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

2. What is the conclusion Terman comes to about high IQ children?

3. What is 30 to 35 percent lower in Roseto than the rest of the country?

4. Who is Roger Barnsley?

5. What does Oppenheimer have difficulty with when he is young?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why is the local physician's claim unusual, and what does Wolf decide to do?

3. What is the origination of the title of this chapter, "The Matthew Effect"?

4. With what definition does Gladwell open his book?

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

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

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

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

9. Who is Chris Langan?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Hostile takeovers become more and more common and Flom and others receive more and more work. Finally, the white shoe firms come around and start to take on the work, but by this time Flom has so much more experience at it that he is able to command a large part of the business and surpass many of the established firms. Had he not been excluded for being Jewish when he first started, he would have lost the advantage, Gladwell explains.

1. Explain irony in the context of Joe Flom's success. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Do you think the way the circumstances changed in the law profession might have made the white Christian lawyers decide prejudice was not in their best interest? Why or why not? Use examples from Outliers and your own life to support your answer.

3. Make up an example of how a minority in your school might be successful at an endeavor because of prejudice. Use examples from Outliers and your own life to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

There are a number of interesting questions raised by Outliers. Questions that Gladwell most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Gladwell' agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Gladwell' probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Gladwell and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

Essay Topic 3

Gladwell gives the reader an overview of his ideas about success in Outliers. Discuss one of the following:

1. Discuss Gladwell's opinions of three topics he discussed in relation to success. Do you agree or disagree with him? Why? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Compare and contrast Gladwell's opinions from Outliers with what you might imagine Gladwell's opinion might be had he lived 100 years ago. How do you think his opinions would change? Would they remain the same? Explain fully. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Discuss how you think Gladwell's view on several topics from this essay informs his life as a researcher. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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