David McMahon did his Sunday Roast interview with me this week. I appreciate David taking the time to run it. I enjoyed answering his questions. You can check it out on his blog if you've a mind to.
I haven't mentioned much here about the writing class I'm teaching this semester but so far it is going well and I seem to have a pretty good crew of students. Below is the first quiz I gave them. I'll bet you all get them correct. Or else you'll want to argue with me about the correct answer. ;)
Writing Quiz. Each blank = 1 point.
1. In trying to communicate specific information, the main
advantage of writing over talking is: _______________________
2. The main disadvantage of writing is: _________________________
3. (1 Pt). Which of the following is NOT one of the "good"
habits that I suggested you develop to improve your writing?
a. Schedule a time for writing and stick to it.
b. Use a dictionary to look up words that you are unsure about.
c. Write only until you get tired, then stop for the day.
d. Read a wide variety of other people's writings, from textbooks
e. All of these are "good" habits.
4. Since your audience is not present when you are writing a
paper, you must think more carefully about what you are going
to say than when you are having a spoken conversation. Name
two things that you can do which could help you figure out the
kinds of questions readers might ask.
True/False (1 point each). (Please circle your answer).
5. T. F. The only reason for writing is to communicate ideas.
6. T. F. Writing skills depend upon inborn verbal abilities and
cannot be learned.
7. T. F. Once you have found a formula for writing a successful
term paper, you should stick with it so that you
will always be guaranteed to get good grades.
8. T. F. I suggested that you should just assume that the first
draft of your paper is not good enough to hand in.
9. T. F. Writing is easy.
10. T. F. There is only one way to write a good paper.
11. Name the most recent book that you have read (or are
currently reading): ____________________
Answers: (AS I See Them)
1. You have time to consider your full argument without having anyone waiting impatiently to see what you're going to say.
2. You don't get immediate feedback about your success, or lack of it, at conveying your message to readers.
3. I think "C" is a bad habit. I urge my students not to write to exhaustion but to push themselves.
4. A. Develop your own critical reading habit.
B. Ask peers to read your work and tell you where they got confused.
For the True/False, 8 is true and all the others are false.