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 the problem with American writing?
(a) It isn't complex enough.
(b) Americans are bad at fact checking.
(c) It is too complex.
(d) The writing is too sloppy.

2. Who do authors please first with their writing?
(a) Themselves.
(b) Readers.
(c) Family members.
(d) Editors.

3. What is unity in writing?
(a) Unity is where the writer maintains consistency throughout an entire piece.
(b) Unity is when characters are unipolar and one dimensional.
(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.

4. 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) World War II.
(d) Spanish Civil War.

5. Why is the above a problem?
(a) Usually the first two or three paragraphs of a piece can be cut.
(b) Writers don't put enough effort into their writing.
(c) Writers end up editing too much.
(d) Writers need to start at the end and work their way up.

6. Why is it important to narrow down a nonfiction piece?
(a) It isn't that important. It just sells better to magazines to be focused.
(b) It isn't important. People just want to look at pictures anyways.
(c) Articles should not drain the writer and reader. Focusing on a corner is better than redefining an entire room.
(d) One person cannot write an article about every aspect of something. That is what books are for.

7. What are two tools every writer should use?
(a) Thesaraus and dictionary.
(b) Thesaraus and grammar check.
(c) Spell check and grammar check.
(d) Spell check and dictionary.

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

9. When should a writer choose the point of view in a piece of writing?
(a) A writer should determine the point of view before writing a new piece.
(b) It doesn't matter when the point of view is established.
(c) THe point of view should be determined once the writing is finished and ready for editing.
(d) The point of view can be determined after the writer figures out who will be the main character.

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

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

12. Who is the author talking to at the beginning of the book?
(a) He is presenting to student writers at a Connecticut school.
(b) He is talking to his wife.
(c) He is talking to his mother.
(d) He is talking with his editor.

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

14. Why is the English language so easy to use when writing?
(a) It is rich with words.
(b) It has strict rules that makes it impossible to stray.
(c) English isn't an easy language and is not easy to write at all.
(d) There are very limited words, so there is no need to find alternatives, which cuts time in half.

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. Why do Americans have trouble writing?

2. What is Zissner's point of view on the debate between literature and journalism?

3. What is another example of when a person HAS to read bad writing?

4. Good writing is ______________.

5. What is another important characteristic of a writer?

(see the answer keys)

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