Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Day One Quiz

Here’s a taste of the first-day writing proficiency test that I give to sophomores and juniors in the beginning media writing class. We do follow AP Style. See how you do. (Answers are at the end.)

Correct the punctuation and spelling errors:
1. Whose the schools choice for assistant principle?
2. The cat had it’s tail caught in the ladys purse.
3. Didn’t you read that their arriving at three PM?

Insert commas where needed:
4. Your ability to say the wrong thing at the wrong time is I believe amazing.
5. If the other team wins again our team will not make the finals.
6. Running around the house the dog hearing the mailman arrive made quite a racket.

Punctuate these sentences containing quotations:
7. “Sally is studying hard in school this semester” said her father.
8. “No” the waitress said “grilled octopus is not on our menu.”
9. “My favorite book is Valley of the Dolls” said Marcia.

Choose the correct adverb or adjective:
10. Her voice sounds (beautifully, beautiful). We heard it (perfectly, perfect).
11. He is a (sensible, sensibly) person. He acted very (sensible, sensibly).
12. Mike wrote too (slow, slowly) on the exam. He always writes (slow, slowly).

Choose the correct verb tense:
13. I’m sure Billy had (drank, drunk) too much to drive safely.
14. Daniela often has (swimmed, swam, swum) as many as 100 laps.
15. Witnesses claimed they (seen, saw) the prince leave the brothel.

Choose the correct word or phrase:
16. It is not (alright, all right) to use cell phones in (there, their).
17. How much (further, farther) do we have to walk?
18. If I (was, were) you, I’d stop right there.
19. Looks like he might (lose, loose) the election.
20. The matter is between (he and I, him and me).

Can you find the misspelled words?
21. Accommodate, minuscule, separate, embarrass, harass, sacriligious, expresso, forehead, independent, Conneticut, avacado

1. Who’s the school’s choice for assistant principal?
2. The cat had its tail caught in the lady’s purse.
3. Didn’t you read that they’re arriving at 3 p.m.?
4. Your ability to say the wrong thing at the wrong time is, I believe, amazing.
5. If the other team wins again, our team will not make the finals.
6. Running around the house, the dog, hearing the mailman arrive, made quite a racket.
7. “Sally is studying hard in school this semester,” said her father.
8. “No,” the waitress said, “grilled octopus is not on our menu.”
9. “My favorite book is Valley of the Dolls,” said Marcia. (book title could be underlined instead)

10. beautiful, perfectly
11. sensible, sensibly
12. slowly, slowly
13-15. drunk, swum, saw
16. all right, there
17. farther
18. were
19. lose
20. him and me
21. Should be spelled: sacrilegious, espresso, Connecticut, avocado


Anonymous Accidental Beauty said...

This is so old I'm reluctant to leave a comment, but I'm a (non-trad) journalism major, so I have to rejoice! I got them all right! Well, except for the one involving "Valley of the Dolls," because I put it in quotes, a la AP Style. Bah!

Anyway -- in the event of your actually reading this, I want to tell you that your tale is intriguing, and I'm blown away by your stories. The one below (or in a previous month? I can't remember.) about the quiz for prospective majors...that's so unfathomably sad that words actually fail me.

I can't wait to try your "object from nature" writing exercise. Just as soon as I finish this essay about the Diffusion of Innovations. Not that I'm procrastinating or anything....

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