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 writers need to write all the time?
(a) Yes, even if they have to force it out.
(b) No, if they are not in the mood, it will come out in their writing.
(c) Yes, because writers are always able to write.
(d) No, writers should only write when they are in the zone.

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

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

4. What is a general rule for writing about sports?
(a) Overeducating the reader about sports facts.
(b) Writing only about one sports.
(c) Using industry standards instead of creative terms when referencing sports topics.
(d) Being as creative as possible to retain readership.

5. 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 know how to get people published.
(c) He does not want any competition.
(d) Because he doesn't really know what editors want.

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

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

8. Is sports writing different from any other form of good writing?
(a) No, it is just as good as other writing.
(b) Yes, it isn't as important.
(c) Yes, it isn't as comprehensive.
(d) No, good writing is good writing.

9. What is a memoir?
(a) They are books about other people written by ghostwriters.
(b) They can be about any life experience.
(c) They are fiction peices about real people.
(d) They are stories about immigrants.

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

11. What does Zinsser think about writing memoirs?
(a) He likes memoirs and reads them constantly.
(b) He is against memoirs and thinks writers should never write about themselves.
(c) He encourages them and wants writers to stop being afraid about writing about themselves.
(d) He thinks memoirs are tacky writers.

12. What is a major problem with humorous writing?
(a) It can never be taken seriously.
(b) It gets dated, and what is funny in 1980 will not be funny in 2080.
(c) It is too hard to be funny in writing and takes a gifted person.
(d) Sarcasm does not come out in writing.

13. What problem does a scientist have when writing about science?
(a) He or she forgets to be human, and writes strictly about the science.
(b) Not following basic grammar rules.
(c) Formatting simple sentences.
(d) Using jargon that only scientists can understand.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What is a requirement for good literary criticism?

2. What advice does Zinsser have for all writers?

3. What does Zinsser make sure his paragraphs do?

4. What is the best way to learn to write with humor?

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

(see the answer keys)

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