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) Online writing.
(b) In English class.
(c) Corporate memos or technical writing.
(d) In the newspaper.

2. A musician must practice scales, and a writer must practice ______________.
(a) Sentences.
(b) Spelling.
(c) The marketplace.
(d) Grammar.

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

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

5. What period of writing constantly used semicolons?
(a) The 19th century.
(b) Only 18th century England.
(c) The 17th century.
(d) All modern writing uses semicolons constantly.

6. What is a strange but effective way of proofreading to check for errors?
(a) Reading through a window.
(b) Reading a piece backwards.
(c) Reading a story upside down.
(d) Reading under a blacklight.

7. What makes a good first sentence?
(a) A good first sentence has a good lead. A good lead is one that works.
(b) A good ending is best to tie up the first sentence.
(c) The first sentence only sets up the second sentence. That is the one writers should focus on.
(d) A good first sentence needs to be written with exceptional grammer.

8. What attitude should writers embrace towards their editors?
(a) Worry only about the editor in order to get published.
(b) Don't worry about pleasing them initially.
(c) Don't worry about the editor because you should please your audience first.
(d) Worry about the editor and the readers. They will buy and sell your books.

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

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

11. What gives nonfiction books life?
(a) The cover of the book.
(b) Pure hard facts.
(c) White lies that sell certain facts.
(d) Humanity and warmth.

12. What is the main attitude that writers have today?
(a) To write well, regardless of whether it is fiction or nonfiction.
(b) To be published in the New Yorker.
(c) To write modern literature and be the next best author.
(d) To write literature, the way it was defined before WWII.

13. What is an example of a dead language?
(a) Italian because there is only one country that speaks it.
(b) Spanish because its roots are disintegrating.
(c) Latin is dead because nobody speaks it anymore.
(d) Chinese because it never changes.

14. Why is the English language changing all the time?
(a) It changes because of regional differences that make their way outwards.
(b) It changes because academics choose the best ways to speak English and try to teach that to children.
(c) It changes because people don't know how to speak it properly and are changing the way it is spoken.
(d) It changes because it is a living language.

15. What is the response previous students have to his style of edits?
(a) They say they never liked the highlighting.
(b) They say then can still see the brackets.
(c) They hated it, and have nightmares about his style.
(d) They like it much better than red pen all over a paper.

Short Answer Questions

1. Chapter 3 is about __________.

2. Do good writers decorate their writing?

3. What does it convey when anyone says he can write a book if he wanted to?

4. What are Zissner's feelings about writing?

5. What is an example of a hit book that was rejected several times?

(see the answer keys)

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