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

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

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

4. How does Zinsser approach unusual words?
(a) He accepts some, but not all.
(b) He is very welcoming of a transforming English language.
(c) He is modern when it comes to English, but would rather keep it simple.
(d) He is very conservative and will never cross a proper word line.

5. What group of people does the author think has the worst type of writing?
(a) Toddlers.
(b) Politicians.
(c) Musicians.
(d) Teachers.

6. What does Zinsser do before submitting a piece of writing?
(a) He edits everything three times.
(b) He submits his writing to his family.
(c) He reads everything aloud.
(d) He has his wife read his work.

7. What is an alternative way of showing astonishment in writing?
(a) Writing in excessive dialogue where people and characters say they are astonished.
(b) Typing in asterisks with verbs like *gasp*.
(c) Writing in all caps.
(d) A well written sentence does not need excalamtion marks. The words themselves should be the intensity of the sentence.

8. What is the old view of nonfiction?
(a) That it is the only respectable form of writing.
(b) That it is all commentary that means nothing to anyone but the writer.
(c) That it is only journalism which isn't a respectable form of writing.
(d) That it is the best form of writing because it is factual and real.

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

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

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

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

13. What could cause a writer to write unclear?
(a) Not knowing what they want to say.
(b) Not having enough experience.
(c) Not having brainstormed enough.
(d) Not taking any writing classes.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. When does the writing start for a nonfiction article?

2. What are the two components of the original Roget's Thesaurus?

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

4. Does skipping grammar check save a writer time?

5. What period of writing constantly used semicolons?

(see the answer keys)

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