Here is the essence of the theory: When one encounters a new situation (or makes a substantial change in one's view of the present problem) one selects from memory a structure called a Frame. This is a remembered framework to be adapted to fit reality by changing details as necessary.
A frame is a data-structure for representing a stereotyped situation, like being in a certain kind of living room, or going to a child's birthday party."
– from A Framework for Representing Knowledge. By Marvin Minsky. MIT- AI Laboratory Memo 306, June, 1974. Reprinted in The Psychology of Computer Vision, P. Winston (Ed.), McGraw-Hill, 1975. Shorter versions in J. Haugeland, Ed., Mind Design, MIT Press, 1981, and in Cognitive Science, Collins, Allan and Edward E. Smith (eds.) Morgan-Kaufmann, 1992.