Business & Technical Communications:
Quiz on Abstracts

Answer the questions in this quiz to see how well you've read and understood the chapter. Feel free to link back and forth between the chapter on abstracts and this quiz to check your answers.

When you're through, just click on Check answers to check your answers.

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  1. Click on one of the following that best defines what an abstract is:
    Various types of summaries of a report
    Extractions of the most general information from a report
    The introductory part of a report
  2. Click on the types of abstracts as defined by the chapter:
    Informative abstracts
    Summative abstracts
    Descriptive abstracts
    Evaluative abstracts
    Executive abstracts
  3. Click on the other names by which abstracts are typically called:
    Executive summaries
    Summative abstracts
    Descriptive abstracts
    Evaluative summaries
    Executive abstracts
  4. Click on one of the following that best defines what a descriptive abstract is:
    A descriptive summary of the audience of the report
    The key facts and conclusions from the body of the report
    A description of the report's main topic and purpose
  5. Click on one of the following that best describes the descriptive abstract:
    A short 4- or 5-line paragraph
    A 1- or 2-page section, roughly 10% of the full report
  6. The chapter points out how different phrasing for the two types of abstracts is. Click on one of the sentences that you would expect to see in a descriptive abstract:
    This report covers the three important areas for using SCBA gear: (1) donning the the backpack, (2) donning the facepiece, and (3) and checking the valves for proper air flow.
    As you exhale, make sure that the exhalation goes through the exhalation valve and to the edges of the facepiece. If it does not, the valve may be stuck.
  7. Click on one of the following methods that would be the best way to write a descriptive abstract:
    Go through the report with a highlighter, marking all important facts and conclusions.
    Rewrite the table of contents (or list of main headings) in sentence form.
    Condense the introduction to the report to 10% of its size.
  8. Click on one of the following that best describes the length of an informative abstract:
    About 10% of the length of the full report
    4 to 5 lines of text, regardless of the length of the full report
    1 or 2 doublespaced pages of text
  9. Click on one of the following that best defines what an informative abstract is:
    A descriptive summary of the audience of the report
    The key facts and conclusions from the body of the report
    A description of the report's main topic and purpose
    A condensed version of the report's introduction
  10. The chapter points out how different phrasing for the two types of abstracts is. Click on one of the sentences that you would expect to see in an informative abstract:
    This report provides an introduction to the basic stages of the chip design process: (a) logic design, (b) circuit design, and (c) physical design.
    Because the transistor is formed by overlapping the poly and diffusion layers and because the transistors are connected by metal wire, the physical designers of the chip have to translate the schematic into the physical layout of the transistors.
  11. Should an informative abstract contain statistical detail? Click on the correct answer:
    No--it's an "abstract," which means that it is general, not specific in detail.
    Yes--by definition, it summarizes key "facts," which must includes statistical information.
  12. Should an informative abstract indicate the sources of information borrowed and used to write the body of the report? Click on the correct answer:
    No--the sources are indicated in the body of the report; that's sufficient.
    Yes--because is the first occurrence of the borrowed information, it must be documented; not to do so would be plagiarism.
  13. Should an informative abstract contain general, introductory information? Click on the correct answer:
    No--the informative abstract must condense the report to its most essential information so that the busy reader can get a quick view of exactly what the report contains.
    Yes--because the informative abstract is similiar to an introduction, general, background material that eases the reader into the body of the report is appropriate.
  14. Is the informative abstract essentially the same as a report introduction? Click on the correct answer:
    No--the job of the introduction is to prepare readers to read the body of the report; the job of the abstract is to summarize the body of the report, to highlight its most important contents.
    Yes--the report introduction adds some words to ease the reader into the main text of the report, but otherwise there is no real difference.
  15. Is the purpose of the informative abstract to provide background on the report topic that will enable readers to understand the main text of the report? Click on the correct answer:
    No--the informative abstract summarize key detail from all sections of the report, including any background sections.
    Yes--that is the purpose of the informative abstract: to provide technical background for the report topic and to enable readers to understand the main text.
  16. Click on one of the following that states the proper location for the descriptive abstract in the report design described in this chapter:
    At the bottom of the title page
    On the next page following the table of contents (or list of figures, if present)
    On the front cover of the report
    In an appendix at the back of the report
  17. Click on one of the following that states the proper location for the informative abstract in the report design described in this chapter:
    At the bottom of the title page
    On the next page following the table of contents (or list of figures, if present)
    On the front cover of the report
    In an appendix at the back of the report
  18. Is it appropriate to leave out normal words such as "the," "a" or "an" and obvious verbs or connective words in abstracts? Click on the correct answer:
    No--although abstracts must be condensed as much as possible, they must still use good English.
    Yes--abstracts must be as brief and condensed as possible, but still summarize all the key information in the report; leaving out obvious words can help that.
  19. Based on your reading of the chapter, do you think you should summarize anything from the introduction or conclusion of a report in an informative abstract? Click on the correct answer:
    No--the chapter states that you should not include summarized detail from these two sections of reports; and, in any case, they don't contain essential information.
    Yes--while these sections often contain general information inappropriate in an informative abstract, they can certainly contain important facts and conclusions that must be summarized.

   

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