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. What does the etymology of words mean?

2. When does the writing start for a nonfiction article?

3. What is the old view of nonfiction?

4. What happens when the reader loses interest in the writing?

5. Why is nonfiction more popular than fiction?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do you know when an article is a failure?

2. Why are writers fearful to insert their own opinions, ideas, and judgments in their own writing?

3. Why are thesauri so good for brainstorming?

4. Why do writers need to develop their own voice? How does writing compare to other art forms?

5. What is a good way to learn how to write with humor? How much humor should be used?

6. Do gimmicks usually work in good writing?

7. What is a major pitfall of sports writers?

8. Does Zinsser think that scientists can write?

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

10. In what point of view should a writer start writing? Why?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

What was your definition of literature before reading this book? Has it changed or is it the same? Explain why or why not.

Essay Topic 2

How have you heard the Eiffel Tower described? Regardless of whether you've seen it or not, describe it a different way, positive or negative. Avoid cliches.

Essay Topic 3

What are some interview questions that must always be asked? What should a writer know before going into an interview? Should a writer go in with extensive research on a subject, or just show up with minimal knowledge and learn it all from a pro? Explain your reasoning.

(see the answer keys)

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