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 Langan display at a very young age?

2. What does Gladwell say has a threshold?

3. What do some players from the highest young people's hockey team sometimes go on to do?

4. What does Joy cheat a program to obtain?

5. What opportunity does Joy have that few students had at that time?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where is Roseto and who founded it?

2. Who is Chris Langan?

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

4. What makes Roseto an "outlier" town and how does this fact come to light?

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

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

7. Who is Robert Oppenheimer and what does he accomplish?

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

9. What table of data does Gladwell insert in his book at this point?

10. What does Gladwell say a surface examination of the Canadian hockey league system would suggest?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

The suggestion Gladwell takes from these numbers is that while efforts are being made to reduce class size and improve school facilities, the facts point to a simpler solution for children who are falling behind in school. They need more of it.

This is part of the philosophy behind the KIPP Academy. Students are at school until 5 o'clock in the evening. They attend class on Saturdays, and go for an extra three weeks in the summer. They spend on average fifty percent more time in class than students in the regular schools.

1. Discuss, in depth, why educators believe smaller class size would help students. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Explain why you would or would not be willing to attend KIPP. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Do you think education is the most important part of a child's life or do you think it is secondary to other areas? Why or why not? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Gladwell makes a number of comparisons throughout his text. Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Compare the way honor is seen in the southern United States to the way it seems to be viewed in the northern states. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Compare the difference between the cultural legacy of the United States and Colombia. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Compare the way that Oppenheimer handled criticism and problems with his behavior to the way that Langan did. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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