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

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

3. 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 nobody knows what is going to sell.
(d) Because the marketplace never changes.

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

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

6. What is a natural inclination for writers when they start a piece?
(a) They assume the readers know what they are writing about.
(b) They ramble through an unnecessary introduction.
(c) They don't give enough background information.
(d) Writers assume readers know nothing about what they are writing about.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14. When can ornamental writing be used as an exception?
(a) When the wrting needs extra fluff.
(b) To follow solid writing.
(c) When the author needs to abide by editors remarks.
(d) When writing evaluations and resumes.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

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

3. What has literature transformed into?

4. What is a common problem writers have?

5. What method of writing does Zissner use?

(see the answer keys)

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