Letters of E. B. White Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How many major surgeries does Katharine have between 1966 and 1970?

2. In a May, 1952 letter, how does White describe the goose on the cover of "Charlotte's Web"?

3. What is the subject of the article that White's granddaughter, Martha, writes?

4. Which piece of Charlotte's advice does White give to his publisher regarding the revisions on the illustrations for the book?

5. What trouble does White mention he has when writing, due to his impaired vision?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does White describe the beginning days of the New Yorker to an author that is researching a book?

2. What does White reveal about his farm in his answer to the questions of Mrs. Bard's fifth-grade class in Larchmont, New York?

3. How does White explain the process of writing a book to fourth-graders of Columbus, Ohio?

4. What ailments does White have in 1963, and how does he write about his recovery?

5. How is Katharine's legacy preserved?

6. What complications does White have with his vision in 1982, and how many years does he provide newsbreaks for the New Yorker before retiring?

7. How does White respond to a confused senior at Newton High School?

8. In a December, 1951 letter, how does White respond to a depressed undergraduate student about her plans to become a writer?

9. Who does the illustrations for "Charlotte's Web", and what does White send to his publisher to help with the drawing of Charlotte?

10. What is the subject of the exchanged letters between White and President Richard Nixon in July, 1969?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

White answers a number of letters and questions from students about writing and education in general.

1) Describe White's explanation of the process for writing a book to a fourth-grade class in Columbus, Ohio.

2) Explain White's advice to a depressed college student as well as his advice to a confused senior, and his comments about his own writing identity.

3) Compare and contrast the advice that he gives to his granddaughter, Martha, with the responses that he sends to other college students.

Essay Topic 2

Analyze White's response to a letter by Cathy Durham about why he has not written another children's book. Include why he might have replied that way, the response of Cathy's librarian, and the solution that White's publisher develops for preventing any future issues.

Essay Topic 3

Describe White's involvement with "The Elements of Style", what inspires him to first write a remembrance for Professor Strunk, how his text is revised and expanded, the contributions that he makes to the new edition, and the reasons why the book has become so popular with students and writers. Use White's letter to a former secretary later in his life to also explain why he indicates that he does not understand "The Elements of Style".

(see the answer keys)

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