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 could cause a writer to write unclear?
(a) Not knowing what they want to say.
(b) Not having brainstormed enough.
(c) Not taking any writing classes.
(d) Not having enough experience.

2. What does reading aloud do for the writer?
(a) It is a therapeutic process signifying the end of a story.
(b) It allows writers to understand their own writing.
(c) It helps the writer compare their work to others.
(d) Catches simple mistakes and clumsy constructions.

3. Why is it important for writers to read constantly?
(a) To learn from other writers' mistakes.
(b) To emulate their heroes.
(c) To learn how to write.
(d) To study the market.

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

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

6. What is it that the bad writers mentioned above do that makes their writing terrible?
(a) They don't check their facts.
(b) They have bad grammar.
(c) They use too many euphemisms.
(d) They lie too much.

7. How does Zinsser approach unusual words?
(a) He accepts some, but not all.
(b) He is very conservative and will never cross a proper word line.
(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.

8. Good writing is ______________.
(a) Easy to teach.
(b) Seen often.
(c) Easy.
(d) Very difficult.

9. What does Zissner use to highlight clutter in his students' writing?
(a) Brackets
(b) Stars.
(c) Underlines.
(d) Highlighter.

10. What is the old view of nonfiction?
(a) That it is only journalism which isn't a respectable form of writing.
(b) That it is all commentary that means nothing to anyone but the writer.
(c) That it is the only respectable form of writing.
(d) That it is the best form of writing because it is factual and real.

11. 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.

12. What is an example of a time when bad writing HAS to be read?
(a) Corporate memos or technical writing.
(b) Online writing.
(c) In English class.
(d) In the newspaper.

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

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

15. Do good writers decorate their writing?
(a) No, only bad writers do this to sell more copies.
(b) Yes, always with lots of extra words.
(c) No, good writers dont need ornamentation.
(d) Yes, with good punctuation.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why is nonfiction more popular than fiction?

2. What group of people does the author think has the worst type of writing?

3. What happens when a product of writing is never read?

4. What does Zissner think of gimmicky writing?

5. Has the period of political euphemisms improved since the Vietnam War?

(see the answer keys)

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