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. What do people forget about writing?
(a) It is a craft and it can be learned.
(b) It is a science that is hard to understand.
(c) It is easy and anyone can do it.
(d) It is a gift that only certain people have.

2. Why is the above a problem?
(a) Usually the first two or three paragraphs of a piece can be cut.
(b) Writers end up editing too much.
(c) Writers need to start at the end and work their way up.
(d) Writers don't put enough effort into their writing.

3. Should a writer use different voices for different types of writing?
(a) No, it will make it seem like the writer has a personality disorder.
(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, a reader should always stick to his or her voice. No matter what.

4. How is humor used in writing nonfiction?
(a) It is used to make fun of people without them every knowing.
(b) It is used to practice jokes for stand up comedians.
(c) It is used to bring out points that cannot be made in a straight forward manner.
(d) It is never used. Nonfiction should always be serious.

5. What is an example of a dead language?
(a) Italian because there is only one country that speaks it.
(b) Latin is dead because nobody speaks it anymore.
(c) Spanish because its roots are disintegrating.
(d) Chinese because it never changes.

Short Answer Questions

1. What are Zinsser's four articles of faith to writing well?

2. Has the period of political euphemisms improved since the Vietnam War?

3. What does Zissner use to highlight clutter in his students' writing?

4. What has literature transformed into?

5. What happens when a writer writes in unclear ways?

(see the answer key)

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