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. Does skipping grammar check save a writer time?

2. What are the two components of the original Roget's Thesaurus?

3. Why does he recommend starting in the preferred tense?

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

5. Why does the doctor write?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is a major pitfall of sports writers?

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

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

4. Why do critics need to be well versed in the art they are writing about?

5. What is unity in writing?

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

7. Does Zinsser believe it is important for an author's personality to shine through his or her writing?

8. What needs to be described in a travel article?

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

10. How does Zinsser feel about writing when a writer doesn't want to? Why do writers have this luxury?

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

Rewrite the following sentence into an ending sentence and the first sentence in the following paragraph: The car drove off the cliff. Make it compelling. Make the reader want to keep on reading.

Ex: Ending Sentence: The car sped off the cliff. First sentence next paragraph: They all survived.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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