On Writing Well Test | Final Test - Easy

William Zinsser
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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How does Zinsser end his travel article that he wrote about Timbuktu?
(a) He ends by telling the truth and stating how satisfied he was with his desert experience.
(b) He generalizes the story.
(c) He repeats his first sentence, throws in a stat about the country, and mentions eveyrone should visit at one point in their life.
(d) He ends with a joke about how hot it was in the desert.

2. Why doesn't Zinsser teach people how to get published?
(a) He wants people to learn that themselves as part of a growing experience.
(b) Because he doesn't really know what editors want.
(c) Because he doesn't know how to get people published.
(d) He does not want any competition.

3. What approach to a place should writers take?
(a) Just writing ambiguously.
(b) To go within a place and see how it impacts the writer.
(c) Reading other travel pieces and compare them.
(d) To go around asking the locals questions.

4. What is the best way to learn to write with humor?
(a) Go to comedy shows.
(b) Hang out with funny people.
(c) Practice saying funny things aloud to friends and family.
(d) Read other humorous writing and emulate those styles.

5. Why does this misconception exist?
(a) Early education lumps students into categories, creating boundaries they can never cross in the future.
(b) Writers only want to read literature, and not science.
(c) Scientists are left brain individuals that don't want to learn to write.
(d) Writing is too complex for many, and is more of an art than a science.

6. What freedom does he give his students?
(a) He doesn't give deadlines, the gives very little guidance, and just lets people write and turn in first drafts.
(b) The power to decide what to write about, what angle to take, what perspective, and what to cut out.
(c) He lets everyone out early on Fridays.
(d) He doesn't give freedom. He is very demanding of his students.

7. Does Zinsser ever use humor in his writing?
(a) Yes, he uses it to humanize his writing and add his own personal voice.
(b) No, he is not a funny guy.
(c) Never, he is against humorous writing.
(d) Sometimes, but only when he knows it will be perceived as funny.

8. How does Zinsser gain an edge over his competition?
(a) He holds tons of interviews before writing a word.
(b) He writes in an entertaining way.
(c) It is just luck and a good voice.
(d) He does extensive research and is always right.

9. How does Zinsser create his final products?
(a) He pawns them off to his editor which sends his writing back with red squiggles.
(b) He spends hours finding the right words, best rhythms, and makes sure every sentence leads into another.
(c) He takes a week to read over his writing with fresh eyes.
(d) He usually knows his writing is good, so he just gives everything a once over and he is done.

10. What type of memoirs does Zinsser like reading?
(a) He likes reading memoirs about other writers and their experiences.
(b) He likes reading immigrant memoirs.
(c) He does not read memoirs.
(d) He only reads novels.

11. What do people need to understand about science?
(a) Only nerds can learn it.
(b) It can be learned at any point in life.
(c) It is a foundation that needs to be built upon.
(d) It is easy to understand if given the chance.

12. What is the advantage of a writer writing his or her own memoir?
(a) They are lax and impersonal.
(b) The main subject is already known.
(c) The writer does not have to pay attention to basic grammar rules.
(d) The writer does not have to do any interviews.

13. What did his parents teach him that made him a fantastic writer?
(a) HIs father took him to a field trip to a newspaper office.
(b) His mother taught him to spell, and his father taught him to write.
(c) His mother instilled in him a love and respect for good writing, and his father taught him to have a strong work ethic.
(d) His mother was a writer and went to career day at his school.

14. What does the process of memoir writing do for a writer?
(a) Nothing but write about everything he or she thinks about daily.
(b) It forces them to talk to distant relatives they hate.
(c) It brings up related memories that were pushed into the subconsious.
(d) It brings back bad memories that the person tried to forget.

15. What is a major problem of business writing?
(a) Not using proper wording to appeal to the business world.
(b) Using jargon that only other business people can understand.
(c) Using graphs and not labeling them.
(d) Using long sentences.

Short Answer Questions

1. What do people forget about writing?

2. What should writers focus on the most?

3. Did Zinsser always want to write?

4. Why is jargon, or corporate speak, so prevalent in business writing?

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

(see the answer keys)

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