Outliers: The Story of Success Test | Final 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 percentage above the average student do KIPP students attend school?

2. What does Gladwell say is an inviolate part of the school year?

3. Who are the Borgenichts?

4. What grade level is the school?

5. What is one type of work Joe Flom does when he is just out of college?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are proxy wars?

2. How do Korean Airlines change their bad record of crashes?

3. Why doesn't Joe Flom work for a large, prestigious law group when he graduates from law school?

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

5. What does Suren Ratwatte say about a Colombian airliner that crashes in New York?

6. How does the crash of Flight 801 fit a pattern for Korean Airlines?

7. What is entailed in growing rice?

8. What evidence is there that summer vacations may be hindering the success of many students?

9. Why is Flom willing to work proxy wars?

10. Who is Joe Flom?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Gladwell opens his book with a dictionary definition of the word "outlier." It is "something that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or related body," and also "a statistical observation that is markedly different in value from others of the sample." His first example of an outlier is the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania in the first half of the 20th century.

1. In your own words, give a definition of an outlier. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Discuss the reasons you think outliers are valuable for research purposes. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Explain, in your own words, why the town of Roseto, Pa. is an outlier and make-up another example of a town that would be an outlier. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Wolf concludes that there is something about the town itself that keeps its residents free from heart disease. He discovers that the town has a very high sense of community. People are very social and several generations of families live together. There are many clubs and other organizations and people are involved with their community. These seem to be contributing conditions to the relative good health of the residents of Roseto. It is not who they are as individuals, but where they are from that keeps them healthy.

1. Why do you think being a member of a close-knit community might make a person healthier? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Do you think a group of individuals from the same area who are more unhealthy than the average American could be unhealthy because of where they live? Why or why not? Make up an example of why this might be true. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Discuss what makes a community close-knit and how a small town that does not have a close-knit community might be able to promote one. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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