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 think of gimmicky writing?
(a) It is the secret to selling a book.
(b) It is what gets writers through the door.
(c) It never works.
(d) It is worth a try to sell a book or article.

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

3. Why do journalists need to perfect uncluttered writing?
(a) They have a limited number of column inches and word limits.
(b) It is easier to sell.
(c) It make their writing easier to read.
(d) People only pay attention to short articles.

4. Why should interview questions be written before the interview?
(a) To keep the person being interviewed on track.
(b) To avoid drawing a blank in the middle of an interview.
(c) To focus the interview around a certain theme.
(d) To avoid having to do it at the interview.

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

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

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

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

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

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

11. What happens when a product of writing is never read?
(a) It gets categorized under the bad books section.
(b) It becomes worthless and a waste of good time.
(c) It gets burned.
(d) The author's reputation is harmed.

12. Why does he recommend starting in the preferred tense?
(a) It makes it easier for people to relate to.
(b) It causes writer's to think about the reader.
(c) It creates a teacher student relationship.
(d) It brings out the natural voice.

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

14. What is a dash useful for?
(a) Dashes are good to connect complex sentences.
(b) Dashes are good to separate thoughts.
(c) Dashes act as pointers to a point and to set off parenthetical statementes.
(d) Dashes are good in place of exclamations.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. A musician must practice scales, and a writer must practice ______________.

2. What period of writing constantly used semicolons?

3. When can ornamental writing be used as an exception?

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

5. What are two tools every writer should use?

(see the answer keys)

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