Technical Communication

False
Raw data is a highly usable type of information.
T/F
False
In the best technical documents, the writer “disappears.”
T/F
the subject
A technical document focuses on….
-the subject
-the writer’s feelings
-both the subject and the writer’s feelings
-marketing
-none of these
efficient
The language of a technical document is
-confidently judgmental.
-none of these
-entertaining
-effeicient
-prosiac
True
As you advance in your profession, your ability to communicate is likely to become more important than your technical background.
T/F
meaning
A computer can transmit data, but it cannot give ________
to the information.
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usable information
A technical document is based on. . .
-usable information
-inspiration
-the writer’s deepest impressions
-intuition
-none of these
False
Effective communicators “let the data speak for themselves.”
T/F
False
Direct, straightforward communication is valued by all cultures.
T/F
communication
Executives consistently rank
________
skills as the most vital of employee qualities.
middle
For best emphasis, avoid placing the key word or phrase at the sentence’s. . .
-terminal
-end
-beginning
-middle
False
Whenever possible, you should preface your assertions with “I think,” “In my opinion,” “I believe,” or some other qualifier.
T/F
fluent
In its style, an efficient sentence is clear, concise, and. . .
-informative
0short
-fluent
-entertaining
-mellifluous
False
The passive voice is usually more forceful and direct than the active voice.
T/F
Independent
When combining sentences, place the idea that deserves most emphasis in a clause that is. . .
-subordinate
-independent
-none of these
-relative
-dependent
False
Never use “I” in technical writing.
T/F
euphemisms
Technical communicators should generally avoid. . .
-topic sentences
-euphemisms
-active voice
-analogies
-short sentences
False
You should avoid using short sentences in technical writing.
T/F
True
The less specialized your audience, the fewer acronyms you should use.
T/F
conversational
For most technical documents, choose a tone that is. . .
-prosiac
conversational
-formal
-embracing
-serious
True
When unable to identify all members of an audience, you should aim at the least specialized members.
T/F
gives knowledge
When does a message have informative value for its audience?
Why do they want it? What do they need to know?
We focus on our audience and purpose by answering these questions: Who wants the report? Who else will read it? List two other questions writers ask about their audience.
False
Nontechnical audiences are merely interested in the bare facts, without explanations.
T/F
True
Primary and secondary audiences often have different technical backgrounds.
False
Audience analysis is only necessary when the document is long or complex.
T/F
False
Primary audiences usually expect a semi technical message.
False
Short reports are always written at the lowest level of technicality.
T/F
often initiated by the writer
Justification reports are unique in that they are. . .
-authorized or requested by the readders
-often initiated by the writer
-rarely written by junior employees
-none
-complimentary close and signature
A typical memo does not have. . .
-topic headings
-single spacing
-subject line
-complimentary close and signature
-distribution notation
announcement for a company picnic
Use your company’s email network to send. . -a formal letter to a client.
-all of these
-an evaluation of an employee.
-an announcement for a company picnic.
-a dinner invitation to a colleague.
False
A memorandum usually should be no more than one page long.
T/F
True
Monitoring of email by an employer is legal.
T/F
paper trail
Memos are major means of written communication within organizations because they. . .
leave a “paper trail.”
are easy to write and read.
are less expensive than other communications media.
all of these are correct
False
As a form of internal correspondence, memos have few legal implications.
T/F
False
Email increases both the quantity and quality of information.
T/F
False
Writing in FULL CAPS increases the readability of email.
T/F
logos
Appeal to logic
ethos
appeal to character
pathos
appeal to emotion
use dramatic typefaces sparingly
For highlighting your document. . .
use dramatic typefaces sparingly.
use FULL CAPS often.
use all of these.
use color generously.
use long lines of italic type.
False
Technical documents usually are read with undivided attention.
T/F
use a 10 point font
For users who will be facing complex information or difficult steps, you should not. . .
increase all white space.
shorten the paragraphs.
widen the margins.
use visuals.
use a 10-point or smaller type size.
single spaces and double spaces between
For any document that your audience is likely to read completely (such as a letter, memo, or instructions) you should. . .
-double-space within paragraphs and triple-space between.
-use any of these.
-use long paragraphs.
-double-space between all lines.
-single-space within paragraphs and double-space between.
insert an additional line of space above the heading
When adding headings, be sure to. . . use headings sparingly.
-make each higher-level heading yield at least three lower-level headings.
-use no more than two levels of headings.
-insert one additional line of space above your heading.
-use “catchy” phrasing.
True
Page design requirements vary from organization to organization.
T/F
True
Words in lowercase letters are easier to read than those in uppercase letters.
T/F
False
Margins of 1/2 inch or smaller are desirable for most documents.
T/F
unjustified text
For more personal forms of communication (letters/ memos, and so on), choose. . .
warm designs.
unjustified text.
short lines.
justified text.
barely justified text.
False
Whenever possible, begin a sentence after a heading with This, It, or some other pronoun that refers to the heading.
T/F
procedural conflict
conflict over differing opinions about how the group should function, is called
affective conflict
conflict between personalities
substantive conflict
conflict over the content and structure of the thing being prepared
true
Conflict in collaborative groups can increase when the group transacts exclusively online.
T/F
true
Conflict in a collaborative group can be productive.
T/F
all of these
Sources of conflict in collaborative groups include. . .

interpersonal differences.
gender differences.
cultural differences.
all of these

false
In collaborating to produce a document, all members of a collaborative team participate in the actual “writing.”
T/F
false
A collaborative group functions best when each of its members has equal authority.
T/F
false
In mixed-gender groups, assertive females are considered highly persuasive.
false
“Reviewing” is a more precise term for “editing.”
it is important to neutralize personality clashes
Electronically mediated collaboration is preferable when. . .
none of these
it is important to neutralize personality clashes.
all of these
people don’t know each other.
the issue is sensitive or controversial.
brain scanning
Strategies for creative thinking include all of the following except. . .
brain scanning.
storyboarding.
brain-storming.
brain-writing.
mind mapping.
true
Workplace surveys show that people view meetings as a big waste of time.
T/F
active voice, imperative mood
In general, phrase instructions in the. . -passive voice and the indicative mood.
-active voice and the subjunctive mood.
-active voice and imperative mood.
-all of these
introduction
Working definitions of specialized terms for instructions belong. . .
in the introduction.
just before the related step.
in a glossary.
none of these
false
Always use the imperative mood in phrasing instructions for cross-cultural audiences.
T/F
False
Because users are often impatient, the introduction to a set of instructions should give very little background.
T/F
the user’s performance
Instructions emphasize. . .
all of these
the subject’s performance.
the writer’s performance.
the user’s performance.
none of these
false
Above all, make your instructions brief.
T/F
true
Of all kinds of technical communication, instructions have the most demanding requirements for clarity and phrasing.
T/F
just before the respective steps
Any warnings or cautions should be spelled out. . .

in an appendix.
just before the respective steps.
in the introduction.
all of theses

incorporated in related step
Any visual in a set of instructions should be. . .
placed in an appendix so as not to interrupt the steps.
placed in the introduction to increase interest.
incorporated within the discussion of the related step for immediate reference.
none of these
false
To avoid cluttering your instructions, use as few transitional expressions as possible.
T/F
item, class, distinguishing features
3 parts sentence definition
false
Circular definitions help clarify technical concepts.
T/F
circular definition
Defining a term by using the term in the definition.
expanded definition
Abstract and general terms (e.g. condominium, loan, partnership) often call for. . all of these
parenthetical definition.
sentence definition.
none of these
expanded definition.
sentence definitions
Working definitions often are stated as. . .
parenthetical definitions.
sentence definitions.
eclectic definitions.
expanded definitions.
none of these
needs of audience
The specific strategies of expansion you choose will depend on. . .
the time you have.
none of these
the needs of your audience.
the information you have.
the amount of space in your report.
in a glossary
If your report has many parenthetical or sentence definitions, place them. . .
at appropriate places throughout the discussion.
in a glossary.
in an index.
in the introduction.
in the informative abstract.
objective
Definitions should be. . .
objective.
eclectic.
engaging.
judgmental.
impressionistic.
visuals, negation, analysis of parts
Besides etymology, history, and background, list three strategies for expanding definitions.
true
Parenthetical definitions are often synonyms.
T/F
false
Expanded definitions usually belong in report appendixes.
T/F
relative ease of use
An outstanding benefit of the more popular computer graphics programs is. . .
engaging visual designs.
clip art.
relative ease of use.
the many colors that can be produced on a map, graph, and so on.
none of these
true
To illustrate concepts, the parts in a block diagram are represented as symbols or as geometric shapes.
either the report text or appendices
All visuals belong in. . .
in a glossary.
appendices.
none of these
the report text.
in either the report text or the appendices, depending on their relationship to the discussion.
false
The more complex and richly detailed the visual, the more interesting readers will find it.
T/F
false
Distortion for the sake of emphasis in a visual often is justified.
T/F
true
Pie charts generally should have no more than eight segments.
T/F
exploded diagram
To show how the parts of an item are assembled, use. . .
a photograph.
an exploded diagram.
an organizational chart.
a pie chart.
a bar graph.
line graph
For illustrating a trend, the appropriate figure is typically. . .
a block diagram.
a pie chart.
a bar graph.
a line graph.
a photograph.
false
For illustrating specific parts in a complex mechanism, photographs are generally better than diagrams.
T/F
caption that explains each bar or line on graph
A legend is
none of these
a list that credits data sources for the visual.
a prose introduction to a visual.
a caption that explains each bar or line in a graph.
a visual achievement of historic magnitude.
false
“Phlebotomy specimen” is a more precise and descriptive way of saying “blood.”
T/F
objective
The most precise technical descriptions are. . .
chronological, functional
Besides a spatial sequence, list two possible sequences for describing an item.
what does it do? What does it look like? how does it work?
Besides “What is it?” List three reader questions that are typically answered by a technical description.
your personal preferences
The details you select for a description will depend on all these elements except. . -your user’s information needs.
-the intended use of the description.
-your writing situation.
-your purpose.
-your personal preferences.
false
The main purpose of technical description is to stimulate consumer interest in products.
T/F
false
Words such as impressive, new, improved, large, and better often are seen in technical descriptions.
T/F
false
Users of any technical description need as much information as possible.
T/F
true
Any item can be described in many ways.
true
When in doubt about how much to include in a description, one should remember that too many details always are better than too few.
T/F
process desription
experts understand process but don’t participate
Expects the description to be in the active 1st or 3rd person point-of-view.
Expects the description to be in the past tense, although the “historical present” is also appropriate.
process instruction
Expects to perform the process—to cause the relevant actions to occur.
Expects instructions to be in the second person. Use of any other tense will greatly confuse the reader as to the document’s purpose.
Expects the instructions to be written in the command mode.
true
Usability testing should occur under controlled conditions.
T/F
false
Usability testing is usually performed only on complex products or documents.
T/F
false
A basic usability survey focuses primarily on a document’s content.
T/F
able to easily locate information needed, understand the information immediately, and use the info successfully
Three “human factors” that enhance or limit performance include. . .
all of these
Usability criteria for a document are defined by. . user characteristics.
none of these
all of these
constraints of the setting.
the type of task.
true
Online documents tend to be organized in modular fashion.
T/F
false
Expert users tend to read a document sequentially (page by page).
T/F
true
In testing a document for usability, each evaluator should work alone.
T/F
true
Online documents are often harder to navigate than printed pages.
T/F
develop creative approaches
A usable document enables users to do all of the following except. . .
carry out the task safely, efficiently, and accurately.
understand the information.
develop creative approaches to the task.
use the information successfully.
easily locate the needed information.
full interpretation of data
Audiences for analytical reports always expect. . .
just the facts, so that they can interpret them as they see fit.
a full interpretation of the data.
valid conclusions and recommendations.
detailed instructions.
the conclusions
Audiences for analytical reports are likely to be most interested in. . .
the visuals and appendices.
the body.
the introduction.
the headings.
the conclusion.
false
You should always construct a formal outline of your analysis before writing a first draft.
T/F
false
Every problem has a definite solution that can be revealed in an exhaustive analysis.
clear identification
Writers of analytical reports. . .
-begin with a clear identification of the problem or question.
-usually discover the problem or question only during their investigation or drafting.
-ignore the problem or question until they have completed their research.
-eschew visuals.
false
Among the typical analytical problems are “Why does X happen?” and “How do I do X?”
true
An analytical report may address two or more types of analytical problems.
T/F
all of these
Thinking critically about your recommendations means. . .
considering all the details.
locating the weak spots.
making improvements.
all of these
false
The general purpose in any analysis is to prove the writer’s point. In your analytical report, therefore, cite only data that support your thesis.