Survey 1 Answers

1. Writing is a special power that some individuals or groups can never have.
Answer: False.
While only a few writers win prizes, anyone who is persistent can come up with writing that is clear and powerful. It is very common to think that there is an enormous wall between beginners and good writing. But there is no wall. Writers who push along through their fear, who keep trying and trying, finally succeed. Furthermore, good writing does not belong to one group and exclude others. Instead, anyone, whatever group society puts them in, can learn to write.

2. Simply reading your work aloud is a reliable way to find what you need to change.
Answer: True.
The fastest way to catch grammatical errors, fuzzy thinking and windy sentences is to listen to what you wrote with your own ears. It works even better if you have a friend listen with you. Somehow moving your lips raises your IQ.

3. Some people can express themselves well when they talk but that doesn’t mean they can learn to write.
Answer: False.
People who express themselves when they talk have a facility or talent with language. That talent can be transferred to the written word. What if none of us every talked? We would be terrible at expressing ourselves out loud. Let’s face it – if we practiced writing as much as we practice talking, we would all be fabulous writers.

4.Good writers and successful students find writing fairly easy.
Answer: False.
Writing is hard. Every time we start a new piece of writing, our minds try to tell us it can’t be done. Hot-shot students, the people who pen best-selling books and the smartest writers alive all struggle with writing. Writing is hard. Period.

5. You should start out a difficult writing assignment by pretending no one will ever read it.
Answer: True.
Give yourself a chance to get your ideas out on paper by pretending you are writing in a secret diary. Otherwise, you will worry so much about making a mistake that you won’t let yourself write anything at all. Hire yourself as a writer and fire yourself as an editor until you finish your first draft.

6. Even if you practice, your writing won’t get that much better.
Answer: False.
It is virtually guaranteed that if you write your best, get feedback and then revise, you will get better. No one has ever gotten worse, or even just stayed the same, by following the write/get feedback/rewrite formula.

7. Good writing is within reach, even for those who have never gotten above a “C-” on a writing assignment.
Answer: True.
If you’ve never been proud of something you wrote, you haven’t hung in there long enough. At least not yet!

8. Most employers don’t really care if you know how to write.
Answer: False.
Any job that pays above minimum wage requires basic writing skills. If you can’t write an email that the boss can read and understand, you will probably not last long, and you certainly won’t be promoted.


7 or 8 right answers: Accomplished.
You know a good deal about the challenge of writing! Congrats! Still panicked about a big writing assignment? Freaked about your college app essay? Try working with a writing coach.

4, 5 or 6 right answers. Striver.
You are on the right track but could really benefit from more experience at the writing desk. Hate that idea? Maybe a writing coach could help you along.

1, 2, or 3 right answers. Beginner.
It’s great that you took the quiz: now you know that you don’t know how good you could be! A writing coach could help you believe in your potential and inch forward as a writer step by step.

Ready for a Writing Coach?
Click on the contact link above. Or call 203-644-0387. Or email Mr. Howard at