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

2. What do interviews do for the writer?
(a) Interviews humanize a topic, making a boring topic interesting.
(b) They make the writer an expert in a given subject.
(c) They make a writer feel stupid since he or she does not know that much about a subject.
(d) They make a writer less valid, since he or she needs to interview several people to create one article.

3. Why is the English language so easy to use when writing?
(a) There are very limited words, so there is no need to find alternatives, which cuts time in half.
(b) It has strict rules that makes it impossible to stray.
(c) It is rich with words.
(d) English isn't an easy language and is not easy to write at all.

4. Does Zissner believe in the journalism model for good writing?
(a) Yes, it saves space and uses modern words.
(b) No because journalists use cheap words and buzz words.
(c) No, journalism is dead and the writing is poor.
(d) Yes, it is efficient and catchy.

5. Chapter 3 is about __________.
(a) Reducing clutter.
(b) Increasing the simplicity of writing.
(c) Clutter.
(d) Simplicity.

6. How rigid are the lines between proper and improper English usage?
(a) There are no lines at all. Every writer has a poetic license to do with words what he or she pleases.
(b) They are very soft, and not rigid at all.
(c) They are very rigid and one cannot cross the line.
(d) There is a grey area, though the need for proper English is most important.

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

8. What is unity in writing?
(a) Unity is when the writer sticks to one plot.
(b) Unity is when characters are unipolar and one dimensional.
(c) Unity is when the characters in a story are united and never disagree with one another.
(d) Unity is where the writer maintains consistency throughout an entire piece.

9. 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.

10. What are some limitations of perfect grammar?
(a) Lack of expressionism when grammar is perfect.
(b) Good grammer makes for boring writing.
(c) Hindering points, establishing author moods, and painting word pictures.
(d) Some writers don't have perfect grammar and therefore cannot get published.

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

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 write in their books.
(c) When people dog ear the pages of a book.
(d) When people leave the toilet seat up.

13. Can good writing be taught?
(a) Of course it can.
(b) It cannot, but it can be learned.
(c) Only good students can learn good writing.
(d) Only good teachers can teach good writing.

14. Why is it important for writers to read constantly?
(a) To emulate their heroes.
(b) To study the market.
(c) To learn from other writers' mistakes.
(d) To learn how to write.

15. Can a writer simply write the article with one interview?
(a) Yes, but it should be avoided because people forget things in the first interview.
(b) No, there should always be mulitple interviews.
(c) No, editing is too hard with just one interview.
(d) Yes, but it is better to have mulitple interviews and meld them together into one incident.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why do journalists need to perfect uncluttered writing?

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

3. What happens when a writer writes in unclear ways?

4. What is an example of a time when bad writing HAS to be read?

5. What is the mood or voice in a piece?

(see the answer keys)

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