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) Humanity and warmth.
(b) Pure hard facts.
(c) The cover of the book.
(d) White lies that sell certain facts.

2. What should every paragraph end with?
(a) All paragraphs should end with a summary of the entire paragraph.
(b) Every paragraph needs to have a hook or a cliffhanger that will lead the reader into the next paragraph.
(c) All paragraphs should repeat the first sentence.
(d) Every paragraph should end with a period.

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

4. What trap do journalists and editors fall into often?
(a) Using too many commas.
(b) Not doing grammar checks.
(c) Usin too many dashes.
(d) Using cliches and made up words.

5. How does a thesaurus help with brainstorming?
(a) The book gives a list of unrelated words that weeds out the bad choices.
(b) The book provides brainstorming exercises.
(c) There are pictures of mindmaps within each thesaurus.
(d) Looking up a word leads to a list of related words and gives overal word choices and concepts.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is one task that a good writer constantly does?

2. What does it convey when anyone says he can write a book if he wanted to?

3. How does Zinsser approach unusual words?

4. What is the problem with American writing?

5. What is the main thing required to being a good writer?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why are journalists good about de-cluttering their writing?

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

3. Why does Zinsser avoid using journalism as a model for good writers?

4. Why is nonfiction now considered to be literature?

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

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

7. What becomes of a finished article that nobody reads?

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

9. Why are interviews so important to an article?

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

(see the answer keys)

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