Writing Procedures Skills Assessment

This pretest is designed to help you identify which areas of procedure writing are your strengths and which areas are your weaknesses.

True or False

1. Content experts generally are the most appropriate people to write an instruction.

Please select an Answer
In fact, the correct answer is “False.” Content experts along with many “technical writers,”often bring several problems to written instructions. First, they write from a “reading for knowledge” instead of a “reading as you do” point of view. Experts often want to explain how something works whereas users want to know what to do. next. Second, they often make erroneous assumptions about the user’s knowledge and skill competencies. And finally, they often make sequencing errors while omitting necessary steps.
Correct. Content experts along with many “technical writers,”often bring several problems to written instructions. First, they write from a “reading for knowledge” instead of a “reading as you do” point of view. Experts often want to explain how something works whereas users want to know what to do next. Second, they often make erroneous assumptions about the user’s knowledge and skill competencies. And finally, they often make sequencing errors while omitting necessary steps.
In fact, the correct answer is “False.” Content experts along with many “technical writers,”often bring several problems to written instructions. First, they write from a “reading for knowledge” instead of a “reading as you do” point of view. Experts often want to explain how something works whereas users want to know what to do. next. Second, they often make erroneous assumptions about the user’s knowledge and skill competencies. And finally, they often make sequencing errors while omitting necessary steps.

2. Tasks generally flow in one of four directions.

Please select an Answer
In fact, the correct answer is “False.” Tasks flow in two directions: linear or non-linear. A linear tasks flow in a straight linear pattern-1, 2, 3, etc. A non-linear tasks has conditions that interrupt to the flow, requiring the user to make decisions along the way, and on the basis of those decisions, choose a different path.
Correct. Tasks flow in two directions: linear or non-linear. A linear tasks flow in a straight linear pattern-1, 2, 3, etc. A non-linear tasks has conditions that interrupt to the flow, requiring the user to make decisions along the way, and on the basis of those decisions, choose a different path.
In fact, the correct answer is “False.” Tasks flow in two directions: linear or non-linear. A linear tasks flow in a straight linear pattern-1, 2, 3, etc. A non-linear tasks has conditions that interrupt to the flow, requiring the user to make decisions along the way, and on the basis of those decisions, choose a different path.

3. “Task description” has the same meaning as “procedure.”

Please select an Answer
Correct. Procedures, written instructions, process descriptions, are terms used interchangeably to refer to the same thing: a recipe or instructions that a person used to complete a task.
In fact, the correct answer is “True.” Procedures, written instructions, process descriptions, are terms used interchangeably to refer to the same thing: a recipe or instructions that a person used to complete a task.
In fact, the correct answer is “True.” Procedures, written instructions, process descriptions, are terms used interchangeably to refer to the same thing: a recipe or instructions that a person used to complete a task.

4. Combining steps is a good idea, and the procedure writer should do so as often as possible.

Please select an Answer
In fact, the correct answer is “False.” It is better to list each step separately and then sort them into logical procedure sets or activities. The most frequent question users ask is what do I do next. Listing steps separately reduces user errors and increases the speed of completing the task. A well-sorted procedure also helps experience users skip those steps that have become rote from repetition.
Correct. It is better to list each step separately and then sort them into logical procedure sets or activities. The most frequent question users ask is what do I do next. Listing steps separately reduces user errors and increases the speed of completing the task. A well-sorted procedure also helps experience users skip those steps that have become rote from repetition.
In fact, the correct answer is “False.” It is better to list each step separately and then sort them into logical procedure sets or activities. The most frequent question users ask is what do I do next. Listing steps separately reduces user errors and increases the speed of completing the task. A well-sorted procedure also helps experience users skip those steps that have become rote from repetition.

5. It is a good idea to fully explain “why” within the steps of the procedure.

Please select an Answer
In fact, the correct answer is “False.” Explanations should be visually distinct from the steps. One simple way of doing this is to separate explanation in a box or with NOTE: heading.
Correct. Explanations should be visually distinct from the steps. One simple way of doing this is to separate explanation in a box or with NOTE: heading.
In fact, the correct answer is “False.” Explanations should be visually distinct from the steps. One simple way of doing this is to separate explanation in a box or with NOTE: heading.

6. Narrative formats almost always increase the time it takes a user to complete a task.

Please select an Answer
Correct. Although many people write procedures in narrative paragraphs, this is the least effective format to use. Narrative formats usually contain sequencing errors, hidden steps, omitted steps, and passive voice verbs.
In fact, the correct answer is “True.” Although many people write procedures in narrative paragraphs, this is the least effective format to use. Narrative formats usually contain sequencing errors, hidden steps, omitted steps, and passive voice verbs.
In fact, the correct answer is “True.” Although many people write procedures in narrative paragraphs, this is the least effective format to use. Narrative formats usually contain sequencing errors, hidden steps, omitted steps, and passive voice verbs.

7. The step-by-step format is an excellent format to use when more than one user is required to complete the procedure.

Please select an Answer
In fact, the correct answer is “False.” A playscript format is an excellent format because it clearly shows the sequence of who does what.
Correct. A playscript format is an excellent format because it clearly shows the sequence of who does what.
In fact, the correct answer is “False.” A playscript format is an excellent format because it clearly shows the sequence of who does what.

8. Multi-leveled numbering systems greatly assist the writer and the user.

Please select an Answer
In fact, the correct answer is “False.” Multi-level numbering systems are either numeric (1.0, 1.1, 1.1.1,etc) or alph-numeric (I., I.A, I.A.1, etc.). Writers improve the user’s performance by using a multi-level heading system of primary, secondary and tertiary headings that name the procedures and activities with a simple, descriptive heading.
Correct. Multi-level numbering systems are either numeric (1.0, 1.1, 1.1.1,etc) or alph-numeric (I., I.A, I.A.1, etc.). Writers improve the user’s performance by using a multi-level heading system of primary, secondary and tertiary headings that name the procedures and activities with a simple, descriptive heading.
In fact, the correct answer is “False.” Multi-level numbering systems are either numeric (1.0, 1.1, 1.1.1,etc) or alph-numeric (I., I.A, I.A.1, etc.). Writers improve the user’s performance by using a multi-level heading system of primary, secondary and tertiary headings that name the procedures and activities with a simple, descriptive heading.

9. One way of giving a procedure manual a well-organized appearance is to use a consistent format for all of the procedures.

Please select an Answer
In fact, the correct answer is “False.” It’s important to have a consistent page layout in regards to headers, footers, margins, type face, type size, etc. But the procedure formats choice is driven by the flow of the procedure.
Correct. It’s important to have a consistent page layout in regards to headers, footers, margins, type face, type size, etc. But the procedure formats choice is driven by the flow of the procedure.
In fact, the correct answer is “False.” It’s important to have a consistent page layout in regards to headers, footers, margins, type face, type size, etc. But the procedure formats choice is driven by the flow of the procedure.

 

If you aren’t happy with the results of the assessment and feel you could use some coaching in this area, contact Stan to learn when he will be conducting the next
Writing and Polishing Effective Procedures webinar.