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. When should a writer choose the point of view in a piece of writing?

2. Who are two authors that Zissner admires for solid writing and ornamentation?

3. What do interviews do for the writer?

4. Chapter 3 is about __________.

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Zinsser make of this distinction of fiction versus nonfiction in the literary world?

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

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

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

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

8. When can some writers break grammar rules?

9. Why is it important for writers to maintain unity throughout a piece? Three things are vitally important.

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

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

What are some industries that use corporate-speak or jargon in the majority of their writing? Why have these industries continued to use the same type of terrible writing? What can a person in the industry do to change this? Why would they be scared to change the status quo?

(see the answer keys)

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