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

2. What is the transaction in writing?
(a) How much a writer talks about themselves.
(b) How much facts a writer uses.
(c) How much a writer gives of themselves rather than of facts.
(d) The bookbuying process.

3. 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 is related to someone on the panel.
(d) He created the Dictionary.

4. What should every paragraph end with?
(a) Every paragraph needs to have a hook or a cliffhanger that will lead the reader into the next paragraph.
(b) Every paragraph should end with a period.
(c) All paragraphs should end with a summary of the entire paragraph.
(d) All paragraphs should repeat the first sentence.

5. Which is the simplest sentence?
(a) Simplicity is the direct opposite of clutter.
(b) Simplicity is the opposite of clutter.
(c) Simplicity is opporite clutter.
(d) Simplicity.

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

7. What is the biggest mistake a writer can make when creating sentences?
(a) Packing in too much information into one sentence.
(b) Overediting sentences.
(c) Not creating sentences that readers want to read.
(d) Not reading their sentences aloud.

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

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

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

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

12. What should the lead in the first sentence do for a reader?
(a) It should capture the reader and force him or her to keep reading.
(b) It should be very basic to hook in all types of readers.
(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.

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

14. Where should the writer find his or her words?
(a) From a dictionary.
(b) From within the subconscious to the writing consciousness
(c) From a thesaraus.
(d) From modern euphanisms that people can relate to.

15. How many people are in the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel?
(a) 104 writers, poets, editors, and teachers.
(b) 14 writers and poets.
(c) 10 writers.
(d) 1000 writers, poets, and editors.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is an example of a dead language?

2. What does Zissner say is a common desire of every writer?

3. What does a Thesaurus help a writer with, besides finding alternate words?

4. What is one task that a good writer constantly does?

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

(see the answer keys)

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