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) Americans are bad at fact checking.
(b) The writing is too sloppy.
(c) It is too complex.
(d) It isn't complex enough.

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

3. 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.

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

5. A musician must practice scales, and a writer must practice ______________.
(a) Sentences.
(b) The marketplace.
(c) Grammar.
(d) Spelling.

6. How does a thesaurus help with brainstorming?
(a) Looking up a word leads to a list of related words and gives overal word choices and concepts.
(b) The book gives a list of unrelated words that weeds out the bad choices.
(c) The book provides brainstorming exercises.
(d) There are pictures of mindmaps within each thesaurus.

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

8. What does Zinsser do before submitting a piece of writing?
(a) He edits everything three times.
(b) He has his wife read his work.
(c) He reads everything aloud.
(d) He submits his writing to his family.

9. What happens when a writer writes in unclear ways?
(a) Their book gets tagged as abstract literature and nobody ever reads it.
(b) Their writing doesn't make sense.
(c) They don't get published.
(d) They lose the interest of the reader.

10. What is another example of when a person HAS to read bad writing?
(a) Literature anthologies.
(b) Television captions.
(c) Political Journals.
(d) Instruction manuals.

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

12. How does Zissner have the ability to choose words for the American Heritage Dictionary?
(a) He is related to someone on the panel.
(b) He created the Dictionary.
(c) He works for the American Heritage Dictionary
(d) He is on the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel

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

14. What is an example of a dead language?
(a) Spanish because its roots are disintegrating.
(b) Italian because there is only one country that speaks it.
(c) Latin is dead because nobody speaks it anymore.
(d) Chinese because it never changes.

15. What should every paragraph end with?
(a) All paragraphs should end with a summary of the entire paragraph.
(b) Every paragraph needs to have a hook or a cliffhanger that will lead the reader into the next paragraph.
(c) Every paragraph should end with a period.
(d) All paragraphs should repeat the first sentence.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does the etymology of words mean?

2. Why does the doctor write?

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

4. Why is it important to narrow down a nonfiction piece?

5. What are some limitations of perfect grammar?

(see the answer keys)

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