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 Zissner believe authors are fearful of in their writing?

2. A musician must practice scales, and a writer must practice ______________.

3. When can ornamental writing be used as an exception?

4. What has literature transformed into?

5. What is another important characteristic of a writer?

Short Essay Questions

1. When can grammar rules be broken?

2. What does the craft of writing consist of?

3. What skills does an interviewer need to possess?

4. What political period was the worst as far as bad writing?

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

6. Writers are told to study the market before submitting pieces. Why is this advice irrelevant?

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

8. Why is nonfiction now considered to be literature?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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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