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

2. What are two tools every writer should use?
(a) Spell check and grammar check.
(b) Thesaraus and grammar check.
(c) Spell check and dictionary.
(d) Thesaraus and dictionary.

3. Who is rivaling everything that Zissner is saying?
(a) Another writer.
(b) A doctor who writes for a hobby.
(c) A student in the audience.
(d) The professor of the class.

4. What tense does Zissner recommend when starting a new piece?
(a) Combination third and first.
(b) Third person.
(c) First person.
(d) Second person.

5. What does Zissner believe authors are fearful of in their writing?
(a) Stating their true opinions, ideas, and judgments.
(b) Writing poorly.
(c) The reader not relating to them.
(d) Stating where they live.

6. What is Zinsser's preferred method for interviewing?
(a) He likes to use pens and markers.
(b) He likes audio recorders.
(c) He likes to use pencils and paper.
(d) He doesn't use anything. He just listens.

7. What does Zissner use to highlight clutter in his students' writing?
(a) Highlighter.
(b) Stars.
(c) Brackets
(d) Underlines.

8. What are the two components of the original Roget's Thesaurus?
(a) A dictionary of antonyms, and one of synonyms.
(b) Antonyms with very in depth definitions.
(c) A list of synonyms and their definitions with pictures on one side.
(d) A dictionary listing of words, and a numberd section with synonyms arranged in broad concepts.

9. What is a natural inclination for writers when they start a piece?
(a) They assume the readers know what they are writing about.
(b) Writers assume readers know nothing about what they are writing about.
(c) They ramble through an unnecessary introduction.
(d) They don't give enough background information.

10. What is the problem with American writing?
(a) It is too complex.
(b) The writing is too sloppy.
(c) It isn't complex enough.
(d) Americans are bad at fact checking.

11. What does a Thesaurus help a writer with, besides finding alternate words?
(a) A thesaurus can help when writing in another language.
(b) The book can help a writer become an expert in opposites.
(c) A thesaurus is a powerful stimulant to a writer's imagination.
(d) Provides easy word webs.

12. How does Zissner have the ability to choose words for the American Heritage Dictionary?
(a) He is related to someone on the panel.
(b) He works for the American Heritage Dictionary
(c) He created the Dictionary.
(d) He is on the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel

13. Why do Americans have trouble writing?
(a) They are not complex enough.
(b) Their minds are too cluttered.
(c) They do too much and slack on their writing.
(d) They are bad at fact checking.

14. Why doesn't he simply cross out clutter?
(a) Because highlighting is easier to see.
(b) Because underlining is easier on the eyes.
(c) So that his students will learn to recognize clutter.
(d) Because it uses too much ink to cross out than to bracket.

15. What does Zissner say is a common desire of every writer?
(a) To mae sure grammar is perfect.
(b) To find shortcuts.
(c) To pay perfect attention to detail.
(d) To take the long route to everything.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does a thesaurus help with brainstorming?

2. What is Zissner's point of view on the debate between literature and journalism?

3. Does Zissner believe in the journalism model for good writing?

4. Why is the English language changing all the time?

5. Which is the simplest sentence?

(see the answer keys)

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