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. How many people are in the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel?
(a) 104 writers, poets, editors, and teachers.
(b) 14 writers and poets.
(c) 1000 writers, poets, and editors.
(d) 10 writers.

2. Where should the writer find his or her words?
(a) From within the subconscious to the writing consciousness
(b) From modern euphanisms that people can relate to.
(c) From a dictionary.
(d) From a thesaraus.

3. What is an alternative way of showing astonishment in writing?
(a) Typing in asterisks with verbs like *gasp*.
(b) Writing in all caps.
(c) Writing in excessive dialogue where people and characters say they are astonished.
(d) A well written sentence does not need excalamtion marks. The words themselves should be the intensity of the sentence.

4. Who do authors please first with their writing?
(a) Family members.
(b) Editors.
(c) Themselves.
(d) Readers.

5. What is the main thing readers think when starting an article?
(a) They want to know how soon they will find the answer to the original thesis question of an article.
(b) They want to know whether it is worth it to read the article.
(c) They want to know how long it will take them to read the article.
(d) They want to know whether the writer is credible or not.

Short Answer Questions

1. What group of people does the author think has the worst type of writing?

2. Why is the English language so easy to use when writing?

3. Does the author believe good writing is the result of an inherent talent?

4. What are Zissner's feelings about writing?

5. Can a writer simply write the article with one interview?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Do gimmicks usually work in good writing?

4. What skills does an interviewer need to possess?

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

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

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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