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. How does a writer become better at his craft?
(a) By taking a writing class.
(b) By taking initiative to improve every day.
(c) By avoiding trashy novels.
(d) By reading everything.

2. What is one task that a good writer constantly does?
(a) Sends manuscripts out like crazy.
(b) Takes writing classes often.
(c) Participates in writing workshops.
(d) Reads contemporary and classic works of other writers.

3. Who are two authors that Zissner admires for solid writing and ornamentation?
(a) Sylvia Plath and Jane Austen.
(b) Virginia Woolfe and Sylvia Plath.
(c) Normal Mailer and Virginia Wolfe.
(d) Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe.

4. Can good writing be taught?
(a) Only good teachers can teach good writing.
(b) It cannot, but it can be learned.
(c) Only good students can learn good writing.
(d) Of course it can.

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

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

7. Why does Zissner advise his clients to worry about the marketplace last?
(a) Because the marketplace always needs books and will take anything.
(b) Because the marketplace never changes.
(c) Because nobody knows what is going to sell.
(d) Writing a good piece for the marketplace is easy when they know what sells.

8. What trap do journalists and editors fall into often?
(a) Not doing grammar checks.
(b) Using cliches and made up words.
(c) Usin too many dashes.
(d) Using too many commas.

9. Why does he recommend starting in the preferred tense?
(a) It makes it easier for people to relate to.
(b) It creates a teacher student relationship.
(c) It brings out the natural voice.
(d) It causes writer's to think about the reader.

10. 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 assume the readers know what they are writing about.
(c) They ramble through an unnecessary introduction.
(d) They don't give enough background information.

11. What does Zissner say is a common desire of every writer?
(a) To mae sure grammar is perfect.
(b) To take the long route to everything.
(c) To find shortcuts.
(d) To pay perfect attention to detail.

12. What is the main thing readers think when starting an article?
(a) They want to know how long it will take them to read the article.
(b) They want to know whether the writer is credible or not.
(c) They want to know whether it is worth it to read the article.
(d) They want to know how soon they will find the answer to the original thesis question of an article.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. When should a writer choose the point of view in a piece of writing?

2. What is the purpose of colons?

3. What is a major job of a nonfiction writer?

4. What is the main attitude that writers have today?

5. Why is nonfiction more popular than fiction?

(see the answer keys)

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