Business Writing

1. Writing in school and writing at work differ because
the purposes of each differ.
the audiences of each differ.
2. Which type of organization produces large amounts of technical writing?
all of the above
3. Which of the following statements is true of technical writing?
It involves a variety of document types.
4. Which of the following statements is/are true of documents you will write on the job?
They have an indefinite life.
They may be accessed from an organization’s archive over an infinite time.
5. When you sign your name to a report or letter, you are
responsible for the contents.
6. Your textbook says that “On the job, keep in mind that no one wants to read anything you write.” Consequently, when you write you should . . .
make sure everything you write is clear, correct, necessary, and polite.
7. In the workplace you will write for all but one of the following readers:
a single reader who is a specialist in a subject area you are writing on.
8. Others will use your workplace writing
as information they need to do their own job.
as documentation of your accomplishments.
9. One similarity between writing at school and writing on the job is that your writing will remain confidential in both situations.
False
10. All of the following produce large quantities of technical writing: university offices, corporations, research centers, hospitals, businesses of all sizes, nonprofit organizations.
True
11. In the workplace, most of your readers will not read all of what you write.
True
12. The more time they need to read your document, the more they will appreciate your contributions to the company.
False
13. Designing documents that will prevent their misuse should be one of your primary goals.
True
14. Given the choice between correctness and clarity, the preferred choice is correctness.
True
15. Any digital communication you make may eventually find itself in cyberspace, where it can be accessed by others.
True
16. Requires strict security procedures.
Writing at work
17. Major problem posed by legal liability.
Writing at work
18. Readers may be unknown to the writer.
Writing at work
19. Writing may be archived indefinitely.
Writing at work
20. Has a single, expert reader.
Writing in school
21. Requires effective paragraph development, correct sentence structure, punctuation, and usage.
Both
22. Writing used to illustrate knowledge.
Writing in school
23. Achieves job goals.
Writing at work
24. Avoid plagiarism.
Both
25. Addresses a variety of readers who have different perspectives from those of the writer.
Writing at work
1. When developing a document, you should think first about
the readers of the document.
2. In business organizations, most employees
have more to read than they can or will read.
3. In developing any communication, which of the following is NOT one of your main goals?
to keep your communication complex but brief.
4. Important information should be placed
at the beginning of the document.
5. When you consider your readers, you should think about their
all of the above
6. One challenge when planning a document is juggling three important goals:
connecting your reader, purpose, and context.
7. Larry is writing a memo to convince the lunchroom staff to clean the tables more often in the afternoon, when he likes to proofread his documents while taking a coffee break. The most effective way to start his memo is
I know you work as hard as the rest of us do and perform a vital service to your fellow employees.
8. All but one of the following are important goals that connect your reader, purpose, and context.
You want everyone to read all of your document.
9. Your level of responsibility in the organization will reflect what you say and how you say it.
True
10. The power relationship between you and your reader is irrelevant when writing a report. Facts are facts.
False
11. When writing for your supervisor you should transmit the image of a colleague.
False
12. In well-run organizations, the power relationship between the writer and the reader should not affect the writing.
False
13. You should always attempt to fit your message to each reader.
True
14. It is important to know the following about your readers, except:
their ages.
15. A host of factors determines your reader(s)’ perception of and perspective on your writing:
all of the above
1. As a professional, you have ethical obligations to which of the following?
all of the above
2. Which of the following is NOT considered a form of unethical communication?
use of erroneous typography.
3. To be copyrighted, material must
none of the above
4. Which of the following statements is/are true?
Negative assertions such as “no graphics software does more” are often deceptive.
It is possible to deceive readers without lying.
5. Which of the following is/are copyrightable?
all of the above
6. If you are faced with an ethical dilemma, a good rule of thumb to help you make a decision is:
Think of someone you admire, and ask yourself how that person would handle the dilemma.
7. A brief acknowledgment, such as “Dr. Jones studied cancer in mice, and his results show . . .,” is all that is required
in informal writing situations.
8. Using the words, images, or ideas of others without attribution
is plagiarism.
9. A copyright
is automatic as soon as the material is created.
10. When you quote a source, in order to avoid plagiarism
put material in quotation marks and specify the source.
11. If you alter material you have borrowed from another source, such as a chart or table,
you have to acknowledge the source and acknowledge that you have altered the material.
12. You do not need permission to use all but one of the following:
material that has never been registered with the copyright office.
13. If you are asked to do something unethical on the job,
ask polite questions that clarify the request.

explain your dilemma.

14. If asked to take an unethical action, one reason to cite the code of conduct for your profession or company is to
show that the request is considered unethical in your profession or company.
15. When making decisions about ethical dilemmas,
always make a decision that you could live with if it became public.
1. For most writing, you should
use conversational language.
2. Effective writers adjust their style to readers’
all of the above
3. Which of the following is NOT a key to building effective sentences?
Deemphasize the verb.
4. Characteristics of bad writing include which of the following?
many is/are verb forms.
5. In messages that you want readers to digest quickly, you should
use less detailed writing.
6. You should start every paragraph with a topic sentence
so readers can survey the document by reading the topic sentences.
7. An effective style
will make it more likely that your report will be read.
8. Sentences in a paragraph should
follow a logical order.
9. Most paragraphs should be organized using
linear text.
10. When writing for a general rather than a specialized audience don’t
use jargon.
11. When you begin a job assignment, ask your supervisor
what style he would prefer.
12. Passive voice
should be used as little as possible.
13. Sentence 1: “When this question is read, your understanding becomes confused because . . .”
Sentence 2: “When you read this question, you understand it because . . .” Sentence 2 is clearer because
it makes clear to whom the pronoun refers.
14. Good writing has
active voice and few prepositional phrases.
15. A paragraph is clearer when the sentences
vary in length.
16. One way to make lengthier sentences clearer and thus more readable is to
build sentences with clauses and as many verbs as possible.
17. Word choice often affects the tone of your document.
True
18. Squeaky-clean prose can make you sound pompous.
False
19. A simple style is a natural style.
True
20. Always write to impress.
False
1. Which of the following guidelines will NOT make your e-mails easier to read and understand?
Use long paragraphs.
2. If you think the template you are supposed to use isn’t appropriate for your audience and your message, you should
make a case with your supervisor for changes to the format.
3. Which of the following techniques is/are useful in bringing active space to your pages and screens?
all of the above
4. Which of the following statements is/are true of users working with a computer program?
They need to quickly find specific pages or screens in the user’s manual.

They go to the user’s manual when they have a specific problem.

5. Which of the following guidelines is/are useful to remember in developing instructions?
Numbered steps will help your readers.
6. Professional documents
should be only as complex as the situation requires.
7. When you plan a document’s visual design, check to see if your company has standard design criteria.
True
8. Design decisions, much like revision and editing, should wait until later in the writing process.
False
9. Content decisions, such as audience, context, and purpose, are important when making design decisions.
True
10. Your reader will follow your design better if he or she isn’t aware that you are leading the reader through the document with design elements.
False
11. Varying your design throughout the document will provide visual stimulation and keep the reader interested.
False
12. Designing documents for the Web has advantages over designing printed documents because
illustrations and color will be easier and less expensive to include
13. Active space is the space
inside the text that helps readers find information quickly
14. The rules change when designing online documents. For instance,
paragraphs can be of one sentence.
15. For documents that will be read on mobile devices,
use single spacing with an extra line inserted between paragraphs
16. Headings such as “Introduction” and “Conclusion”
are not useful because they don’t tell the readers anything about the topic.
17. Using a string of nouns as a heading is
is a bad idea because the heading will be ambiguous.
18. Using questions for headings
anticipates the reader by supplying answers.
19. When writing standard documents, such as a proposal report,
follow the expected format.
20. Frequently change the heading levels, and use as many levels as feasible.
False
21. Create a pattern for the headings, and stick to it.
True
22. Use the same size headings throughout, regardless of importance.
False
1. When you segment a circle graph (pie diagram),
all of the above
2. What is the greatest difficulty in designing line graphs?
choosing the spacing for each axis.
3. What is the purpose of an organization chart?
to show the divisions and levels of responsibility within an organization.
4. Which of the following is NOT a useful guideline for designing flow charts?
Use different shapes for equivalent steps.
5. When using a photograph, it’s best to
focus attention on key features.

keep it as simple as possible.

6. It is unethical to design a flow chart that makes a process look simpler than it actually is.
True
7. It is unethical to create a drawing that puts features on a product it doesn’t really have.
True
8. It is unethical to use illustrations that might be easily misinterpreted.
True
9. It is unethical to duplicate information in the body of the text in an illustration.
False
10. It is unethical to use celebrities to advertise your products.
False
11. It is unethical to stage a photograph so it creates a positive or negative impression.
True
12. A line graph is sometimes called
an XY graph.
13. In any graph, table, or illustration, which of the following is most important?
being accurate and avoiding distortion.
14. It is ethical to
in a line graph, start at a point higher than zero as long as it does not distort information.
15. In a PowerPoint for a presentation in your economics class that you will also present to the Chamber of Commerce, you wish to illustrate increases in home and commercial property taxes, sales taxes, and home sales in your town over the last ten years. For the clearest presentation you should choose a
column or bar graph.
1. Above all, a good e-mail is
concise and readable.
2. Which of the following adjectives does NOT describe the ideal e-mail?
complex.
3. Which of the following guidelines will NOT help you ensure quality in letters, emails, and memos?
Use spell-check as a substitute for editing.
4. When examining a writing situation, you should consider the reader’s
all of the above
5. A clearly designed memo
a and b only
6. The purpose of a memo or letter
should be in the first paragraph.
7. The best way to communicate internally in an organization is
by memo.
8. One way to avoid a negative emotional reaction from your reader is to
write in a conversational tone.
9. When writing tricky correspondence, you should keep your audience or reader in mind by thinking about your audience’s frame of reference toward
you and the subject.
10. Review correspondence before sending it out by
reading it aloud.
11. Conciseness is not important for texting because the message appears on a single screen.
False
12. Memos may be used as digital documents, whereas letters are always print documents.
false
13. Because memos are intended for everyone in an organization, writers don’t have to worry about audience.
False
14. The following could make an unfavorable statement about the appearance of your memo or letter:
typographical errors.
15. Avoid all but one of the following in text messages on the job:
sounding too professional.
16. Start memos and letters with the main point as quickly as possible unless
you are delivering bad news, in which case you may need to soften the blow with an introduction.
17. You should be careful about the tone or “sound” of your writing, which can reveal
18. All but one of the following phrases has a negative tone. Which one?
“You have requested . . .”
19. One danger of trying to sound objective is that you might sound
impersonal
20. If the phrase “The changes agreed upon per our conversation are herein included” were rewritten as “The changes included here were the ones we discussed during our telephone conversations,” it would be more
conversational
1. What part of the report is likely to be the most read?
summary
2. An economic justification report
explains the cost of a project and then argues for the project’s cost-effectiveness.
3. A feasibility report
presents possible solutions to a problem, determines criteria for assessing the solutions, and assesses and presents the solutions.
4. The introduction and summary
are combined in informal reports.
5. When should a report include a table of contents?
when it’s a formal report.
6. Reports provide all but one of the following:
opinon
7. Different readers will read different sections of your report
according to their needs.
8. Though many of your readers will not read your whole report, most readers will read
the summary
9. A report should always be limited to providing information.
False
10. Some reports will analyze as well as report on information.
True
11. Analytical reports can be rigidly classified and organized in exactly the same way.
False
12. The “Introduction” should include all but one of the following:
all necessary attachments.
13. In a formal report, prefatory elements are those parts that
come at the beginning of the report, often before the introduction or discussion.
14. Prefatory elements can be considered routine and do not require significant time or effort.
False
15. A memo or letter of transmittal is necessary only if the current report has been written in response to earlier reports.
False
16. Title pages are for school work, not workplace writing, and so should not be included in reports.
False
17. Abstracts and summaries are the most important items in the report because
they may be the only material many recipients read.
18. The abstract and/or summary and the table of contents
should have parallel terminology and wording that complement each other.
19. The conclusion of a report
restates or summarizes the issues covered in the discussion.
20. When working collaboratively on a report, teams
can often collaborate through blogs and other virtual meetings spaces, such as company intranet sites.
21. An executive summary provides extensive development of each section.
True
22. In a collaborative project, each team member should be a “jack of all trades” rather than dividing the work up between team members.
False
23. In a collaborative project, the team should plan a work schedule that includes deadlines for each document segment.
True
24. Part of planning a team project is learning how to work together, particularly when the team is multicultural.
True
25. A single team member should not edit the document for the team.
False
1. As a proposal writer, which of the following should you NOT do?
propose actions outside the organization’s capabilities.
2. Which of the following is NOT a standard part of a proposal?
appraisal of progress.
3. What is the most important section of a proposal?
summary.
4. What is of greatest importance in a proposal?
the feasibility of the work you propose.
5. Which of the following is true of progress reports?
All of the above
6. A proposal describes the proposed work in detail. A follow-up document, referred to as a “progress report,” adds estimates of cost and time required to complete the project.
False
7. Projects can sometimes begin with a verbal agreement.
True
8. In an academic setting, proposals often explain all but ONE of the following:
the outside contractor’s faculty will pay to do the actual research.
9. Before writing a proposal report, members of an organization might ask some of the following questions: Can we do the work requested? Can we show that we can do this work, based on what we have already done? Can we do it within the time limit given in the RFP? Organizations might ask such question before even beginning to write a proposal because the answer to these questions tells them
how successful their proposal might be.
10. A submitted proposal is only an estimate of work and costs, not a legal document.
False
11. Even though you are making an argument with your proposal, you should keep in mind that you have an ethical responsibility to accurately represent your or your organization’s capabilities to complete the project.
True
12. Proposers might ask themselves whether they should even start writing a proposal based on the scope and challenges of research and analysis involved because
writing a proposal requires a sizable investment in resources.
13. The plan of the work should include
what you will do in what order.
14. The problem analysis section of a proposal should
anticipate problems and explain possible solutions.
15. The facilities section of a proposal should convince the reader that you have
the right equipment.
16. The personnel section of a research proposal would
explain his or her expertise in the subject matter.
17. The budget section of proposal
explains exactly how much the project will cost and how the cost is determined.
1. Which of the following guidelines should NOT be followed in developing instructions?
all of the above
2. A set of instructions needs to identify
all of the above
3. Online instructions
may need to be printed.
need to be as readable as print instructions.
4. In a set of instructions, be sure that all warnings and cautions
stand out.
5. In a set of instructions, a general overview of a process
may help readers understand how to avoid errors.
will help readers perform better in some situations.
6. Readers of instructions
do not want to read anything twice.
7. Instructions might include all but ONE of the following:
brochures.
8. A manual is usually used when
instructions and procedures are complex.
9. Instructions and procedures should not be sent in the body of an e-mail because
the instructions may be garbled or otherwise made unreadable if downloaded on a device with different formatting.
10. In instructions, white space
can make items in lists easy to find and read.
11. Illustrations in instructions should always be
located at the point of the instructions they illustrate, so they are where the reader needs them.
12. The best way to draw the reader’s attention to an illustration is
with the text “See Figure X.”
13. When you come to the bottom of the page and must complete an instruction at the top of the next page you should
not break up the instruction but rather move the entire instruction to the top of the next page.
14. A writer who understands that the end users may resist reading the instructions and try to figure out the process or task for themselves will
use a simple design, plain wording, and clear illustrations to encourage readers to pay attention.
15. All but ONE of the following examples of context-sensitive instructions are effective:
Instructions for how to start a new laptop computer might be found on a website.
16. You should analyze the audience, purpose, and context for your procedures/instructions
before you begin structuring or organizing your instructions.
17. Introductions have a specific purpose in procedures/instructions to
familiarize readers with the task to be performed.
18. You might include a section on the theory governing the procedures or instructions
knowing that the theory might help readers to understand when they have made an error and to avoid errors.
19. When writing warnings, cautions, and hazards, remember that
a failure to warn could have costly legal implications.
20. Placing warnings, hazards, and cautions at the beginning of instructions
may alert readers to possible problems they may encounter.
1. When presenting information, you should use
a conversational style.
2. Tone and degree of formality are dictated by
your organizational role.
your relationship to the audience.
3. When developing PowerPoint slides, you should
use a font that contrasts to the background.
4. Using additional colors in PowerPoint slides
may reduce the effectiveness of your message.
may enhance a visual.
5. In an oral presentation, which of the following should be used to introduce your topic and get the reader’s attention?
all of the above
6. In the discussion section you should help your listeners pay attention and keep track by
numbering each point: “Now, let’s proceed to my second point.”
7. As soon as you say, “in conclusion,”
you have about a minute to cover your main point.
8. When researching for oral presentations,
plan on doing as much research as for a written presentation.
9. When choosing and shaping content for a presentation, pay attention to the types of information you can present. In any presentation, you should consider statistics, testimony, cases, illustrations, history, and narrative. You should
use a variety of information types as they help you achieve your goal.
10. Oral presentations should be organized
using the same strategy as for a written report: an introduction, a main body, and a conclusion.
11. The introduction should do all but ONE of the following:
explain your supporting evidence.
12. The main body of your presentation should do all but ONE of the following:
preview the conclusion.
13. Anecdotes or stories
will make your ideas vivid and memorable.
14. According to your textbook, one thing that can “make or break” the effectiveness of what you say is
how you speak.
15. The tone and degree of formality of your presentation are dictated by
your organizational role and your relationship with your audience.
16. A conversational tone, often the most effective style, can be recognized by
short sentences and concrete language.
17. In oral presentations, unlike written presentations, it’s acceptable for some of your points to stray from the goal of your presentation.
False
18. Because audiences generally do not enjoy long presentations, speak as rapidly as possible.
False
19. The guidelines for using visuals in oral presentations are quite different from those for written documents.
False
20. Listeners will grow restless if you talk too long and inundate them with too many slides.
True
21. If you have an unreceptive audience, a good strategy is to
establish common ground, or points of agreement with your audience.
22. Audiences generally do not enjoy long presentations.
True
1. When developing a letter of application, you should
make sure it is free of grammatical errors.
2. Which of the following is an appropriate tone for a letter of application?
self-confident.
3. A good letter of application focuses on
what the applicant will do for the prospective employer.
how the applicant can benefit the prospective employer.
4. You should begin a letter of application by
identifying the job you want.
5. The goal of the letter of application is to
get an interview with a prospective employer.
6. Potential employers will look at many items when considering applicants, including online profiles and social networks. Therefore, it is important that
the information on these sites matches the information on résumés and cover letters.
7. The letter of application should
be clear of mechanical errors and be mechanically perfect.
8. When writing your letter of application,
focus on how you can benefit the company.
9. A letter of application should be brief to the point of being telegraphic.
False
10. When describing your accomplishments in the letter and résumé, use action verbs.
True
11. The best way to get noticed is to come up with a tricky and flashy opening.
False
12. You should give evidence in your cover letter and let your prospective employers come to their own conclusions about you based on that evidence.
True
13. In order to convince a prospective employer that you are the best fit for the job and organization, you should
be specific about all your accomplishments.
14. The advantages of a chronological résumé are that
it can show a steady progression through your education and work experience toward the position you’re applying for.
15. People with extensive work experience should list their experience
before their education.
16. List the colleges you have attended in reverse chronological order.
True
17. Personal information should be reserved for the interview, not included in the résumé.
False
18. If you include recent travel in your résumé, you will send the message that you are willing to travel.
True
19. If you include hobbies in your résumé, you will send the message that you are easily distracted.
False
20. If you include cultural activities in your résumé, you will send the message that you have broad interests.
True
21. The advantages of a functional résumé are that
it allows you to highlight the experiences that show you to your best advantage.
22. All but ONE of the following are optional items you might or might not include in a résumé:
work experience and education.
23. If you decide not to accept an offer, you should write a letter of refusal after being offered a job
because you may wish to work for this organization in the future even though you must decline the opportunity at this time.
24. You should bring all but ONE of the following with you to a job interview:
a tape recorder.
25. In a job interview, in answer to the question, “What can you tell me about yourself?” you should
stick to education, work experience, and skills.