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 Zinsser's preferred method for interviewing?
(a) He likes to use pencils and paper.
(b) He likes audio recorders.
(c) He doesn't use anything. He just listens.
(d) He likes to use pens and markers.

2. What is unity in writing?
(a) Unity is where the writer maintains consistency throughout an entire piece.
(b) Unity is when characters are unipolar and one dimensional.
(c) Unity is when the characters in a story are united and never disagree with one another.
(d) Unity is when the writer sticks to one plot.

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

4. Which is the simplest sentence?
(a) Simplicity.
(b) Simplicity is opporite clutter.
(c) Simplicity is the opposite of clutter.
(d) Simplicity is the direct opposite of clutter.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What trap do journalists and editors fall into often?

2. Why is nonfiction more popular than fiction?

3. Why doesn't Zissner provide examples of these writers he admires?

4. What are the best aspects of a good story?

5. What is the main attitude that writers have today?

Short Essay Questions

1. When can grammar rules be broken?

2. Why do critics need to be well versed in the art they are writing about?

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

4. Why are Americans scared to write about themselves?

5. Why are writers fearful to insert their own opinions, ideas, and judgments in their own writing?

6. Does Zinsser think that scientists can write?

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

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

9. What do all good writers do when it comes to improving?

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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