Third International Symposium on
Academic Writing and Critical Thinking
Using Builds to Clearly Present Complex Information to Multidisciplinary Audiences
David E. Toohey
Asian and Western academic writing and presentation often use opposite sequences for facts and logical explanations. It is common for Asian students to start with lengthy explanations of facts to establish expertise before making a logical explanation of their ideas. Western styles start with a thesis statement and expect the facts to prove these thesis statements. In the Western style, the amount of facts may be less, yet complexity also must not be sacrificed. The act of summarizing can in fact involve “creative thinking” and “critical thinking” (Rose & Kiniry 1998, 82). Build slides help present complex information slowly to improve audience memory (CLMB 2016). Graduate students in Asian universities are expected to present in both Asian and Western contexts. What strategies may help them clearly present large, complex amounts of facts in both contexts? This paper argues that builds, PowerPoint slides that slowly reveal large amounts of facts, can help present new, complex information clearly to non-specialist audiences by not letting complex information overwhelm logical argumentation.
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