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 are the two components of the original Roget's Thesaurus?

2. Why should interview questions be written before the interview?

3. Why is the above a problem?

4. What is an example of a dead language?

5. What is the response previous students have to his style of edits?

Short Essay Questions

1. What skills does an interviewer need to possess?

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

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

4. What is a strategy to making sure the above choices fit?

5. Does Zinsser believe it is important for an author's personality to shine through his or her writing?

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

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

8. Why do critics need to be well versed in the art they are writing about?

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Rewrite the following sentence into an ending sentence and the first sentence in the following paragraph: The car drove off the cliff. Make it compelling. Make the reader want to keep on reading.

Ex: Ending Sentence: The car sped off the cliff. First sentence next paragraph: They all survived.

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 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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