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

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

3. What is the biggest fear that nonfiction writers have?
(a) Having people laugh at their article, that wasn't a humorous piece.
(b) Not being able to bring off an assignment and get it dont with any justice.
(c) Not being able to sell their story that they worked so hard on.
(d) Having their computer break, mid story, without having saved a word.

4. What advice does Zinsser give to employees who want to change business writing?
(a) Take their concerns to the board.
(b) Write the way they want regardless of what their bosses say.
(c) Complain to HR.
(d) Keep trying to change it and make it better.

5. Where does a writer need to start to get his or her voice discovered?
(a) Sign up for a talent search.
(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) A writer needs to emulate other writers and see how they utlilize their voices in their writing.

6. Why is it so hard to write about places?
(a) Places change over time and it is hard to stay true to the general feel of a place.
(b) It is hard to translate what the eyes see.
(c) Writers tend to fall into cliches, especially when writing about well known places.
(d) Two people never see a place the same way.

7. What does Zinsser make sure his paragraphs do?
(a) He proofreads and makes sure the right punctuation is used throughout.
(b) He makes sure they all flow and summarize themselves at the end.
(c) He makes sure each paragraph draws the reader onward through the entire story.
(d) He makes sure that the last paragraph references all the paragraphs before it.

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

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

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

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

12. 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) Just writing ambiguously.
(d) Reading other travel pieces and compare them.

13. 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 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 takes a week to read over his writing with fresh eyes.

14. His article was supposed to be about his impressions of salt caravans, why didn't he write more about this?
(a) He never saw the salt caravans, and this was the humor in his article.
(b) He wasn't paying attention to the salt caravans.
(c) He was bored with the caravans, and would have bored his readers since he cannot fake his voice.
(d) Salt caravans are general knowledge and he didn't want to sound cliche.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the best way to add humor into writing?

2. How does Zinsser end his travel article that he wrote about Timbuktu?

3. Why is it important for writers to practice?

4. What do people forget about writing?

5. How does Zinsser gain an edge over his competition?

(see the answer keys)

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