On Writing Well Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

William Zinsser
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

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

2. When does the writing start for a nonfiction article?
(a) It starts before the interview but after the research.
(b) It starts before interviewing to set up the article paragraphs.
(c) It starts when the interviewing process and research is complete.
(d) It starts whenever the writer is ready to start.

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

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

5. Can a writer simply write the article with one interview?
(a) No, there should always be mulitple interviews.
(b) No, editing is too hard with just one interview.
(c) Yes, but it is better to have mulitple interviews and meld them together into one incident.
(d) Yes, but it should be avoided because people forget things in the first interview.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the transaction in writing?

2. A musician must practice scales, and a writer must practice ______________.

3. What happens when the reader loses interest in the writing?

4. Why is it important for writers to read constantly?

5. Why should interview questions be written before the interview?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is taste involved in writing?

2. Why is bad to fall into cliches when travel writing?

3. Who does Zinsser say are the worst writers guilty of clutter?

4. How do you know when an article is a failure?

5. Why does Zinsser advise against using exclamation points for astonishment?

6. What skills does an interviewer need to possess?

7. Why is nonfiction now considered to be literature?

8. What is the major problem with American writing in terms of simplicity?

9. Does Zinsser believe it is important for an author's personality to shine through his or her writing?

10. Why are rhythm and sound important in writing? What should writers do to improve this aspect of their writing?

(see the answer keys)

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