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 Joy do almost day in and day out at college?

2. What does Gladwell say has a threshold?

3. What was the leading killer of men under the age of 65 in the 1950s?

4. What is the age when this countries hockey play is at the pinnacle of success for young people?

5. What does Gladwell call having a higher IQ?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. When are most of Canada's best hockey players born, and why does Barnley think that is so?

6. With what definition does Gladwell open his book?

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

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

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

10. Where is Langan at the time Gladwell writes his book?

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

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 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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