While not everything we write can be summed up in twelve sentences, it’s a grand start. While there is nothing magical about the particular number of twelve, twelve sentences could be the ideal verbal set-up for any writing project; for three reasons. First, there is ample, but not too much room for: 1) an introductory sentence, 2) a thesis sentence, and 3) back-up reasoning. In fact, the back-up reasoning can thoroughly reinforce each of three points with three reinforcement sentences. The second reason for a twelve sentence essay is that it can be established as an outline, abstract, or proposal. Finally, the urgency to reduce an argument to twelve sentences can help to clarify and apply thoughtful discipline to one’s writing.
A writing project is like construction- it needs a frame or scaffolding. This scaffolding allows ideas to be built upon a logical foundation which leads to a structurally intuitive, intentional conceptual conclusion. At each point in the construction of this scaffolding, supporting items can then be placed within the structure in order to establish credibility or integrity at each step. The utility of such a structure is often appreciated by readers, reviewers, professors, and editors. If I can communicate an idea in twelve sentences, then I can use it as a makeshift abstract, and bolster each stage in later iterations for communicating something in greater detail; like an outline. In this way, one’s attention is focused toward incisive prioritization and logical progression- all as the result of constructing twelve sentences.