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. Has the period of political euphemisms improved since the Vietnam War?

2. What is one task that a good writer constantly does?

3. Good writing is ______________.

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

5. What method of writing does Zissner use?

Short Essay Questions

1. When can some writers break grammar rules?

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

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

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

5. What is unity in writing?

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

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

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

9. What does the surgeon in Chapter 1 think about writing?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

What is clutter within an article and how does Zinsser suggest writers cut it out? Are there times when clutter would be a good think to have within a sentence or paragraph? Was it hard for you to recognize clutter within your own writing?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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