Technical Communication:
Mechanics of Writing (Read Me First! 1)

Answer the questions in this quiz to see how well you've read and understood the chapter. Feel free to look up answers in the book and retake this quiz until you get all the answers right. (Lots of questions here, but they are quick and perennial points of confusion.)

This quiz is based on Read Me First! A Style Guide for the Computer Industry by Sun Technical Publications (Prentice-Hall, 2003). ISBN: 0-13-142899-3.

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

Your name Your handle (use the exact same handle
you created in the questionnaire)
Your e-mail (if you want your
results e-mailed to you)
  1. Sun recommends not going beyond:
    Second-level headings
    Third-level headings
    Fourth-level headings
    Fifth-level headings
  2. Is it okay to use a pronoun in the sentence following a heading to refer to that heading?
    No
    Yes

  3. Is it okay to begin headings with articles?
    No
    Yes
  4. What's the rule on lowercasing prepositions in headings?
    Lowercase all prepositions.
    Lowercase prepositions under 5 letters.
    Lowercase prepositions under 4 letters.
    Use uppercase on all prepositions.
  5. When do you use numbered lists; when do you use bulleted lists?
    If the items are in a required sequence; if the items are in no required sequence.
    If the items are in no required sequence; if the items are in a required sequence.
  6. What's the rule on the phrasing of list lead-ins?
    Never make them the grammatical beginning of a sentence that the list items complete.
    Always make them the grammatical beginning of a sentence that the list items complete.
  7. Is it okay to end a list lead-in with an imperative verb?
    Yes
    No
  8. How should the first word of each list item be capitalized?
    Capitalize it only when the first word complete a sentence started by the list lead-in.
    Never capitalize the first word.
    Always capitalize the first word.
  9. What is an informal table?
    One that requires a number and a caption because its context is unclear.
    One that does not require a number and a caption because its context is unclear.
    One that does not require a number and a caption because its context is clear.
    One that requires a number and a caption because its context is clear.
  10. What's the capitalization rule for table cells?
    Init-cap all main words except for interior articles, conjunctions, and prepositions less than 6 letters.
    Lowercase all words in table cells.
    Init-cap only the first word
  11. Although not directly stated, what seems to be Sun's rule for alignment of table cells?
    Left-align everything.
    Left-align text cells; center numeric cells.
    Center text cells; left-align numeric cells.
    Usage varies—no apparent rule being applied.
  12. What typographic style should be used for verbatim display of exact computer programs?
    Same font as body.
    Variable-width (proportional) font
    Monospace font
    Arial
  13. What is Sun's rule on when to include a page number in cross-references?
    When the reference is to another book.
    When the reference is to another chapter in the same book.
    When the reference is to a place more than 2 pages away in the same book.
    No guideline is stated.
  14. How should you treat exact references to chapter or heading titles?
    Use double quotation marks.
    Use single quotation marks.
    Use italics.
    Just use init caps.
  15. When should you use the lightning bolt image, the heat symbol, and the exclamation point?
    Risk of nonelectrical injury or irreversible damage to data or equipment; danger of personal injury or damage to equipment or data because of an electrical hazard; risk of injury due to heat.
    Risk of injury due to heat; risk of nonelectrical injury or irreversible damage to data or equipment; danger of personal injury or damage to equipment or data because of an electrical hazard.
    Risk of injury due to heat; danger of personal injury or damage to equipment or data because of an electrical hazard; risk of nonelectrical injury or irreversible damage to data or equipment.
    Danger of personal injury or damage to equipment or data because of an electrical hazard; risk of injury due to heat; risk of nonelectrical injury or irreversible damage to data or equipment.
    Danger of personal injury or damage to equipment or data because of an electrical hazard; risk of nonelectrical injury or irreversible damage to data or equipment. risk of injury due to heat.
    Risk of nonelectrical injury or irreversible damage to data or equipment; risk of injury due to heat; danger of personal injury or damage to equipment or data because of an electrical hazard.
  16. What typography you should use when you refer to a field that users must fill out such as Your name:?
    Monospace
    Italics
    Bold
    Quotation marks
    Init caps
  17. How should your refer to the arrow keys?
    Init caps, for example, press the Left Arrow key
    Init cap, for example, press the Left arrow key
    Lowercase, for example, press the left arrow key
    Italics and init caps, for example, press the Left Arrow key
    Italics and lowercase, for example, press the left arrow key
    Bold and init caps, for example, press the Left Arrow key
    Bold and lowercase, for example, press the left arrow key
  18. If CTRL is inscribed on the key top of the computer keyboard, how should you refer to it in text?
    Control
    Ctrl
    CTRL
    control
  19. How should you treat menu options and menu names when you refer to them in text?
    Italics
    Bold
    Init caps
    All caps
  20. How should you treat on-screen button names when you refer to them in text? (You may need to use the index to find the answer for this one.)
    Italics
    Bold
    Init caps
    All caps

   

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