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 trap do journalists and editors fall into often?

2. What is an example of a time when bad writing HAS to be read?

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

4. What does Zissner believe authors are fearful of in their writing?

5. What is the main attitude that writers have today?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. When can grammar rules be broken?

3. Why should writers forget about the final product when they are writing?

4. Does Zinsser think that scientists can write?

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

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

7. What tense do business writer stend to use that hurts their writing?

8. Who does Zinsser blame when it comes to focusing on the final prize instead of the work of an article?

9. What does the craft of writing consist of?

10. Why is humor the most powerful tool for a nonfiction writer?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

When choosing a style of writing, what do you look for first? Do you think about the tone you want to have, the overall feel of the article, the way you want the reader to receive the article? Explain your thought process on approaching style.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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