Outliers: The Story of Success Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Malcolm Gladwell
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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 computer language does Joy help create?

2. What does Wolf investigate among the families of Roseto?

3. Who is Chris Langan?

4. Why does Langan drop out of the second college he attends?

5. What does Joy cheat a program to obtain?

Short Essay Questions

1. How are students in the hockey leagues grouped and what is the way the children move into other leagues?

2. What does Gladwell write about the rock group called The Beatles?

3. What is the 10,000-Hour Rule?

4. What did the experiment track and what are the results?

5. What is Langan working on and when does he expect to publish it?

6. With what definition does Gladwell open his book?

7. What does IQ stand for and who developed a test to measure it?

8. Describe Chris Langan's childhood and college years.

9. Describe Canada's system of amateur hockey leagues.

10. What does Gladwell assert about intelligence and what analogy does he use?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Gladwell cites the results of a study by a math professor named Alan Schoenfeld who looks at the way people learn math. Schoenfeld discovers that it takes time for most students to grasp a mathematical concept. Many western students simply give up on difficult math problems or concepts rather than take the time to fully grasp the concept. Students who are willing and able to put in more work are going to gain a more meaningful and deep grasp of math.

1. Do you agree with Alan Schoenfeld's assessment of Asians and math, that they spent more time learning it or do you think they just have brains that work better in a mathematical manner? Why or why not? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Do you think children in America should attend school more hours and have more homework? Why or why not? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Give an example of a skill you wish to learn that you would be willing to spend a great deal of time on and discuss a plan of how you would improve your skill. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Gladwell in writing about Joe Flom cites anti-Semitism as part of the reason for Joe's success. Discuss one of the following:

1. Define anti-Semitism and give examples of it from both Outliers and other sources.

2. Do you think anti-Semitism still exists in the United States? Explain.

3. Discuss the ways in which racism influenced Malcolm Gladwell's family. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. What do you think are the characteristics of a successful work of non-fiction?

2. Analyze and discuss Outliers based upon the criteria you decide upon in #1 and judge if Outliers is a successful work of non-fiction/memoir.

3. Is Outliers a book you would recommend to a friend? Why or why not? Explain.

4. Can a non-fictional book be successful and yet many readers not enjoy it? Explain your response.

(see the answer keys)

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