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 Zissner's point of view on the debate between literature and journalism?
(a) He wants to go back to the pre-WWII form of writing.
(b) He agrees that journalism is bad writing.
(c) He agrees that literature is the only true form of good writing.
(d) He believes it doesn't matter, and that good writing is good writing.

2. What other group of people uses euphemisms or fad terms?
(a) State employees.
(b) Musicians.
(c) Doctors.
(d) Business writers.

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

4. What is one task that a good writer constantly does?
(a) Participates in writing workshops.
(b) Reads contemporary and classic works of other writers.
(c) Takes writing classes often.
(d) Sends manuscripts out like crazy.

5. What does Zissner believe authors are fearful of in their writing?
(a) Writing poorly.
(b) Stating their true opinions, ideas, and judgments.
(c) Stating where they live.
(d) The reader not relating to them.

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

7. What are Zissner's feelings about writing?
(a) Writing is easy and anyone can do it.
(b) Writing is difficult, but with the right tools, anyone can do it.
(c) Writing is a craft that is developed over time.
(d) Writing can easily be taught.

8. What happens when the reader loses interest in the writing?
(a) The transaction between author and writer is broken.
(b) She throws the book.
(c) He puts down the book.
(d) She writes a bad review.

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

10. What has literature transformed into?
(a) Literature now includes nonfiction and fiction alike.
(b) Literature now includes poetry.
(c) Literature has not transformed at all.
(d) Literature is still mainly novels,and very rarely includes other writing.

11. Does skipping grammar check save a writer time?
(a) Yes. It is uneccessary since the editor can check grammer.
(b) No. It harms the writer, and makes more work for them and the editors.
(c) No, they have to do line edits anyways to check grammar.
(d) Yes, it is one less thing the writer has to do.

12. What does Zissner think of gimmicky writing?
(a) It is what gets writers through the door.
(b) It is the secret to selling a book.
(c) It is worth a try to sell a book or article.
(d) It never works.

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

14. What is a dash useful for?
(a) Dashes act as pointers to a point and to set off parenthetical statementes.
(b) Dashes are good to separate thoughts.
(c) Dashes are good to connect complex sentences.
(d) Dashes are good in place of exclamations.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What do interviews do for the writer?

2. What period in U.S. history does Zissner point out as a time filled with euphemisms?

3. Who is the author talking to at the beginning of the book?

4. Which is the simplest sentence?

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

(see the answer keys)

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