On Writing Well Quiz | Four Week Quiz B

William Zinsser
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This quiz consists of 5 multiple choice and 5 short answer questions through Part IV: Chapter 20 The Sound of Your Voice.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Should a writer use different voices for different types of writing?
(a) No, a reader should always stick to his or her voice. No matter what.
(b) No, a writer cannot use the same voice when writing about politics and jazz.
(c) Yes. Different situations call for different voices and types of writing.
(d) No, it will make it seem like the writer has a personality disorder.

2. What advice does Zinsser give to employees who want to change business writing?
(a) Complain to HR.
(b) Write the way they want regardless of what their bosses say.
(c) Take their concerns to the board.
(d) Keep trying to change it and make it better.

3. What does reading aloud do for the writer?
(a) Catches simple mistakes and clumsy constructions.
(b) It allows writers to understand their own writing.
(c) It is a therapeutic process signifying the end of a story.
(d) It helps the writer compare their work to others.

4. What are Zinsser's four articles of faith to writing well?
(a) Clarity, simplicity, elasticity and minimalism.
(b) Brevity, quick turnaround, clever sentences and little humanity.
(c) Simplicity, brevity, busy sentences and proper grammer.
(d) Clarity, simplicity, brevity and humanity.

5. How can uncluttered writing help fiction?
(a) It highlights the impotant parts of the story.
(b) It keeps books smaller and people like smaller books.
(c) It keeps people's attention longer.
(d) It keeps the meaning of the story clear and the prose worth the reader's time.

Short Answer Questions

1. What period in U.S. history does Zissner point out as a time filled with euphemisms?

2. Why is the above a problem?

3. What do people need to understand about science?

4. What does a Thesaurus help a writer with, besides finding alternate words?

5. What is it that the bad writers mentioned above do that makes their writing terrible?

(see the answer key)

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