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 should the lead in the first sentence do for a reader?
(a) It should tell the reader very little about the article, so he or she will continue reading.
(b) It should introduce the article informatively and let the reader know it will be a good read.
(c) It should be very basic to hook in all types of readers.
(d) It should capture the reader and force him or her to keep reading.

2. Who is the real audience in a piece of writing?
(a) The reader.
(b) Both the editor and author.
(c) The author.
(d) The editor.

3. How does Zissner have the ability to choose words for the American Heritage Dictionary?
(a) He is related to someone on the panel.
(b) He created the Dictionary.
(c) He works for the American Heritage Dictionary
(d) He is on the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel

4. How much research does Zinsser recommend for an article?
(a) He recommends finding much more information than is needed for the article.
(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 the bare minimum and bulking an article up with adjectives.

5. What does a Thesaurus help a writer with, besides finding alternate words?
(a) A thesaurus can help when writing in another language.
(b) The book can help a writer become an expert in opposites.
(c) Provides easy word webs.
(d) A thesaurus is a powerful stimulant to a writer's imagination.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why is the English language changing all the time?

2. What does the etymology of words mean?

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

4. What is Zinsser's preferred method for interviewing?

5. Why is it important to narrow down a nonfiction piece?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why are interviews so important to an article?

2. Why is it important for writers to maintain unity throughout a piece? Three things are vitally important.

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

4. What is a good way to learn how to write with humor? How much humor should be used?

5. Why is corporate speak the norm in business writing?

6. What are Zinsser's thoughts on the writing profession?

7. What does the craft of writing consist of?

8. What needs to be described in a travel article?

9. When can some writers break grammar rules?

10. Does Zinsser think that scientists can write?

(see the answer keys)

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