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 does access via terminals replace at Joy's college?

2. How are Oppenheimer's social skills?

3. What is Langan unprepared to do?

4. To where does Langan transfer from his first college?

5. What does Oppenheimer succeed in getting himself appointed as?

Short Essay Questions

1. With what definition does Gladwell open his book?

2. How does Joy and some of his fellow students make it possible to use the computers more than is allowed and what is the result?

3. What does Anders Ericcson learn in a study he makes of musicians?

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

5. Who is Bill Joy and what did he do?

6. What are the unusual circumstances in the timing of Bill Joy's career in computer programming?

7. What experiment does Lewis Terman carry out beginning in the 1920s?

8. What does having a high IQ give a person?

9. What does Wolf finally decide is the reason for the low number of heart disease-related deaths?

10. What does Gladwell say Langan does not seem to be able to do?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Wolf concludes that there is something about the town itself that keeps its residents free from heart disease. He discovers that the town has a very high sense of community. People are very social and several generations of families live together. There are many clubs and other organizations and people are involved with their community. These seem to be contributing conditions to the relative good health of the residents of Roseto. It is not who they are as individuals, but where they are from that keeps them healthy.

1. Why do you think being a member of a close-knit community might make a person healthier? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Do you think a group of individuals from the same area who are more unhealthy than the average American could be unhealthy because of where they live? Why or why not? Make up an example of why this might be true. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Discuss what makes a community close-knit and how a small town that does not have a close-knit community might be able to promote one. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Gladwell gives the example of Harlan, Kentucky to introduce a discussion of how a person's cultural legacy can affect their success.

1. Define cultural legacy in your own words and give an example of it that is not in Outliers.

2. Discuss two examples of cultural legacy that are beneficial to an individual. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Define, according to the values of honor, integrity, hard work, response to authority and honesty what you think your cultural legacy is. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Malcolm Gladwell.

2. What in Gladwell's background may have helped him in writing Outliers? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

(see the answer keys)

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