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. Can a writer simply write the article with one interview?

2. How rigid are the lines between proper and improper English usage?

3. Why doesn't Zissner provide examples of these writers he admires?

4. What is the purpose of colons?

5. What are two tools every writer should use?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why are interviews so important to an article?

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

5. What is unity in writing?

6. When can grammar rules be broken?

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

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

9. What skills does an interviewer need to possess?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Writing as well as you can is hard. What has been the hardest part about writing as well as you could for this class? Was it the editing? The bracketing? Hearing your peers responses or responding to your peers? Evaluate your experience in the class and explain whether it was positive or negative.

Essay Topic 2

What do you think about Zinsser's attitude towards writing, especially in terms of his reaction to the doctor that loves to write at the beginning of the book? At times it feels as though he is all business and no fun. Do you find writing a chore or a pleasure?

Essay Topic 3

Change the rhythm of the following two sentences to a more accurate rhythm based on the words:

They walked slowly. The cars zoomed past them in an endless glow of white and red lights as they elongated their glides.

Answer: The first sentence should be elongated to give a slow pace to the sentence. The second sentence should be short and crisp. The words can be exchanged between sentences.

(see the answer keys)

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