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 a natural inclination for writers when they start a piece?
(a) They ramble through an unnecessary introduction.
(b) They don't give enough background information.
(c) They assume the readers know what they are writing about.
(d) Writers assume readers know nothing about what they are writing about.

2. Why does Zissner advise his clients to worry about the marketplace last?
(a) Because the marketplace never changes.
(b) Because the marketplace always needs books and will take anything.
(c) Writing a good piece for the marketplace is easy when they know what sells.
(d) Because nobody knows what is going to sell.

3. What is the transaction in writing?
(a) How much a writer gives of themselves rather than of facts.
(b) How much facts a writer uses.
(c) How much a writer talks about themselves.
(d) The bookbuying process.

4. What other group of people uses euphemisms or fad terms?
(a) Business writers.
(b) Doctors.
(c) Musicians.
(d) State employees.

5. What is the old view of nonfiction?
(a) That it is the only respectable form of writing.
(b) That it is only journalism which isn't a respectable form of writing.
(c) That it is all commentary that means nothing to anyone but the writer.
(d) That it is the best form of writing because it is factual and real.

Short Answer Questions

1. Has the period of political euphemisms improved since the Vietnam War?

2. What are some limitations of perfect grammar?

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

4. What should every paragraph end with?

5. What should the lead in the first sentence do for a reader?

Short Essay Questions

1. Do gimmicks usually work in good writing?

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

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

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

5. What does the craft of writing consist of?

6. What is unity in writing?

7. What is the major problem with American writing in terms of simplicity?

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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