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. Do criticism writers need to take a stance on a show?
(a) Yes, but they should mind their wording to not offend those in the show.
(b) Absolutely. They have the power to make or break a show.
(c) No, that should be left up to the audience.
(d) Opinions should always be left out of writing.

2. What is a good way to edit a long story?
(a) Read it backwards.
(b) Break it into sections to make it more manageable.
(c) Take a break and read it with fresh eyes.
(d) Have someone else read it aloud.

3. 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 ends with a joke about how hot it was in the desert.
(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 generalizes the story.

4. What is the danger of overusing humor in writing?
(a) A writer will not be taken seriously.
(b) Rejection from not being funny enough, or at all.
(c) It can get tiresome and jokes over time will become weaker.
(d) A writer's credibility will tank.

5. What is the problem with freelance writers and editors today?
(a) Editors treat freelance writers like hired help.
(b) Writers never listen to their editors.
(c) Writers are pushovers and let their work become ruined.
(d) Editors are not as good as writers.

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) He lets everyone out early on Fridays.
(c) He doesn't give freedom. He is very demanding of his students.
(d) The power to decide what to write about, what angle to take, what perspective, and what to cut out.

7. Why is jargon, or corporate speak, so prevalent in business writing?
(a) It is the industry standard.
(b) There is a lack of writing skills learned in college because all the focus is on business.
(c) People lose their ability to write when they take a job since they stop writing.
(d) It is prevalent because subordinates think that the executives want jargon-filled writing in order to sound more professional.

8. What is a misconception about writers and scientists?
(a) Scientists are smarter than writers.
(b) It is that writers cannot do science and scientists cannot write.
(c) Writers are better than scientists.
(d) Writers are more creative that scientists.

9. Writers should always look for ________________.
(a) People to tell them about a place so they don't have to actually go anywhere.
(b) Making places more accessible to other people.
(c) The unique aspects of a place.
(d) Things that relate places to another.

10. Why should companies learn to produce better writing?
(a) To appeal to educators.
(b) To produce more writing jobs.
(c) In a capitalistic world, there is always competition and good writing reduces it.
(d) To get more clients to understand their terms.

11. Why do writers need to stick to rules?
(a) To get a copy past their editors on time.
(b) In order to get taken seriously and get picked up by an agent.
(c) To impress their teachers with their adherance to rules.
(d) Writers need to stick to rules because readers expect them to.

12. What is a second approach Zinsser recommends that complements the first approach mentioned?
(a) Never reading other travel pieces, because this adds to cliched writing.
(b) Writing only in the first person, then deciding on a tense later.
(c) Going outside and finding out how a place impacts others.
(d) Going within people's homes and seeing what they feel about foreigners.

13. Where is there an opportunity for great creative writing?
(a) At the local library.
(b) LIterary journals.
(c) Online at freelance job web sites.
(d) Writing for the arts is the best opportunity to write creatively.

14. Where did Zinsser learn how to write?
(a) He taught himself.
(b) From reading the New York Herald.
(c) He learned while he was deployed during WWII.
(d) From reading good books.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What does the process of memoir writing do for a writer?

2. Do writers need to write all the time?

3. Why does this misconception exist?

4. Why is it so hard to write about places?

5. What is a major problem of business writing?

(see the answer keys)

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