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

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

3. Does Zissner believe in the journalism model for good writing?
(a) No, journalism is dead and the writing is poor.
(b) Yes, it saves space and uses modern words.
(c) No because journalists use cheap words and buzz words.
(d) Yes, it is efficient and catchy.

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

5. How rigid are the lines between proper and improper English usage?
(a) There are no lines at all. Every writer has a poetic license to do with words what he or she pleases.
(b) They are very soft, and not rigid at all.
(c) There is a grey area, though the need for proper English is most important.
(d) They are very rigid and one cannot cross the line.

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

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

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

9. Who do authors please first with their writing?
(a) Readers.
(b) Family members.
(c) Themselves.
(d) Editors.

10. Why do journalists need to perfect uncluttered writing?
(a) It is easier to sell.
(b) It make their writing easier to read.
(c) People only pay attention to short articles.
(d) They have a limited number of column inches and word limits.

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

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

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

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

15. What ability do great authors have?
(a) The ability to write whenever they want.
(b) The ability to ignore rules of grammar.
(c) The ability to get an inside on reading trends.
(d) The ability to write perfectley grammatical pieces.

Short Answer Questions

1. What are some limitations of perfect grammar?

2. Can a writer simply write the article with one interview?

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

4. What does reading aloud do for the writer?

5. Who are two authors that Zissner admires for solid writing and ornamentation?

(see the answer keys)

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