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 another important characteristic of a writer?
(a) To sound out simple sentences.
(b) To sound out simple syllables.
(c) To be aware of the rhythm and sound of words together.
(d) To be aware of the way words are spelled.

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

3. Why is consistency in verb tense so important?
(a) Very tense consistency is important so that the reader does not become lost in the timing of events.
(b) It is important for slower readers to follow along.
(c) It is important so that verbs don't get confused with nouns.
(d) It is important for the development of characters, and to set up a plot.

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

5. What is the purpose of colons?
(a) They can be used to separate a sentance and start another without having to capitalize the first word.
(b) To start out a list of things without using list form.
(c) Colons are used to explain sentences.
(d) They are good to use in place of quotations for dialogue.

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

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

8. Why do Americans have trouble writing?
(a) They are not complex enough.
(b) They are bad at fact checking.
(c) Their minds are too cluttered.
(d) They do too much and slack on their writing.

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

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

11. When does the writing start for a nonfiction article?
(a) It starts before the interview but after the research.
(b) It starts when the interviewing process and research is complete.
(c) It starts before interviewing to set up the article paragraphs.
(d) It starts whenever the writer is ready to start.

12. What does the etymology of words mean?
(a) The biology of words.
(b) The sound of words.
(c) The history of words.
(d) The written scripts.

13. What is another example of when a person HAS to read bad writing?
(a) Political Journals.
(b) Literature anthologies.
(c) Television captions.
(d) Instruction manuals.

14. Why does the doctor write?
(a) He is writing a book.
(b) He writes to make extra money.
(c) He writes because he hates being a surgeon.
(d) He writes for fun.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Can a writer's style be affected to the reader?

2. What is an example of a dead language?

3. What is one of Zissner's biggest pet peeves?

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

5. What should the lead in the first sentence do for a reader?

(see the answer keys)

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