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

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

3. Why do criticism writers have to be at a higher level than other writers?
(a) Criticism is harder to write about because it tends to be less attractive than other writing.
(b) Criticism need to be stronger at literary elements because they need to recreate a scene or a song in the imagination of their readers with words only.
(c) Criticism writers are no different. They still need to use the same basic rules of writing.
(d) Only those able to understand the arts can write about them, and very little people can.

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

5. What do writers focus on most?
(a) The final product.
(b) Their audience.
(c) Their editors.
(d) The writing process.

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

7. How are writers like painters?
(a) Painters start with models and then learn to create in they own way. Writers use formulas then find their own voice.
(b) Writers and painters will destory their work if it is not to their expectations.
(c) Writing isn't like painting at all. Neither has anything in common with the other.
(d) They both have the freedom of creativity with no rules that bind them.

8. 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 instilled in him a love and respect for good writing, and his father taught him to have a strong work ethic.
(c) His mother was a writer and went to career day at his school.
(d) His mother taught him to spell, and his father taught him to write.

9. Where does a writer need to start to get his or her voice discovered?
(a) A writer needs to emulate other writers and see how they utlilize their voices in their writing.
(b) Go to a literary agent and ask how to get their voice out.
(c) Read stories aloud at poetry clubs or book clubs.
(d) Sign up for a talent search.

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

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

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

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

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 brings up related memories that were pushed into the subconsious.
(c) It brings back bad memories that the person tried to forget.
(d) It forces them to talk to distant relatives they hate.

15. What is an example of American television shows that use humor to talk about serious issues?
(a) The Today Show.
(b) The View.
(c) Saturday Night Live.
(d) The Evening News.

Short Answer Questions

1. What freedom does he give his students?

2. Why is it important for writers to practice?

3. What does Zinsser think about writing memoirs?

4. What is a major problem of business writing?

5. What is a major problem with humorous writing?

(see the answer keys)

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