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 an example of a time when bad writing HAS to be read?
(a) Corporate memos or technical writing.
(b) In the newspaper.
(c) Online writing.
(d) In English class.

2. What is a common problem writers have?
(a) Starting at the true beginning.
(b) Writing too little.
(c) Writing too much at first.
(d) Not writing at the same time every day.

3. Should exclamation points be used in serious writing?
(a) They should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
(b) Only serious writing has serious exclamation points. How else would people understand astonishment?
(c) They should be used sparingly. One per paragraph is fine.
(d) They should be sprinkled into paragraphs like salt and pepper. The more the better.

4. What period in U.S. history does Zissner point out as a time filled with euphemisms?
(a) Spanish Civil War.
(b) World War II.
(c) The Vietnam War.
(d) The Korean War.

5. Can a writer's style be affected to the reader?
(a) Yes, so long as the writing is filled with rich prose.
(b) No, it has to be genuine.
(c) Yes, so long as the writing is really dense.
(d) No, it has to be manipulated.

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

7. How does a thesaurus help with brainstorming?
(a) Looking up a word leads to a list of related words and gives overal word choices and concepts.
(b) There are pictures of mindmaps within each thesaurus.
(c) The book provides brainstorming exercises.
(d) The book gives a list of unrelated words that weeds out the bad choices.

8. What ability do great authors have?
(a) The ability to ignore rules of grammar.
(b) The ability to get an inside on reading trends.
(c) The ability to write whenever they want.
(d) The ability to write perfectley grammatical pieces.

9. Literature was once considered solely as what?
(a) Great novels.
(b) Writing by only certain authors.
(c) Fiction only.
(d) Historical pieces.

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

11. What group of people does the author think has the worst type of writing?
(a) Musicians.
(b) Teachers.
(c) Politicians.
(d) Toddlers.

12. Why does Zissner advise his clients to worry about the marketplace last?
(a) Because the marketplace never changes.
(b) Because nobody knows what is going to sell.
(c) Writing a good piece for the marketplace is easy when they know what sells.
(d) Because the marketplace always needs books and will take anything.

13. What other group of people uses euphemisms or fad terms?
(a) Doctors.
(b) Business writers.
(c) Musicians.
(d) State employees.

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

15. Good writing is ______________.
(a) Easy.
(b) Easy to teach.
(c) Very difficult.
(d) Seen often.

Short Answer Questions

1. What has literature transformed into?

2. What period of writing constantly used semicolons?

3. Why should interview questions be written before the interview?

4. Why does the doctor write?

5. What should every paragraph end with?

(see the answer keys)

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