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 a common problem writers have?
(a) Not writing at the same time every day.
(b) Writing too little.
(c) Starting at the true beginning.
(d) Writing too much at first.

2. Who are two authors that Zissner admires for solid writing and ornamentation?
(a) Sylvia Plath and Jane Austen.
(b) Virginia Woolfe and Sylvia Plath.
(c) Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe.
(d) Normal Mailer and Virginia Wolfe.

3. What is the main thing readers think when starting an article?
(a) They want to know how long it will take them to read the article.
(b) They want to know whether the writer is credible or not.
(c) They want to know whether it is worth it to read the article.
(d) They want to know how soon they will find the answer to the original thesis question of an article.

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

5. Does Zissner believe in the journalism model for good writing?
(a) Yes, it is efficient and catchy.
(b) No, journalism is dead and the writing is poor.
(c) No because journalists use cheap words and buzz words.
(d) Yes, it saves space and uses modern words.

Short Answer Questions

1. What has literature transformed into?

2. When should a writer choose the point of view in a piece of writing?

3. Why does the doctor write?

4. How does a writer become better at his craft?

5. What is the mood or voice in a piece?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what point of view should a writer start writing? Why?

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

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

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

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

6. Why are thesauri so good for brainstorming?

7. Why does Zinsser want writers to cut out ornamental writing?

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

9. What political period was the worst as far as bad writing?

10. What skills does an interviewer need to possess?

(see the answer keys)

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