good news is and what the bad news is.

  • How to Write for Remote Teams

    Writing is the much-discussed secret to building great remote teams. How do you write for a remote team?

  • Ideas to Support a Key Line Should Be Inductive or Deductive

    When forming a horizontal relationship between ideas (e.g. supporting sentences of a summary statement), they should form an inductive or deductive argument. This makes the connection of ideas more clear to the reader and improves overall reader understanding.