This question set for Unit-1 (Fundamentals of Technical Communication) in AKTU’s B.Tech program provides students with a comprehensive review of key topics related to technical communication. These important questions cover a range of concepts, including writing techniques, report preparation, and communication styles.
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Q1. What are the requisites of good sentence construction?
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What are the requisites of good sentence writing? Describe various methods to introduce variety in sentence construction.
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What are the requisites of sentence construction?
A good sentence consists of many requisites but out of them, three are very important:
- i. It is the first and foremost element of a sentence and other two-consistency and economy-come out of it.
- ii. Basic concept of a sentence is: sense is clear; sentence is clear.
- iii. A clear sense founds a sentence in actual.
- iv. Clarity in a sentence begins back with conception of ideas.
- v. If the idea conceived is clear, it can impart clarity to the sentence.
- vi. Other things that aid to the clarity are adequate punctuation, clear pronoun reference and correct word order.
2. Consistency: A sentence is called consistent only if it follows certain rules:
- i. It should keep one pattern/method of writing and all other sentences coming forth must follow the same pattern.
- ii. In the periodic pattern, the main clause comes at the end while subordinate clause comes at the first.
- iii. All sentences of the paragraph should follow one style – formal, informal or colloquial to raise up consistency.
- iv. Easy and correct words should be used for the purpose.
- v. Grammatical consistency is absolutely necessary for effective sentences.
- vi. Subjects and verbs should be agreed in number and person.
- vii. Pronouns should agree with their antecedents in gender, number and person.
- i. Precision is the tool that makes sentences economical.
- ii. An economical sentence keeps as minimum as possible and conveys complete and correct meaning.
- iii. A writer should avoid the following in order to achieve economy in his writing:
- a. Useless repetition
- b. Redundancy
Q2. Describe the basic requirements of paragraph construction.
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What are the techniques used to make a paragraph coherent?
Ans. The basic requirements of a paragraph construction are:
1. Unity: A paragraph is usually built around a topic sentence, a sentence which states the main theme of the paragraph.
I. In a paragraph, every sentence should logically follow from the one preceding it.
ii. Thus, every sentence should be linked to the one that went before.
iii. This provides coherence to the paragraph and there are four devices which help to build up this coherence, which are as follows:
a. Pronouns: It is used as a substitute for a noun, and this always serves as a reminder of the noun in the earlier sentence. Thus, it maintains the continuity of thought.
b. Repetition: The repetition of some keywords or phrases in the paragraph serves not only to make the paragraph coherent but also to emphasize the author’s point of view. But repetition should be used with care, as too much of it can make the paragraph monotonous.
c. Synonyms: Synonyms are substitutes for words already used and have similar meanings. This device is useful because it helps the writer to avoid excessive repetition.
d. Connectives: These are words or phrases which usually occur at the beginning of a sentence to show the relationship between the new sentence and the preceding sentence. Examples of connectives: but, and, or, further, etc.
- i. Emphasis means force or prominence.
- ii. It means making important points stand out in the paragraph.
- iii. It is essential because when a person reads a paragraph, he should know at once what the author is writing about.
- iv. Also, the most important idea should stand out. There are various devices which help to give proper emphasis to significant ideas in a paragraph:
- i. Balance means to give a statement balance of form, that is, to make various parts of the sentence parallel to one another.
- ii. It can also be used to give equal importance to two or more ideas or statements.
- iii. Thus, balance may involve single words, phrases, clauses, and even whole sentences.
b. Emphatic position:
i. This device is used to give emphasis to the most important idea in the paragraph.
ii. The most emphatic portion of the paragraph is the last sentence, and the second most important part is the first sentence.
c. Space: This is the most commonly used device, it simply means to give more space to the idea to be emphasizes.
d. Repetition: Emphasis may be achieved either by repeating some keywords or by introducing synonyms of words used earlier. However, this device should be used judiciously.
i. This device states the side of an issue, to emphasize the writer positive point of view.
ii. This is an important device and should be used with care.
f. Emphatic words: The use of certain words can also emphasize the writer’s view point.
g. Metaphors and images: For laying emphasis, the use of striking metaphors and images is a well-known device.
Q3. Discuss in detail various techniques used in paragraph development.
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What are devices for developing a paragraph? Write briefly.
Ans. Various techniques used in paragraph development are:
1. Inductive order:
- i. In inductive order, an author moves from a particular statement to the general statement. The author gives details, arguments or illustrations, which finally leads to the conclusion.
- ii. A paragraph, that begins with certain information, concludes with a topic sentence is known to be developed using inductive method.
- For example: Ram dies, Mohan dies, and they are human beings. Hence, we can say that man is mortal.
2. Deductive order:
- i. In deductive order, we have a conclusion reached by reasoning from general laws to a particular case.
- ii. The topic sentence is the first sentence in the paragraph stating some general statement.
- iii. The author finally tries to deduce his conclusion logically by particular or specific subordinate statements.
- iv. It is the reversal of the logical arrangement of the inductive method.
- For example: Man is mortal. Since Ram and Mohan are men, they are mortal.
3. Chronological method or time order:
- i. This is the natural order of narration in which one event leads to another.
- ii. This method is used to document time of an action, event or the steps of an instruction.
- iii. Chronological order is also used to document (write) steps in an instruction.
- For example: The documentation of emergency medical services provided by an emergency medical technician chronologically (in order of time) :
- 1. At 01:15 pm, we arrived at the site and assessed the patient’s condition, taking vitals (pulse, respiration etc.).
- 2. At 01:17 pm after stabilizing the patient, we contacted the hospital and relayed the vitals.
- 3. By 01:20 pm the patient was given artificial respiration enroute to hospital.
- 4. At 01:35 pm ambulance arrived at the hospital and hospital staff took over the patient’s care.
4. Linear method:
- i. Linear means consisting of lines or one dimensional.
- ii. A logical sequence is followed by the sentences of a paragraph.
- iii. This arrangement can also consist of a system of outlines or enumeration (listing or numbering) of points.
- 1. The first step, to curb power theft can be to evolve an effective body of enforcement.
- 2. The second, to make engineers accountable for the unpaid units.
- 3. The third, to check the distribution points periodically and unexpectedly etc.
5. Spatial method or space order:
- i. This method helps the reader, to visualize what the writer sees and therefore, it is better to understand the physical qualities of the subject matter.
- ii. The method further helps the reader, to envision the layout of the land, the writer describes or the placement of each component within the machine.
- iii. So, spatial order is the logical division of a subject, on the basis of how they are arranged in order of space or place.
- 1. If a technocrat is writing to describe the parts of a machine or a plot of ground, he would like to organize his text spatially i.e., in order of space or place.
- 2. The writer will describe what he sees as it appears in space – left to right, top to bottom, inside to outside or clockwise.
6. Exposition method:
- i. Exposition is an explanatory writing which can be an incidental part of a description or a narration, or it can be the heart of an article.
- ii. When we read a textbook, the news, magazine articles, or any other types of publications, we are reading expository writing. When we write answers for an essay test, we use the expository form.
- iii. In an expository paragraph, we give information. We explain a subject, give directions, or show how something happens. In expository writing, linking words like first, second, then, and finally are used to help readers to follow the ideas.
- i. A paragraph break is a single line space or an indentation (or both) marking the division between one paragraph and the next in a body of text. It is also known as a par break.
- ii. Paragraph breaks conventionally serve to signal the transition from one idea to another in a stretch of text, and from one speaker to another in an exchange of dialogue.
Q4. “Man’s treatment of man has not always been human”. Using the sentence as your topic sentence, write a paragraph using the deductive method.
Write a paragraph using deductive method and underline the topic sentence. (Invent necessary details yourself)
Ans. Man’s treatment of man has not always been human. Estranged lovers assault and kill their beloved. Throwing acid at the women who has refused to reciprocate the love has become a common thing in our country. These incidents happen even in our premier institutions. Young men are gang raping women without even a sense of remorse. These are a result of the concept developed by human beings that women are lesser creatures than the men and they are an object of man’s entertainment. The objectifying of women is very common in advertisements. Women do the advertisement even for a product aimed at men. All the cultures around the world propounded such distinctions and are even part of the religious teaching. All these led to stereotyping and confining women to household duties and men to outside work. The distinction of human beings into two genders is not the only kind of corruption. The distinction of men on the basis of colour and caste has also been prevalent since time immemorial. Slave trade was part of all the countries till 1900s. In some countries, black people and jews were considered equal to dogs. People beat and abuse a rickshaw pullers. People put the blame of an accident on them. But are they less human? People make a distinction between the maids and themselves. People give food to servants in a different plate but eat the food that they cook and use the utensils that they clean. The concept of untouchables and unseeable was the climax of such distinction in our country. All the recent developments and events in the past in our country and others lead us to think that humanity is lost and human beings do not consider the others as equal.
Q5. Discuss the reasons for intrapersonal and interpersonal barriers to communication.
Enumerate the most common reasons for interpersonal and organizational barriers to communicate. Discuss in great detail.
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Explain the causes of interpersonal barriers that render breakdown in the process of communication.
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What are the causes of interpersonal barriers?
Ans. Common reasons for intrapersonal barriers are :
1. Wrong assumptions (suppositions):
i. Many barriers stem from wrong assumptions.
ii. Wrong assumptions generally occur when the sender and receiver do not have adequate knowledge about each other’s background.
iii. In order to strengthen our skills as a communicator we must try to put our self in the shoes of the listener. This will helps us to prevent wrong assumptions about the receiver.
2. Varied perceptions (understanding differently):
i. Different people have different views.
ii. Individuals in an organization also perceive situations in different ways.
iii. The best way to overcome this barrier is to take a wider view of the issues.
3. Differing backgrounds :
i. No two persons have a similar background. People vary in terms of their education, culture, language, environment, age, financial status, etc.
ii. Our background plays a significant role in how we interpret a message.
iii. To overcome this barrier one should know the background of his audience and use the information accordingly to deliver his message effectively.
Common reasons for interpersonal barriers are :
1. Limited vocabulary :
i. Inadequate vocabulary can be a major hindrance in communication.
ii. In our communication, the meanings of our words should be absolutely clear to the receiver.
iii. During our speech if we have less number of words, our communication will be ineffective, and we will leave a poor impression on the audience.
2. Incongruity (mismatch) of verbal and non-verbal messages :
i. Inappropriateness between verbal and non-verbal messages also causes barrier in communication.
ii. The difference between the verbal and non-verbal aspects of communication makes the listeners confused and puzzled.
iii. A communicator should adapt himself to the communication environment, think from the angle of the listener, and then communicate.
3. Communication selectivity :
i. If we are the receiver in a communication process, and if we are paying attention only to a part of the message, then we are imposing a barrier known as communication selectivity.
ii. We do this because we are interested only in that part of the message which may be useful to us.
iii. . In such a situation, the sender is not at fault. It is the receiver who breaks the flow of communication.
Common reasons for organizational barriers are :
These barriers exist in an entire organization which often disrupt the smooth flow of communication. Some causes of organizational barriers are :
ii. Message overloading
iii. Sense of insecurity i.e., fear of transfer
iv. Restrictive environments
Q6. Describe different levels of communication.
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Explain the three levels of communication.
Ans. Various levels of communication are:
1. Extra-personal communication :
i. Extra-personal communication is a communication between human beings and non-human beings.
ii. For example, communication between pets (dogs, monkeys, parrots) and their masters.
2. Intrapersonal communication :
i. Intrapersonal communication takes place within the body of the individual.
ii. This kind of communication pertains to thinking, which is the basis of information processing.
iii. Self motivation, self determination takes place at the intrapersonal level.
3. Interpersonal communication :
i. Interpersonal communication refers to the sharing of information among people.
ii. This form of communication is advantageous because direct and immediate feedback is possible. If a doubt occurs, it can be instantly clarified.
iii. Interaction among friends and interaction with sales executives are examples of interpersonal communication.
4. Organizational communication :
i. Organizational communication takes place within and outside an organization at different hierarchical levels.
ii. It is extremely necessary for the sustenance of any organization.
5. Mass communication :
i. It refers to the communication involving large number of people as audience.
ii. As the messages are meant for large audience the approach is impersonal, also it is persuasive in nature than any other form of communication.
iii. For this type of communication we require a mediator such as journals, books, television and newspaper which mediate such communications.
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