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 is it that the bad writers mentioned above do that makes their writing terrible?
(a) They use too many euphemisms.
(b) They lie too much.
(c) They don't check their facts.
(d) They have bad grammar.

2. What could cause a writer to write unclear?
(a) Not knowing what they want to say.
(b) Not taking any writing classes.
(c) Not having enough experience.
(d) Not having brainstormed enough.

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

4. How much research does Zinsser recommend for an article?
(a) He recommends finding just enough to make a word count.
(b) He recommends finding much more information than is needed for the article.
(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. How does a thesaurus help with brainstorming?
(a) There are pictures of mindmaps within each thesaurus.
(b) The book gives a list of unrelated words that weeds out the bad choices.
(c) Looking up a word leads to a list of related words and gives overal word choices and concepts.
(d) The book provides brainstorming exercises.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Zissner think of gimmicky writing?

2. What is the transaction in writing?

3. What does Zissner believe authors are fearful of in their writing?

4. What is a dash useful for?

5. What does reading aloud do for the writer?

Short Essay Questions

1. What becomes of a finished article that nobody reads?

2. What happens to the reader when he or she reads cluttered writing?

3. What is unity in writing?

4. Writers are told to study the market before submitting pieces. Why is this advice irrelevant?

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

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

7. Why does Zinsser avoid using journalism as a model for good writers?

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

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

10. When can some writers break grammar rules?

(see the answer keys)

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