Report Writing Diagnostic Test ANSWERS

Here are the answers to the Diagnostic Test, along with explanations for right and wrong answers.

Answers in blue are correct. Answers in red are wrong. Chapters refer to Criminal Justice Report Writing.

Report Writing Diagnostic Test ANSWERS

1. The Suspect was seen crouched behind a Dumpster in the parking lot.

a)  The sentence is correct.

b)  I saw Williams crouched behind a Dumpster in the parking lot.  CORRECT  (Use active voice; Chapter 12)

c) This officer saw Williams crouched behind a Dumpster in the parking lot.  (Use I and me when you refer to yourself)

2.  The house was empty all week because the Browns were on vacation in Miami.

a)  The sentence is correct.  CORRECT  (Apostrophes; Chapter 24)

b) The house was empty all week because the Brown’s were on vacation in Miami.

c) The house was empty all week because the Browns’ were on vacation in Miami.

3.  Mrs. Johnson was uncooperative when I questioned her about her son’s whereabouts.

a)  The sentence is correct.

b)  Mrs. Johnson indicated that she was unwilling to talk about what her son, Tom, had been doing recently.

c)  Mrs. Johnson shook her head and said, “I’m not talking to you about Tom, and that’s that.” When I questioned her again, she shook her head and said, “Stop pestering me.”  (Be specific; Chapter 7)

4.  I opened the box, it was empty.

a)  The sentence is correct.

 b) I opened the box it was empty. (Handy rule: If it starts with “it,” it’s a sentence. Use a period.)

 c) I opened the box. It was empty.  Correct  (Run-on sentences; Chapter 15)

 5.  The woman in the back seat was trembling, and her mascara was smeared.

 a)  The sentence is correct.  CORRECT

 b)  In the back seat, a frightened woman was seen by this officer.   (Use active voice; Chapter 12)

 c)  There were signs of agitation on the woman in the back seat.  (Be specific; Chapter 7)

 6.  A group of officers and concerned citizens are meeting to discuss the traffic problems in our city.

a)  The sentence is correct.

b) A group of officer’s and concerned citizen’s are meeting to discuss the traffic problem’s in our city.  (Use apostrophes only for possessives and “of” phrases: Chapter 24)

c) A group of officers and concerned citizens is meeting to discuss the traffic problems in our city.  CORRECT  (Rule 4, Subject-Verb Agreement; Chapter 28)

 7.  Chief Morrow asked Officer Canady and I to meet with the district attorney tomorrow.

a)  The sentence is correct.

b) Chief Morrow asked Officer Canady if we would to meet with the district attorney tomorrow?

c) Chief Morrow asked officer Canady and me to meet with the district attorney tomorrow.  CORRECT  (Rule 3, Pronouns Made Simple; Chapter 26)

 8. Linda Santos advised me that she and her mother have lived in the apartment for five years.

 a)  The sentence is correct.  (Don’t use advised when you mean told; Chapter 35)

 b)  Linda Santos told me that she and her mother have lived in the apartment for five years. CORRECT 

 c)  Linda Santos advised me that her and her Mother have lived in the apartment for five years.  (Don’t capitalize mother unless you’re using it as her name; Chapter 29. Advised should be changed to told, and “her has lived” should be “she has lived.”)

 9.  Carmen told me, “that her husband came home drunk at least once every weekend.”

a)  The sentence is correct.

b) Carmen told me, “that her husband came home drunk at least once every weekend”.

c) Carmen told me that her husband came home drunk at least once every weekend. CORRECT   (Commas and periods always go inside quotation marks; Chapter 25)

 10.  The institution revised its policies after the accreditation review last July.

 a)  The sentence is correct.  (Rule 2, Pronouns Made Simple; Chapter 26)

 b)  The institution revised it’s policies after the accreditation review last July.  (it’s is a contraction of it is)

 c)  The institution revised its’ policies after the accreditation review last July.  (NEVER put an apostrophe after its)

 11. Rogers was obviously planning to kidnap and murder the child.

 a)  The sentence is correct.

 b)  I found a baby doll, duct tape, and 12 feet of rope in the back seat of the car.  CORRECT   (Be specific; Chapter 7)

 c)   I concluded from the evidence I found that Rogers was planning to kidnap and murder the child.

 12.  I asked Maureen where her husband was. She advised me that he was in the garage working on their car. I asked if I could talk to him. She said yes.

 a)  The sentence is correct. (Don’t use “advised” when you mean “said” or “told me.” Avoid unnecessary repetition.)

 b)  Maureen told me her husband was in the garage.  CORRECT

 c)  I asked, “Where is your husband, Maureen?” She replied, “He’s in the garage working on our car.” I asked, “Can I talk to him?” She said, “Yes.” (Chapter 8: Avoid wasting time with unnecessary repetition)

 13. After interviewing Mrs. Smith about the break-in, her daughter advised me that she had seen a stranger in the backyard the previous afternoon.

 a)  The sentence is correct.  (Dangling–or misplaced–modifier; Chapter 16)

 b) After Mrs. Smith was interviewed about the break-in, her daughter advised me that she had seen a stranger in the backyard the previous afternoon. (Don’t use “advised” when you mean “said.”)

 c) After I interviewed Mrs. Smith about the break-in, her daughter told me she had seen a stranger in the backyard the previous afternoon.  CORRECT

 14. I processed the scene.

 a)  The sentence is correct.

 b)  I looked for the point of entry, and I checked the windowsill for fingerprints. (Wrong! You also have to include what you found or didn’t find.)

 c)  I found shards of glass on the kitchen table and on the floor near the broken window. I lifted two sets of fingerprints from the windowsill.  CORRECT   (Be specific; Chapter 7)

 15.  I entered the living room and saw a man with his hands around a women’s neck.

 a)  The sentence is correct.

 b)  I entered the living room and saw a man acting in a threatening manner towards a women.  (Be specific, and don’t confuse woman and women)

 c) I entered the living room and saw a man with his hands around a woman’s neck.  CORRECT

 16. “I’m alright,” said Brown, “you don’t need to call an ambulance.”

 a)  The sentence is correct.

 b)  “I’m all right,” said Brown. “You don’t need to call an ambulance.”  CORRECT  (all right is always two words; periods and commas always go inside quotation marks; Chapter 25)

 c)  “I’m alright”, said Brown. “You don’t need to call an ambulance”.

17. After I saw that the bedroom was empty, I checked the bathroom.

 a)  The sentence is correct.  CORRECT

 b)  After I ascertained that the bedroom was empty, I proceeded to check the bathroom.  (Ascertained is police jargon you should avoid; Chapter 35)

 c)  It was confirmed that both the bedroom and bathroom were empty.  (Use active voice; Chapter 12)

 18.  Alice Patel told me the Toyota was her’s.

 a)  The sentence is correct.

 b)  This officer was able to determine that the Toyota belonged to Alice Patel.  (Use I and me when referring to yourself)

c) Alice Patel told me the Toyota was hers.  CORRECT     (NEVER put an apostrophe into his, hers, yours, or similar words; Chapter 24)

 19.   There’s two reasons the inmates were kept in their dorms this afternoon.

a)  The sentence is correct.

b)  There are two reasons the inmates were kept in their dorms this afternoon.  CORRECT  (Subject-Verb Agreement Rule 1; Chapter 28)

c) The inmates where kept in there dorms this afternoon for two reasons.  (Don’t confuse where and were, their and there)

 20. I asked Santos to question the suspect because he speaks Spanish better than me.

 a)  The sentence is correct. 

 b) I asked Santos to question the suspect because, he speaks Spanish better than me.  (Comma Rule 1: Never put a comma after because; Chapter 21)

 c) I asked Santos to question the suspect because he speaks Spanish better than I.  CORRECT (than I do: Rule 2, Pronouns Made Simple; Chapter 26)

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