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

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

3. What is unity in writing?
(a) Unity is when the writer sticks to one plot.
(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 characters in a story are united and never disagree with one another.

4. What are the best aspects of a good story?
(a) Clarity.
(b) Writing skill.
(c) Clarity and writing skill.
(d) Good research.

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

6. Who is rivaling everything that Zissner is saying?
(a) Another writer.
(b) A doctor who writes for a hobby.
(c) The professor of the class.
(d) A student in the audience.

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

8. What tense does Zissner recommend when starting a new piece?
(a) Second person.
(b) First person.
(c) Combination third and first.
(d) Third person.

9. What is Zinsser's preferred method for interviewing?
(a) He likes audio recorders.
(b) He likes to use pencils and paper.
(c) He likes to use pens and markers.
(d) He doesn't use anything. He just listens.

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

11. What is a major job of a nonfiction writer?
(a) Majoring in the subject they will write about.
(b) Taking on a project with a clean slate. Just like a jury in a legal battle.
(c) Conducting interviews with people who know about the writing project subject.
(d) Learning as much as possible about a subject before taking on a project.

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

13. What is a common problem with nonfiction writers?
(a) They tend to write confusing articles that do not interest anyone.
(b) They don't research enough.
(c) Nonfiction writers tend to want to say the last word on a subject, which covers too much ground.
(d) They want to be the final experts and turn away viable information that would change their articles.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. How many people are in the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel?

2. What method of writing does Zissner use?

3. What are Zissner's feelings about writing?

4. Chapter 3 is about __________.

5. Where should the writer find his or her words?

(see the answer keys)

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