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 gives nonfiction books life?
(a) The cover of the book.
(b) Pure hard facts.
(c) White lies that sell certain facts.
(d) Humanity and warmth.

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

3. What are the two components of the original Roget's Thesaurus?
(a) A dictionary of antonyms, and one of synonyms.
(b) A dictionary listing of words, and a numberd section with synonyms arranged in broad concepts.
(c) A list of synonyms and their definitions with pictures on one side.
(d) Antonyms with very in depth definitions.

4. What is one of Zissner's biggest pet peeves?
(a) When people write in their books.
(b) When people leave the toilet seat up.
(c) When people say they can write a book as if it is easy.
(d) When people dog ear the pages of a book.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Why doesn't he simply cross out clutter?

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

3. What is another important characteristic of a writer?

4. What is an example of a time when bad writing HAS to be read?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Who does Zinsser say are the worst writers guilty of clutter?

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

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

4. How much information should a writer gather before writing a piece? Why is it important?

5. What are some examples of bad writing that has to be read?

6. What is the major problem with American writing in terms of simplicity?

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

8. Why are thesauri so good for brainstorming?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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