Midterm Exam - Part 2 (Short Answer Questions)

Midterm Exam - Part 2 (Short Answer Questions)

The second-half of the midterm exam consists of a series of short-answer questions you will complete in Microsoft Word and upload to the class website. This portion of the midterm exam is worth 50 points (half of the midterm exam grade).

Please follow these instructions carefully:
  1. After you have completed Part 1 of the midterm exam, create a new document in Microsoft Word, and save it to the desktop using the following naming convention: Full_Name_Midterm_Exam.doc (e.g, "Quinn_Warnick_Midterm_Exam.doc").
  2. Inside the Word document, type your name and "Midterm Exam" at the top of the page.
  3. Copy and paste the text that follows below into your Word document. To copy and paste text from your browser into Word, highlight the text with your mouse, then press Command-C (the key with the Apple on it, plus the letter C) to copy the text. Go to the Word document and click on the "Edit" menu, then click on "Paste Special...". Select "unformatted text" and then click "OK." If you have questions about this step, please raise your hand.
  4. Answer the questions as directed. When you are finished, print a copy of your file to the Ross 37 printer and give the pages to Quinn.
  5. As a backup, save your document, return to the class website, and upload your completed file into the box below.
Copy the text beginning here:

Midterm Exam - Part 2 (Short Answer Questions)

Drawing on our class discussions and the readings in Strategies for Business and Technical Writing and The Business Writer's Companion, answer the following questions to the best of your ability.

SECTION A: KNOWLEDGE (3 points each)

1. What are the six standard "slots" in any report or proposal?

2. What is the difference between "local revision" and "global revision"? When should you use each one?

3. Linda Flower and John Ackerman discuss the differences between "writer-based prose" and "reader-based prose." Most business-writing situations call for reader-based prose. When might it be effective to use writer-based prose?

4. William Lutz describes four kinds of "doublespeak." Name two of them and explain what they are (or give examples).

5. In class, we discussed several forms of electronic communication, placing them on a scale of "synchronicity." List at least three of these forms, from least synchronous to most synchronous. Explain your answer, if necessary.

6. Briefly discuss at least two issues that students should consider before they upload photos of themselves to Facebook or MySpace.

7. Vincent Vinci describes "Ten Report Writing Pitfalls" that most writers make. List and describe at least two of these pitfalls.

8. In class, we discussed five criteria for evaluating web sites. List and explain the reasoning behind at least two of these criteria. (On this question, exact terminology isn't as important as the concepts.)

9. Richard W. Dodge points out that most managers don't read the "body" section of written reports submitted by their employees. What are two strategies you could use to make sure that your manager gets the information she needs anyway?

10. In international business communication, what does it mean to "essentialize"?


Based on our readings in Strategies for Business and Technical Writing, revise the following sentences to reflect "reader-based prose," or the "you attitude":

11. Original: To help us expand and grow our business, we are proud to announce that our videoconferencing is now available at 125 of our branches.

12. Original: To prevent us from possibly losing large sums of money, our bank now requires verification of any large check presented for immediate payment.

13. Original: We're requesting all employees to complete the enclosed questionnaire so that we may develop a master schedule for summer vacations.

Based on our readings in Strategies for Business and Technical Writing, revise the following sentences to eliminate gender, racial, or age stereotypes:

14. Original: A skilled secretary proofreads her boss's documents and catches any errors he makes.

15. Original: Every employee must wear his ID badge while on the job.

16. Original: Some restaurants offer special discounts for old people.

17. Original: That gal should follow her dreams, whether she want to be a housewife, a stewardess, or a lady doctor.

Based on our readings in Strategies for Business and Technical Writing, revise the following sentences to avoid doublespeak:

18. Original: In a dialogue with the manager, I learned that you plan to terminate our agreement.

19. Original: Continued driving with a failed bearing could result in disengagement of the axle shaft and adversely affect vehicle control.

20. Original: To expedite ratification of this agreement, we urge you to cast your vote in the affirmative.