NDA – Use of English (Passage I) – 2004

Challengemoi - WAEC Past Questions and Answers

Instructions: Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.


Recognizing the need for objectivity in their work, the early report writers worked to develop a writing style which would convey this attitude. They reasoned that the source of the subjectivity quality in a report is the human being. And they reasoned that objectivity is best attained by emphasizing the factual material of a report rather than the personalities involved. So they worked to remove the human being from their writing. Impersonal writing style was the result. By impersonal writing is meant writing in the third person – without I’s we’s or you’s.

In recent years, impersonal writing has been strenuously questioned by many writers. These writers point out that personal writing is more forceful and direct than in impersonal writing. They contend that writing which brings both reader and writer into the picture is more like conversation and therefore more interesting. And they answer to the point on objectivity with a reply that objectivity is an attitude of mind and not a matter Of Frson- A report, they say, can be just as objective when written in personal style as when in impersonal style. Frequently, they counter with the argument that impersonal writing leads to an overuse of passive and a generally dull writing style. This last argument, however, lacks substance. Impersonal writing Can and should be interesting. Any dullness it may have is wholly the fault of the writer. As proof, one has only to look at the lively styles used by the writers for newspapers, news magazines, and journals. Most of this writing is impersonal- and usually, it is not dull.

As in most cases of controversy, there is some merit to the arguments on sides. There are situations in which personal writing is best. And there are situations in which either style is appropriate. The writer must decide at the outset of his work which style is best for his own situation.

His &cision should be based on Circumstances Of each report situation. First, he should consider the or desires Of those for whom he is preparing the report. More than likely he will find a preference for impersonal style, for, like most human beings, businessmen have been slow to break tradition. Next, the writer should consider the formality of the report situation. If the situation is informal, as when the report is really a personal communication Of information between business associates, personal writing is appropriate. But if the situation is formal, as is the case with most reports, the conventional impersonal style is best.

Lesikgr, R. V Report Writing for Business

This is a timed quiz. You will be given 1800 seconds to answer all questions. Are you ready?


Which of the following statements is true according to the passage?

Correct! Wrong!

Which of the following best describes the writer of the passage?

Correct! Wrong!

According to the passage, most Of the writing in newspapers, news magazines and journals is

Correct! Wrong!

From the passage, what determines the appropriateness of a style is the

Correct! Wrong!

One argument given in support of personal writing is that it

Correct! Wrong!

NDA - Use of English (Passage I) - 2004
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