On Writing Well Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

William Zinsser
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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What is a major job of a nonfiction writer?
(a) Conducting interviews with people who know about the writing project subject.
(b) Taking on a project with a clean slate. Just like a jury in a legal battle.
(c) Learning as much as possible about a subject before taking on a project.
(d) Majoring in the subject they will write about.

2. A musician must practice scales, and a writer must practice ______________.
(a) The marketplace.
(b) Spelling.
(c) Grammar.
(d) Sentences.

3. Who do authors please first with their writing?
(a) Family members.
(b) Readers.
(c) Themselves.
(d) Editors.

4. What is the mood or voice in a piece?
(a) Mood or voice is the way a piece sounds to the reader in the imaginations inner ear.
(b) The mood is the way the characters feel in a piece.
(c) Mood or voice is the way the characters speak to one another.
(d) The voice is the authority figure in a nonfiction piece.

5. What should the lead in the first sentence do for a reader?
(a) It should be very basic to hook in all types of readers.
(b) It should capture the reader and force him or her to keep reading.
(c) It should tell the reader very little about the article, so he or she will continue reading.
(d) It should introduce the article informatively and let the reader know it will be a good read.

6. What are Zissner's feelings about writing?
(a) Writing can easily be taught.
(b) Writing is easy and anyone can do it.
(c) Writing is a craft that is developed over time.
(d) Writing is difficult, but with the right tools, anyone can do it.

7. How can uncluttered writing help fiction?
(a) It keeps people's attention longer.
(b) It keeps the meaning of the story clear and the prose worth the reader's time.
(c) It keeps books smaller and people like smaller books.
(d) It highlights the impotant parts of the story.

8. What trap do journalists and editors fall into often?
(a) Not doing grammar checks.
(b) Usin too many dashes.
(c) Using too many commas.
(d) Using cliches and made up words.

9. How does a writer become better at his craft?
(a) By taking initiative to improve every day.
(b) By reading everything.
(c) By avoiding trashy novels.
(d) By taking a writing class.

10. Do good writers decorate their writing?
(a) Yes, always with lots of extra words.
(b) No, good writers dont need ornamentation.
(c) Yes, with good punctuation.
(d) No, only bad writers do this to sell more copies.

11. When does the writing start for a nonfiction article?
(a) It starts before interviewing to set up the article paragraphs.
(b) It starts before the interview but after the research.
(c) It starts when the interviewing process and research is complete.
(d) It starts whenever the writer is ready to start.

12. What is one of Zissner's biggest pet peeves?
(a) When people say they can write a book as if it is easy.
(b) When people dog ear the pages of a book.
(c) When people leave the toilet seat up.
(d) When people write in their books.

13. Why does the doctor write?
(a) He writes to make extra money.
(b) He writes because he hates being a surgeon.
(c) He writes for fun.
(d) He is writing a book.

14. What is one way of saving time?
(a) Learning to write over eighty words per minute.
(b) Not doing a story outline.
(c) Skipping spell check.
(d) Solely relying on grammar and spell check.

15. Why doesn't Zissner provide examples of these writers he admires?
(a) Because of copyright law.
(b) So that people will go to the library to discover the writers themselves.
(c) He didn't want their writing to prove better than his.
(d) Because he has a word count limit to abide to.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is a strange but effective way of proofreading to check for errors?

2. Why do Americans have trouble writing?

3. What could cause a writer to write unclear?

4. What is an example of a hit book that was rejected several times?

5. What should every paragraph end with?

(see the answer keys)

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