Introductory Writing Practice Quiz

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Updated on Oct 1, 2011

Introductory Writing Practice Quiz

This quiz contains 30 questions that will test your knowledge writing. The test should take about 30 minutes to complete. It will provide you with an accurate sense of your existing knowledge of grammar and writing, and serve as a guide to which areas of these subjects you need to learn better.

1. Every sentence you write must include, at the very least, which of the following parts?

a. subject, predicate, and object

b. noun as a subject

c. subject and predicate

d. noun and pronoun

2. Proper nouns are the parts of speech that

a. must always be capitalized.

b. always describe people.

c. always begin the sentence.

d. can be mistaken for verbs.

3. The most important function of verbs in most sentences is

a. to explain who is doing the action.

b. to describe the action.

c. to help define the subject.

d. to complete a sentence.

4. Which word is often used as a helping verb?

a. be

b. am

c. was

d. has

5. Adverbs are words that modify which parts of speech?

a. verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs

b. pronouns and nouns

c. nouns and verbs

d. verbs only

6. Which sentence uses the correct predicate?

a. The dog walk quickly.

b. The cat purred softly.

c. The snake done slither.

d. The kangaroos has jumped.

7. Which of the following word groups is a sentence fragment?

a. Writing well is often difficult for students.

b. But learning to write essays and poems.

c. Driving a car is also difficult to learn.

d. Running a marathon is perhaps the most difficult of all.

8. Which of the following sentences is a complex sentence?

a. While tapping her foot, the teacher demanded the students get to work.

b. The boys ran and the girls hopped.

c. The rules of English grammar are rarely the favorite topic of most classrooms.

d. James tried very hard to succeed at completing the test quickly.

9. Which of the following word groups is a dependent clause?

a. Nancy fell sound asleep.

b. At seven o'clock in the morning.

c. The teacher kept talking.

d. Exercising is exhausting.

10. Which of the following word groups is an independent clause?

a. Sammy loved pickles more than he loved salami.

b. When Jeannie made the sandwiches.

c. If she made them properly.

d. Eating pickles and ice cream.

11. Which of the following is a correct definition of a compound-complex sentence?

a. two independent clauses joined by and

b. two independent clauses and one dependent clause

c. one independent clause and one dependent clause

d. one independent clause and two dependent clauses

12. Which sentence below is correctly punctuated?

a. The day after tomorrow, luckily, is the day we will take the test.

b. The day after tomorrow, luckily; is the day we will take the test.

c. The day after tomorrow; luckily is the day we will take the test.

d. The day after tomorrow luckily is the day we will take the test.

13. Which sentence below contains a grammatical error?

a. The boys in the class wanted to eat there lunch at 11:30 A.M.

b. The girls in the class wanted them to sit quietly for another 30 minutes.

c. The teacher told her class to stop fighting over such a silly issue.

d. The lunch hour got to be a very important topic for all of them.

14. Which of these sentences uses pronouns correctly?

a. Who is the best speller in the class?

b. The teacher told me and her to go to the white board.

c. My aunt is whom I like best of all the relatives.

d. My aunt invited him and I to go to the movies.

15. Which of these sentences is correctly punctuated?

a. Smiling sweetly, the teacher explained the assignment, including its due date.

b. Smiling, sweetly the teacher explained the assignment including its due date.

c. Smiling sweetly the teacher explained; the assignment including its due date.

d. Smiling sweetly, the teacher explained, the assignment including its due date.

16. The best place for an essay's thesis statement is

a. in the second or third paragraph.

b. in the first or second paragraph.

c. in the last paragraph.

d. wherever it makes the most sense.

17. Determining the identity of your reader is important because

a. knowing will help you get a better grade.

b. knowing will help you write with more focus.

c. knowing will help you write faster.

d. knowing will help you establish your point of view.

18. All essays should contain

a. at least three paragraphs.

b. five paragraphs.

c. as many as the writer determines is appropriate.

d. as many as the assignment specifies.

19. An introduction should contain

a. background information.

b. a lively anecdote.

c. a thesis statement.

d. a welcoming statement.

20. Which is the correct order of steps in the writing process?

a. brainstorming, drafting, revising

b. planning, revising, editing

c. brainstorming, editing, revising

d. planning, proofreading, editing

21. Which is a correct definition of a thesis?

a. the way a writer introduces an essay

b. an essay that is 350–500 words long

c. the main idea of an essay

d. the prompt for an essay

22. Support for your essay can come from

a. personal experience.

b. interviews.

c. both a and b

d. none of the above

23. Which of the following is a major benefit of writing an outline?

a. An outline will help you figure out what you think.

b. An outline will tell you how long your essay should be.

c. An outline will help you find grammatical errors.

d. An outline will let you know if your thesis is workable or weak.

24. What is the most common essay organizational pattern?

a. main idea, arguments for and against, conclusion

b. introduction, body, conclusion

c. introduction, comparison and contrast, solution

d. main idea, examples, conclusion

25. Which of these is the correct definition of an expository essay?

a. Expository essays explain the differences between two things.

b. Expository essays are personal essays.

c. Expository essays explain a topic or a process.

d. Expository essays ask questions and then answer them.

26. The conclusion of an essay should

a. restate the introduction's main idea.

b. provide a new strong idea.

c. leave the reader wondering.

d. suggest a future topic.

27. Writing a first draft should occur when?

a. before identifying your conclusion

b. before doing interviews

c. before settling on a thesis

d. after writing an outline

28. What is the main problem in the following sentence? The teacher handed out the test papers before she told us what we were supposed to write in the essay it was part of the standardized test that every grade has to take.

a. It is not punctuated correctly.

b. It lacks a main idea.

c. It uses more words than it needs to.

d. It is a run-on sentence.

29. Which of the answer choices best describes the problem with the following paragraph? Global warming is an important subject. Plants and animals are disappearing or dying. The atmosphere is really polluted, and we need to pay attention.

a. poor punctuation

b. lack of sentence structure variety

c. lack of complex sentences

d. grammatical errors

30. How would you describe the organizational strategy of the paragraph from question 29?

a. chronological

b. exposition of ideas

c. general to specific

d. compare and contrast


1. c

2. a

3. b

4. d

5. a

6. b

7. b

8. a

9. b

10. a

11. b

12. a

13. a

14. a

15. a

16. b

17. b

18. c

19. c

20. a

21. c

22. c

23. d

24. b

25. c

26. a

27. d

28. d

29. b

30. c

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