Business & Technical Communications:
Quiz on Instructions

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 instructions and this quiz to check your answers.

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  1. Which of the following technical-writing projects describes a set of instructions?
    Information on how to operate the XJC-100 CD-ROM player
    information of the materials and construction used in the XJC-100 CD-ROM player
    Evaluative comparison of the XJC-100 CD-ROM player with three other leading models

  2. Instructions can best be defined in the following way:
    Information about the design and materials used in a consumer product
    Information about the steps, the procedures that one must perform to do something
    Comparative information on two or more things with the aim of recommending one of them as the best

  3. An example of a task, as defined in the textbook, would be which one of the following:
    A specific instruction such as "press the DUPLEXING button"
    All of the instructions contained in a manual for using a photocopying machine
    A group of instructions on duplex copying inside a manual for using a photocopying machine

  4. An example of a procedure, as defined in the textbook, would be which one of the following:
    A specific instruction such as "press the DUPLEXING button"
    All of the instructions contained in a manual for using a photocopying machine
    A group of instructions on duplex copying inside a manual for using a photocopying machine

  5. Which of the following would be a good example of the task approach:
    Discussion of each interface element on a machine (each button, switch, handle, knob, etc.) along with explanation of how it functions
    Discussion of the advantages and disadvantages, the strengths and weaknesses, of a machine
    Explanations of how to perform the most common actions associated with the machine

  6. Which of the following would be a good example of the tools approach, as defined in the textbook:
    Discussion of each interface element on a machine (each button, switch, handle, knob, etc.) along with explanation of how it functions
    Discussion of the advantages and disadvantages, the strengths and weaknesses, of a machine
    Explanations of how to perform the most common actions associated with the machine

  7. Instructions often use this formatting technique to alert readers to important points, situations that could damage equipment, or potentially dangerous situations:
    Special notices
    Instructions
    Lists
    Headings

  8. When you write the introduction to a set of instructions, you should consider including which of the following elements:
    An overview of the contents of the instructions
    Some indication of the skills or background the audience needs to perform the instructions
    A brief indication of the tasks on which the instructions will provide information
    A list of the components of the mechanism being described
    Technical background on the mechanism being used
    The scope of the instructions--what's not being covered

  9. According to our textbook, which of the following is usually the best way to format the equipment and supplies section:
    Simple or bulleted vertical list
    Numbered vertical list
    Straight paragraph format

  10. According to our textbook, which of the following is usually the best way to format the actual steps in a set of instructions:
    Simple or bulleted vertical list
    Numbered vertical list
    Straight paragraph format

  11. If you were writing a troubleshooting section that directed the reader to try various things to clear a paper jam in a printer, which format would you use and why:
    Bulleted list, because the suggestions for clearing the paper jam are in no particular order.
    Numbered list, because the suggestions for clearing the paper jam are in no particular order.
    Straight paragraph format because the numbered or list format just make it harder to read.

  12. Which are the writing problems to avoid when you write instructions, according to our textbook:
    Active voice
    Passive voice
    Inclusion of articles (a, an, the)
    Exclusion of articles (a, an, the)

  13. Which of the following sentences are entirely in the active voice (there is more than one):
    Press the On/Off button and wait for the system to display the READY message.
    Press the On/Off button and wait for the READY message to be displayed.
    To format a disk, insert the diskette in the drive, and enter the command FORMAT A:.
    For a diskette to be formatted, you must use the FORMAT A: command.

  14. You would use headings in instructions in order to:
    Indicate the different sections and subsections of the instructions, but, in particular, to indicate the specific tasks and phases.
    Indicate the location of the graphics, tables, and other illustrations as well as to help readers find the special notices.
    Help readers identify the parts of the introduction: the overview of contents, the audience description, the scope, and the background.

   

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