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. Do good writers decorate their writing?
(a) No, only bad writers do this to sell more copies.
(b) Yes, with good punctuation.
(c) Yes, always with lots of extra words.
(d) No, good writers dont need ornamentation.

2. What are two tools every writer should use?
(a) Spell check and grammar check.
(b) Spell check and dictionary.
(c) Thesaraus and grammar check.
(d) Thesaraus and dictionary.

3. What are the best aspects of a good story?
(a) Clarity.
(b) Good research.
(c) Clarity and writing skill.
(d) Writing skill.

4. What does Zissner think of gimmicky writing?
(a) It is what gets writers through the door.
(b) It never works.
(c) It is worth a try to sell a book or article.
(d) It is the secret to selling a book.

5. 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.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why is nonfiction more popular than fiction?

2. How does a thesaurus help with brainstorming?

3. What is the response previous students have to his style of edits?

4. What should every paragraph end with?

5. What is the old view of nonfiction?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Zinsser make of this distinction of fiction versus nonfiction in the literary world?

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

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

5. Do gimmicks usually work in good writing?

6. When can grammar rules be broken?

7. When can some writers break grammar rules?

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

9. When is it acceptable for a new word to enter the English languages American Heritage Dictionary? Can you give an example?

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

(see the answer keys)

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