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 long were Katharine and E.B. White married?

2. In a letter to James Thurber, what injury does White sustain while falling onto an awning?

3. How does Cathy Durham's librarian respond to White's letter to Cathy?

4. Which city's orchestra does White adapt "The Trumpet of the Swan" for?

5. Based on White's input to a book on the New Yorker, from which magazines was Ross trying to make the New Yorker different?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the elements included in the Philadelphia Orchestra's children's concert of "The Trumpet of the Swan" in 1972?

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

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

4. Which ailment and animal's escapades does White write to his stepson and his wife about in 1968?

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

6. How does Hanna-Barbera acquire the rights to produce the animated motion picture version of "Charlotte's Web"?

7. How long does White study the screenplay for "Charlotte's Web" and what suggestions does he make?

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

9. In another letter to Stanley, what does White say about his use of traction?

10. How does White revise his work to be included in the new edition of "The Elements of Style"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In 1925, White takes a big step in his career and begins working for the New Yorker.

1) Describe White's situation after he returns from his road trip and before he discovers the New Yorker magazine.

2) Explain how White first learns about the New Yorker and the way he begins writing for it.

3) Describe how White writes about his initial impression of the New Yorker and the people he meets there.

Essay Topic 2

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 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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