Modular Inference Trees for Expository Reports

Jens Mende
InSITE 2005  •  Volume 5  •  2005
When people write a report that involves a complex argument towards a conclusion, they can use a design tool called the inference tree, which enables them to outline the argument, and quickly detect reasoning errors in the outline. Yet when the argument is very complex, the inference tree may spread over several pages, so that writers may often have to flip back and forth between those pages. To prevent unnecessary flipping, they can draw the tree as a hierarchy of modules, similar to a modular hierarchy of program flowcharts or structure charts, where a major module controls several minor modules. In drawing the tree, writers can adopt four principles of Computing: modularity, the criterion of minimal coupling between modules, and the methods of forward and backward chaining to draw all the modules.
homological transfer, report writing, expository report, report outline, complex argument, inference tree
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