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 one way of saving time?
(a) Solely relying on grammar and spell check.
(b) Learning to write over eighty words per minute.
(c) Not doing a story outline.
(d) Skipping spell check.

2. Why should interview questions be written before the interview?
(a) To keep the person being interviewed on track.
(b) To avoid having to do it at the interview.
(c) To focus the interview around a certain theme.
(d) To avoid drawing a blank in the middle of an interview.

3. What is the purpose of colons?
(a) They can be used to separate a sentance and start another without having to capitalize the first word.
(b) Colons are used to explain sentences.
(c) To start out a list of things without using list form.
(d) They are good to use in place of quotations for dialogue.

4. What is the main thing required to being a good writer?
(a) Passion.
(b) All answers are correct.
(c) Hard work.
(d) Good editing.

5. What is a natural inclination for writers when they start a piece?
(a) They don't give enough background information.
(b) Writers assume readers know nothing about what they are writing about.
(c) They assume the readers know what they are writing about.
(d) They ramble through an unnecessary introduction.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the problem with American writing?

2. Who is the real audience in a piece of writing?

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

4. What does reading aloud do for the writer?

5. How rigid are the lines between proper and improper English usage?

Short Essay Questions

1. Do gimmicks usually work in good writing?

2. When can some writers break grammar rules?

3. What does Zinsser make of this distinction of fiction versus nonfiction in the literary world?

4. Why does Zinsser use brackets on students' papers?

5. What does the craft of writing consist of?

6. Why do writers have a hard time starting at the "true beginning?"

7. What does the surgeon in Chapter 1 think about writing?

8. Why does the English language change all the time? Can you give an example of a language that never changes and why?

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

10. When is it acceptable for a new word to enter the English languages American Heritage Dictionary? Can you give an example?

(see the answer keys)

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