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

2. How can uncluttered writing help fiction?
(a) It highlights the impotant parts of the story.
(b) It keeps people's attention longer.
(c) It keeps the meaning of the story clear and the prose worth the reader's time.
(d) It keeps books smaller and people like smaller books.

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

4. Should exclamation points be used in serious writing?
(a) They should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
(b) Only serious writing has serious exclamation points. How else would people understand astonishment?
(c) They should be used sparingly. One per paragraph is fine.
(d) They should be sprinkled into paragraphs like salt and pepper. The more the better.

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

6. What is a strange but effective way of proofreading to check for errors?
(a) Reading under a blacklight.
(b) Reading through a window.
(c) Reading a piece backwards.
(d) Reading a story upside down.

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

8. Does the author believe good writing is the result of an inherent talent?
(a) Yes, people are born to write.
(b) No, the craft always gets better with time.
(c) No, good writers have to be taught.
(d) A good writer

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

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

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

12. Can a writer simply write the article with one interview?
(a) No, there should always be mulitple interviews.
(b) Yes, but it should be avoided because people forget things in the first interview.
(c) Yes, but it is better to have mulitple interviews and meld them together into one incident.
(d) No, editing is too hard with just one interview.

13. What method of writing does Zissner use?
(a) New Journalism.
(b) Bold paragraph approach.
(c) Old Journalism.
(d) Cluster writing.

14. How many people are in the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel?
(a) 10 writers.
(b) 1000 writers, poets, and editors.
(c) 14 writers and poets.
(d) 104 writers, poets, editors, and teachers.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What is a common problem writers have?

2. What should every paragraph end with?

3. What is an example of a dead language?

4. How does a writer become better at his craft?

5. Which is the simplest sentence?

(see the answer keys)

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