On Writing Well Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

William Zinsser
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How many people are in the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel?

2. What is an example of a time when bad writing HAS to be read?

3. What happens when a writer writes in unclear ways?

4. What are two tools every writer should use?

5. What does a Thesaurus help a writer with, besides finding alternate words?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the surgeon in Chapter 1 think about writing?

2. Why are interviews so important to an article?

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

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

5. What is unity in writing?

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

7. What skills does an interviewer need to possess?

8. Why are rhythm and sound important in writing? What should writers do to improve this aspect of their writing?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Timing is important in humor writing because the reader should always be surprised. What is another thing to consider when writing humorously? How does humor evolve? Does it evolve?

Essay Topic 2

When choosing a style of writing, what do you look for first? Do you think about the tone you want to have, the overall feel of the article, the way you want the reader to receive the article? Explain your thought process on approaching style.

Essay Topic 3

What is clutter within an article and how does Zinsser suggest writers cut it out? Are there times when clutter would be a good think to have within a sentence or paragraph? Was it hard for you to recognize clutter within your own writing?

(see the answer keys)

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