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 attitude should writers embrace towards their editors?
(a) Don't worry about the editor because you should please your audience first.
(b) Worry only about the editor in order to get published.
(c) Worry about the editor and the readers. They will buy and sell your books.
(d) Don't worry about pleasing them initially.

2. Why does the doctor write?
(a) He is writing a book.
(b) He writes for fun.
(c) He writes because he hates being a surgeon.
(d) He writes to make extra money.

3. What method of writing does Zissner use?
(a) Old Journalism.
(b) Cluster writing.
(c) Bold paragraph approach.
(d) New Journalism.

4. 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.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Why is it important to narrow down a nonfiction piece?

2. What is a major job of a nonfiction writer?

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

4. Why is the above a problem?

5. Why is nonfiction more popular than fiction?

Short Essay Questions

1. What skills does an interviewer need to possess?

2. What is unity in writing?

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

4. Why are thesauri so good for brainstorming?

5. Do gimmicks usually work in good writing?

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

7. Why does the English language change all the time? Can you give an example of a language that never changes and why?

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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