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 the biggest mistake a writer can make when creating sentences?
(a) Not creating sentences that readers want to read.
(b) Packing in too much information into one sentence.
(c) Overediting sentences.
(d) Not reading their sentences aloud.

2. When does the writing start for a nonfiction article?
(a) It starts before the interview but after the research.
(b) It starts before interviewing to set up the article paragraphs.
(c) It starts when the interviewing process and research is complete.
(d) It starts whenever the writer is ready to start.

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

4. What period in U.S. history does Zissner point out as a time filled with euphemisms?
(a) Spanish Civil War.
(b) The Korean War.
(c) The Vietnam War.
(d) World War II.

5. What is a common problem with nonfiction writers?
(a) They tend to write confusing articles that do not interest anyone.
(b) Nonfiction writers tend to want to say the last word on a subject, which covers too much ground.
(c) They don't research enough.
(d) They want to be the final experts and turn away viable information that would change their articles.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Zissner have the ability to choose words for the American Heritage Dictionary?

2. What is the old view of nonfiction?

3. What attitude should writers embrace towards their editors?

4. What is another important characteristic of a writer?

5. What does Zinsser do before submitting a piece of writing?

Short Essay Questions

1. When can some writers break grammar rules?

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

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

4. Why is nonfiction now considered to be literature?

5. Why are interviews so important to an article?

6. Does Zinsser believe it is important for an author's personality to shine through his or her writing?

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

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

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

10. When can grammar rules be broken?

(see the answer keys)

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