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 transaction in writing?
(a) How much facts a writer uses.
(b) How much a writer talks about themselves.
(c) The bookbuying process.
(d) How much a writer gives of themselves rather than of facts.

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

3. Chapter 3 is about __________.
(a) Increasing the simplicity of writing.
(b) Reducing clutter.
(c) Simplicity.
(d) Clutter.

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

6. How much research does Zinsser recommend for an article?
(a) He recommends finding the bare minimum and bulking an article up with adjectives.
(b) He recommends finding just enough to make a word count.
(c) He recommends using at least three full length books for a one page article.
(d) He recommends finding much more information than is needed for the article.

7. What do interviews do for the writer?
(a) Interviews humanize a topic, making a boring topic interesting.
(b) They make a writer feel stupid since he or she does not know that much about a subject.
(c) They make the writer an expert in a given subject.
(d) They make a writer less valid, since he or she needs to interview several people to create one article.

8. Why is the English language so easy to use when writing?
(a) It is rich with words.
(b) It has strict rules that makes it impossible to stray.
(c) There are very limited words, so there is no need to find alternatives, which cuts time in half.
(d) English isn't an easy language and is not easy to write at all.

9. What tense does Zissner recommend when starting a new piece?
(a) First person.
(b) Combination third and first.
(c) Third person.
(d) Second person.

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

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

12. Has the period of political euphemisms improved since the Vietnam War?
(a) No, it has gotten worse.
(b) No, it is the same.
(c) Yes, politicians know how to unclutter their writing now.
(d) Yes, politicians hire better speech writers.

13. Why do Americans have trouble writing?
(a) They are bad at fact checking.
(b) They are not complex enough.
(c) Their minds are too cluttered.
(d) They do too much and slack on their writing.

14. What is an example of a hit book that was rejected several times?
(a) Eleven on Top.
(b) Jurassic Park.
(c) Pride and Prejudice.
(d) Harry Potter.

15. What is the response previous students have to his style of edits?
(a) They hated it, and have nightmares about his style.
(b) They like it much better than red pen all over a paper.
(c) They say they never liked the highlighting.
(d) They say then can still see the brackets.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is one of Zissner's biggest pet peeves?

2. What does Zissner think of gimmicky writing?

3. What is one way of saving time?

4. What is an example of a dead language?

5. Do good writers decorate their writing?

(see the answer keys)

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