• Matt Murrie

Manifest Curiosity Part XI: Problem Pizza

This post is the first in a series of posts from Manifest Curiosity that details they hows, whens, and whys of Curiosity Based Learning.


Problem Pizza


Whether you are solving a problem your business faces, taking action to solve a global problem, or a blank screen you need to turn into an essay is your problem, the Curiosity Based Learning process, Problem Pizza turns a tasty food into a useful tool in providing structure, organization, process, and easy to apply actions the problem on your plate.


Topic (crust): The first step is to consider the characteristics (e.g. it surrounds the pizza, is underneath the pizza and holds it up, is a part of every bite: it’s everywhere) of pizza crust and explain the “topic” of a piece of writing is similar: it’s what it’s all about; the topic can be found in every paragraph, sentence, and sometimes directly in the title.


Thesis (sauce): Next comes the sauce, arguably where the bulk of a pizza’s flavor comes from. It’s not quite everywhere like the topic, but it has a sizable spread over the pizza. This is like the thesis of a paper. A good thesis makes a comment on a topic (see, that topic is EVERYWHERE--even in the thesis!) and is then proven throughout the rest of the paper, thereby flavoring the feel, format, and taste it leaves the reader throughout.


Major Details (cheese): On top of that sauce is sprinkled the cheese, similar to how a good writer will sprinkle details to help prove or accent the flavor of the thesis. Major Details are used to organize supporting paragraphs. They are more general than minor details and are often stated early in paragraphs to connect it and the minor details connected to it all back to the thesis. The more clearly the writer makes these connections, the better the reader can agree with the taste of the thesis.


minor details (toppings): minor details are all the super specific information (i.e. people’s names, dates, studies, quotes, etc.) that clarify what the Major Details are and how they’re being used to support the thesis. These are like the specific toppings and spices put on pizza for that little extra.


Patterns of Organization (POO) (box): While it’s great to think outside of the box, it’s still helpful to write inside of different types of boxes so people can best enjoy your writing. Who wants to eat a pizza out of a shoe box? Writers use different Patterns of Organisation that is reflected in the transition words they use to connect all those toppings, cheese, and sauce together. Often times, they will even provide their readers with the Pattern of Organization in their thesis. The better a reader can understand the type of organization the writer is following, the easier it becomes to understand the thesis and make predictions while reading.


Examples of some common Patterns of Organization are: Compare and Contrast, Cause and Effect, Listing, Classification, Summary, and Description.


Stay Curious with Part XII: Steps in Between

Curiosity Based Learning

What If Curiosity

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