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 Gladwell say one has to have to gain success?

2. Why does Langan despair of publishing his theory?

3. What does Langan do after dropping out of the second college?

4. Where does Langan once make an appearance that Gladwell mentions?

5. What keeps Langan from talking his way into some class changes at the second college he attends?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Gladwell write about the rock group called The Beatles?

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

4. What does IQ stand for and who developed a test to measure it?

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

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

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

8. 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?

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

10. With what definition does Gladwell open his book?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Gladwell measured things such as to what extent the people of a country trust and follow authority, and with what degree of willingness. This measurement is called the "Power Distance Index" or PDI. Countries like the United States have a low PDI, meaning that people interact with figures of authority without much deference and are ready to challenge authority when the situation calls for it. Countries like South Korea and Colombia have a high PDI, meaning that they recognize many levels of authority in a cultural hierarchy and are reluctant to challenge authority.

1. Why do you think recognizing many levels of authority in a cultural hierarchy might influence a person to not challenge authority? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Give an example, not discussed in Outlier, and discuss, in depth, where challenging authority would have a negative result. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Give an example, not discussed in Outlier, and discuss, in depth, where challenging authority would have a positive result. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Kentucky is settled by people who come from a "culture of honor." Back in Britain, they are herdsmen and herding cultures worldwide have commonly developed such a culture, Gladwell explains. In a culture of honor, loyalty to one's family or clan is the most important thing. People from this background are driven to defend their families and are quick to respond to any perceived threat.

1. Discuss what a culture of honor is in your own words. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Do you think honor can be a good value if used properly? Why or why not? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. What do you think are the dangers in too much loyalty to one's family or a over blown sense of honor? Use examples from Outliers 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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