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 occurs when business writing is bad?
(a) Customers will go elsewhere to buy their goods and services.
(b) Executives get fired for pawning off simple writing tasks.
(c) People will get fired for bad writing.
(d) Investors will agree to terms they do not understand.

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

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 repeats his first sentence, throws in a stat about the country, and mentions eveyrone should visit at one point in their life.
(c) He generalizes the story.
(d) He ends with a joke about how hot it was in the desert.

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

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

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

7. Should a writer use different voices for different types of writing?
(a) Yes. Different situations call for different voices and types of writing.
(b) No, it will make it seem like the writer has a personality disorder.
(c) No, a reader should always stick to his or her voice. No matter what.
(d) No, a writer cannot use the same voice when writing about politics and jazz.

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

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

10. What happens when writers do not stick to proper grammar rules?
(a) It makes readers believe that all writing is bad, and they won't ever read again.
(b) It makes readers mad.
(c) It distracts the readers and show conempt for the language.
(d) It creates more bad writers.

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

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

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

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

15. How does Zinsser create his final products?
(a) He usually knows his writing is good, so he just gives everything a once over and he is done.
(b) He takes a week to read over his writing with fresh eyes.
(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.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. Do criticism writers need to take a stance on a show?

3. What type of memoirs does Zinsser like reading?

4. How are writers like painters?

5. How is humor used in writing nonfiction?

(see the answer keys)

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