Business & Technical Communications: Quiz on Technical Reports

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 characteristics of technical reports, the appendix on common types of technical reports, and this quiz to check your answers. (If you are using Power Tools for Technical Communication, chapters 3, 4, and 5 will have prepared you for this quiz.)

When you're through, just click on Check answers to check your answers. If you want to start over, just click on Start over.

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  1. Click on the report elements that, according to the textbook, you need to define in order to begin planning for the technical report assignment:
    Topic of the report: what it will be about.
    Page count—how long the report will be.
    Audience of the report—characteristics of the readers you expect to use the report.
    Situation of the report—circumstances that bring about the need for the report.
    Schedule for the report—when you expect to have the report ready, how long it will take to prepare.
    Report type—whether the report is a background or feasibility report, instructions, etc.

  2. Concerning the audience and situation for the technical report, the textbook emphasizes which one of the following?
    That the report should be situated in the academic environment and be written for the instructor.
    That the report should be written for a specific situation in your workplace and addressed to your work supervisor. Do not write for your instructor.
    That the report should be written for a real or realistic audience and situation; it should not set in the academic situation with the instructor as the audience.

  3. Take a look at these audience and situation descriptions. Click on the one that is most specific and realistic (i.e., like the audience and situation you must define for your report project):
    Readers of various age groups, occupations, educational achievement, and economic levels interested in learning more about uses of plastics in high-stress, heavy-load bearing parts in automobiles.
    Investment people needing to understand uses of plastics in automobiles to assess risks and opportunities in companies manufacturing these plastics.
    Agents of an Barney-Park Investments, Inc., seeking background on automotive plastics in order to recommend to client investors stock purchases in Tonka Motors Company, a local plastics-manufacturing firm.

  4. Take a look at these audience and situation descriptions. Click on the one that is most specific and realistic:
    Decision-makers who need information about on the history, technique, applications, and technical, social, and ethical problems involved in cryogenics, suspended animation of humans beings.
    People who are looking for general information concerning cryogenics—the suspended animation of human being—specifically, the history, technique, applications as well as technical, social, and ethical problems involved.
    U.S. Senate subcommittee members who must act on legislation involving cryogenics and need basic background information on the history, technique, applications, and technical, social, and ethical problems involved.

    The textbook emphasizes that you must narrow your report topic as much as you can because (a) you don't want to end up writing a 200-page report and (b) narrower topics produce more specific, more detailed reports, which are superior to vague, general ones. In the following sets of topic descriptions, pick the one that is the most specific.

  5. Take a look at these report-topic descriptions. Click on the one that is most specific:
    A report on the greenhouse effect, which has to do with the way that increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are trapping heat in the environment and leading to higher average global temperatures.
    A report on the impact on the earth's climate that the greenhouse effect is reputed to have.
    A report on the controversy concerning the predictions of higher average global temperatures according to the theory of the greenhouse effect.

  6. Take a look at these report-topic descriptions. Click on the one that is most specific:
    A report on various aspects of avocado gardening: climate in which the avocado grows, yields per acre, soil conditions required, nutritional facts, areas of the U.S. in which the avocado can be grown.
    A report on how to raise your own avocados: information on soil and climate conditions needed, seasonal schedules, and care and tending recommendations.
    All about the avocado: cultivation, history, nutritional details, recipes, myths about, derivation of the word.

    In the following questions, read the paragraph and then click on the type of report that it describes. (You'll need to be familiar with both the chapter and the appendix on technical reports mentioned above.)

  7. An explanation of how to disassemble, clean, and reassemble a U.S. Army P1265-A rifle according to strict military regulations.
    Technical background report
    Instructions
    Feasibility report
    Primary research report

  8. Results and conclusions of a study done on the survivability and production rates of a hybridized avocado species.
    Technical background report
    Instructions
    Primary research report
    Proposal

  9. An offer to study various sites to which to move an integrated-circuit manufacturing facility along with supporting information about the organization offering to do the study.
    Feasibility report
    Primary research report
    Proposal
    Business prospectus

  10. Data, conclusions, and recommendations from a study to determine whether free bus transportation in the city would increase ridership and decrease automobile traffic congestion.
    Technical background report
    Feasibility report
    Proposal
    Business prospectus

  11. Information on the history, technique, applications, and technical problems involved in cryogenics (suspended animation of human beings) as well as social, ethical, and legal implications.
    Technical background report
    Feasibility report
    Primary research report
    Business prospectus

  12. Information designed to attract investment money in a business that would develop and produce video comic books for children.
    Technical background report
    Instructions
    Primary research report
    Business prospectus

  13. An offer to study the fire-ant problem in county parks and different methods of controlling fire-ant populations; to recommend the best solution for the problem; and then to carry out the recommended solution if approved.
    Technical background report
    Instructions
    Feasibility report
    Primary research report
    Proposal

  14. Details on the design and manufacturing aspects of an AM/FM clock-radio that plays reminders taped by the user at the specified time.
    Technical background report
    Instructions
    Proposal
    Technical specifications
    Business prospectus

  15. A report on the acid-rain phenomenon prepared for a state legislative committee: information on its causes, effects, debate on how serious a problem it is, as well as discussion of how to reduce it.
    Technical background report
    Feasibility report
    Primary research report
    Business prospectus

  16. Information designed to guide customers through the unpacking, installation planning, installing, wiring, trouble-shooting, and maintenance of an automatic garage-door opener.
    Technical background report
    Instructions
    Primary research report
    Technical specifications

  17. A study done to determine whether dredging a local lake to make it usable for recreation could be done technically (whether it can be dredged), economically (whether it can be paid for), and socially (whether people would support it).
    Instructions
    Feasibility report
    Primary research report
    Proposal

  18. Fire-Ant Handbook for the Homeowner: structure of the typical fire-ant colony, physical characteristics of fire ants, species of fire ants, toxicity levels of fire-ant stings, climatic and geological preferences of fire ants.
    Technical background report
    Feasibility report
    Primary research report
    Proposal
    Business prospectus

  19. A study of 100 randomly chosen students in their efforts to learn and use a popular electronic spreadsheet program: on 5 specific tasks, length of time it took them to complete, type and number of errors made, common complaints.
    Technical background report
    Feasibility report
    Primary research report
    Proposal
    Instructions

  20. Click on each of the characteristics of the technical report that you should plan to incorporate in your own report, according to the textbook:
    Drawings, diagrams, figures, tables.
    Numbered and bulleted lists.
    Headings and subheadings indicating topics and subtopics within the main text of the report.
    Use of external information sources such as books, articles, reports, interviews with experts.
    Index that helps readers find specific topics covered within your report.
    Specific, detailed technical content.
    Classroom and course as the situation and instructor as the audience.
    Coverage of a lot of topics but at a general level so that the report will be interesting to general readers and so that the discussion of these topics will fit within the report page limit.
    Real or realistic audience and real or realistic situation in which the report is needed.


   

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