ITS 311: Technical Communications

Review for First Test
  1. Briefly define technical writing.

  2. Name four kinds of business communication documents that might contain technical writing.

  3. How do ethics affect technical writing?

  4. Give an example of a product advertisement that would be considered unethical.

  5. How does the contract theory of ethics apply to technical writing?

  6. How does copyright law affect a technical writer? Give an example of technical writing that complies with copyright law.

  7. Explain the correct use of trademarks in technical writing. Give examples of correct and incorrect usage.

  8. What is the difference between an express contract and an implied contract? How might a technical writer create an implied contract?

  9. How does liability law affect technical writing? Describe the kind of statements that a technical writer needs to make to provide protection from lawsuits.

  10. What organization created the writing method that treats a technical document like a communications signal?

  11. What is Noise in terms of technical writing?

  12. What is meant by the Channel used for technical communication?

  13. Name three advantages that might exist because of being a member of a technical writing team.

  14. Name three problems that might arise when working on a team that would not be encountered when working alone.

  15. In most chapters, the author suggests that a technical writer must know something about the intended audience. What?

  16. During the prewriting phase of a project, what are three activities that should take place?

  17. What is the difference between inductive and deductive presentations? What do the two methods have in common?

  18. What is the difference between active voice and passive voice? Write a sentence both ways to illustrate the difference.

  19. Name three sources of information about proper grammar and sentence mechanics. You should be able to use these sources to resolve problems that proofreaders identify in your writing.

  20. What are signal words? Why is it a good idea to use them in technical writing?

  21. Name three reasons to use graphics in a technical document, as stated in the textbook.

  22. Give examples of using graphic with too little information and too much information in them.

  23. In general, what kind of graph should you prefer to use:
    1. to show differences between single numbers?
    2. to show changes in numbers across time?
    3. to show what percent of a whole something is?
    4. to show steps in a process?
    5. to show relationships between business units?

  24. What are two types of illustrations the text recommends to show the parts of a device?

  25. Give examples of how you might use chunking and filtering in a document.

  26. What is the line length of a document? How can it affect a reader's experience of the document?

  27. What is the difference between leading and kerning? When might you expect to need to increase the leading of a block of text? What about the kerning?

  28. Explain the three standard variations of justification. Which did the text suggest for general use, and why?

  29. Why do you use bullets with lists? When should you number the items in a list instead of using bullets?

  30. If you are writing a document for the web, why should you consider not using underlining for emphasis?

  31. It is helpful to know about the book classification system used by a library you are doing research in. What are the two major systems discussed it the text?

  32. Name three Internet search engines. Why should you be skeptical about material found on the Internet? What signs can you look for that would lead you to have confidence in an Internet site?

  33. Follow the link on my notes to chapter 5. What kind of information is available at the Internet Public Library?

  34. What are the five rules given in the text to avoid plagiarism?

  35. Sometimes a technical writer needs information that has not been published. How can a survey help gather such information?

  36. What information gathering technique is usually the most time consuming? When should you use it?

  37. What organization is the source of APA documentation style?

  38. The MLA does not post details of its documentation style on the Internet. Where can you look up information about it?

  39. Name three standard, respected dictionaries. Which does the text indicate is the most definitive?

  40. Why should terms be defined in technical writing? How might they be easily misunderstood?

  41. Is there a difference between a parenthetical definition and a defining phrase? Which is probably longer? What would make the shorter version preferable?

  42. What is the formula for writing a formal sentence definition?

  43. An extended definition may have several parts. What is the difference between a denotation and a connotation?

  44. How does an analogy help a user understand a definition?

  45. What is a definition that is too broad for the intended purpose? What is a definition that is too narrow?

  46. What is another definition of mechanism in technical writing, other than a device?

  47. In describing a mechanism, what would lead you to describe its parts in spatial order? Why might you choose functional order? What does the author mean by chronological order, and why would you use that order in describing the mechanism's parts?