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 is the conclusion Terman comes to about high IQ children?

2. What is Oppenheimer able to do even though he has some disadvantages?

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

4. Why does Langan lose his scholarship?

5. What does the table that Gladwell consults to theorize the success of some of the best hockey players in the country discussed?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How do the students at KIPP Academy differ from those of other public schools?

5. What does Gladwell say about early American educational theorists?

6. Explain the term "Power Distance Index" and who coins the term.

7. What does Wolf finally decide is the reason for the low heart disease rate?

8. How is a work ethic related to growing rice?

9. What experiment do Dov Cohen and Richard Nisbett conduct in the 1990s?

10. What is Gladwell's general premise about the connection between growing rice and the success of Asian peoples?

Essay 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

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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