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

2. 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.

3. How much information should a writer provide to his or her readers?
(a) Enought to make a show worth seeing, without spoiling it for the readers and viewers.
(b) Very little. Readers need to be left in the dark so they can go see a show on their own.
(c) Only dates and times of the show with a thumbs up or down.
(d) Everything about the show that he or she felt was worthwhile.

4. What do sports writers forget to do when writing about sports for so long?
(a) They use too many stats and not enough writing.
(b) They forget who their readers are and what they are writing about.
(c) They forget to research the athletes personal lives.
(d) They get into the lives of their athletes in too much depth.

5. Why is it important for writers to stick to industry standards?
(a) Readers likely played the sport they are reading about and want to know what happened from a standard perspective.
(b) The industry wants everything to be the same so they can catalogue writing more easily.
(c) To sell magazines.
(d) To be good writers, since the industry sets the standard.

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

7. What is the best way to add humor into writing?
(a) Making seperate paragraphs that only have the funny line in them.
(b) Adding asterisks to funny lines.
(c) Making all funny lines italicized.
(d) Making a funny sentence sneak up on a reader to get an unexpected laugh.

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

9. What stops Americans from writing memoirs?
(a) An attitude to please teachers and not readers.
(b) Editors hate reading memoirs therefore don't pick them up.
(c) People don't like reading memoires.
(d) Memoires don't sell well enough.

10. What does Zinsser think about this misconception?
(a) He agrees with it and thinks scientists cannot write at all.
(b) He states anyone can write about anything if his approach is correct.
(c) He agrees with it and thinks writers can never understand complex scientific theories.
(d) He disagrees with it, but offers no reason why.

11. Cliche words should be avoided at all costs. What else should be avoided?
(a) Not describing a place enough.
(b) Assuming the writer has already been to a place.
(c) Overly describing a single place.
(d) Cliched details.

12. 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) They both have the freedom of creativity with no rules that bind them.
(c) Writing isn't like painting at all. Neither has anything in common with the other.
(d) Writers and painters will destory their work if it is not to their expectations.

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

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

15. What is a requirement for good literary criticism?
(a) Knowing the subject that the writer wants to write about.
(b) Subscribing to arts magazines.
(c) Frequenting the theatre often.
(d) Having a comparitive literature degress.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Zinsser create his final products?

2. Where does a writer need to start to get his or her voice discovered?

3. Why does this misconception exist?

4. How is humor used in writing nonfiction?

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

(see the answer keys)

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