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 ability do great authors have?

2. What are Zissner's feelings about writing?

3. Why is the English language changing all the time?

4. What is Zinsser's preferred method for interviewing?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What becomes of a finished article that nobody reads?

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

4. When is it acceptable for a new word to enter the English languages American Heritage Dictionary? Can you give an example?

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

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

7. Who does Zinsser say are the worst writers guilty of clutter?

8. What are some examples of bad writing that has to be read?

9. What is unity in writing?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

What are ways that politicians can better their speech writing style? What are some common political cliches you have heard recently? What is it about cliches that tend to always make it into speeches? Touch on human emotion with your response.

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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