Unit 3 Questions and Answers 1. Why is clarity the ultimate goal of technical communication? Clarity in technical communication is important because misunderstandings can cause unmet deadlines, break equipment, mix up orders, and even harm people. 2. How can you achieve clarity? You can achieve clarity by saying exactly what you mean and being concise in your communications. 3. How will answering the reporter's questions help you achieve clarity? Answering the reporter's questions will help you achieve clarity by ensuring that you give all of the needed information. If you answer who, what, when, where, why and how you will make sure that you don't leave anything out. 4. Why should you avoid using acronym, abbreviations, and jargon in your technical communication? It's important to avoid using acronyms, abbreviations, and jargon in your technical communication because not everyone who reads your piece may know what they mean. For instance I was talking to someone the other day and used the acronym DNS and I just assumed that the person knew what it meant because I have heard it so many times since I started school. In reality, they didn't know what it meant so even though I was trying to explain something to them, they were still really confused. 5. In what two places in a business document can you define a term? Two places you can define a term in a document are in a glossary or parenthetically. 6. Why should you strive for conciseness in your technical communication? American workers spend on average 30 percent of their time writing. Therefore, conciseness saves time. It can also aid comprehension and increase readability. 7. Why is a long paragraph ineffective in your business documents? It can make it ineffective, and difficult to understand. In a long paragraph, you force your reader to wade through many words and digest large amounts of information. 8. What is a fog index? A fog index is a way to calculate a paragraph into somewhat an approximate reading level. Taking the number of words in a paragraph divided by the number of sentences will give you an average of words per sentence. Then, add on the number of multisyllabic words (three or more syllables). After your total multiply it by 0.4 (fog factor) and you will get an approximate grade level. 9. Why should you use shorter sentences? Paragraphs filled with excessively long words and sentences can created impenetrable walls of haze. Making it very hard to read much less understand for the reader. 10. What are three causes of wordy sentences? Shun words, Camouflaged words, Redundancies. 11. What are four proofreading tips? Let someone else read it, use technology, read it out loud, and use a dictionary. 12. When will you organize a document spatially? If you are writing a technical specification to describe the parts of a machine or a plot of ground, you would want to organize your document spatially. 13. Why would you organize chronologically? To document time, steps in a process analysis, or the steps in an instruction. 14. What is the effect of organization by importance? The information gets more attention from the reader when placed approximately one third from the top of the page. This is where the most important information in the document should be placed. 15. When is comparison/contrast used effectively in a business document? When you need to document options and ways in which you surpass a competitor. 16. How can you use problem/solution in a document? You can use problem/solution by writing a proposal and in your proposal you propose a solution to an existing problem, therefore using the problem/solution method. 17. What do you consider when you focus on the legal aspect of a document? You need to focus on if what you are writing is legal first of all. Then you need to figure out if what you are writing is helping out your company while hurting the customer. Then decide if that is something that you really want to do. 18. What do you consider when you focus on the practical aspect of a document? You need to make sure that what you are writing about is truthful and that you are stating the facts. 19. What do you consider when you focus on the ethical aspect of a document? You need to consider if you believe in what you are writing for and if you are being unbiased in your topic when telling people. Make sure you have no hidden agenda in your writing. 20. What are three things you consider when you follow the guidelines for ethical standards? If I am being honest, am I satisfying the audiences need for information and not my own needs and if I am being fair. Summary: Questions 1-5 were completed by Susan Bundy; Questions 6-10 were completed by Justin Araskog; Questions 11-15 were completed by Daniel Williams; Questions 16-20 were completed by Ashley Wood.