Outliers: The Story of Success Test | Final Test - Hard

Malcolm Gladwell
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What do Koreans and Colombians have in common?

2. What does Gladwell say about reading schools at the end of one year compared to at the beginning of the next year?

3. Where is the school that Gladwell focuses on in "Marita's Bargan"?

4. What can Chinese farmers do if they produce more than the taxed amount?

5. What occasionally erupts into violence and murder?

Essay 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

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Malcolm Gladwell.

2. What in Gladwell's background may have helped him in writing Outliers? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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