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 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.

2. Do readers generally like knowing about athletes' personal lives?
(a) Yes, they want all the information out there.
(b) Only when it pertains to athletes' outlooks on the sport.
(c) Either way, it doesn't really matter.
(d) No, they just want to see the athletes play their game.

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

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

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

6. Did Zinsser always want to write?
(a) No, his love of writing came after being deployed.
(b) No, it was a random interest.
(c) Yes, ever since he was a little boy.
(d) He always wanted to write for a newspaper.

7. 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) The power to decide what to write about, what angle to take, what perspective, and what to cut out.
(d) He doesn't give deadlines, the gives very little guidance, and just lets people write and turn in first drafts.

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

9. What are Zinsser's four articles of faith to writing well?
(a) Clarity, simplicity, brevity and humanity.
(b) Brevity, quick turnaround, clever sentences and little humanity.
(c) Clarity, simplicity, elasticity and minimalism.
(d) Simplicity, brevity, busy sentences and proper grammer.

10. 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.

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

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

13. 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.

14. 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 get into the lives of their athletes in too much depth.
(d) They forget to research the athletes personal lives.

15. Why do structured classes miss the point of teaching good writing?
(a) They focus less on talent and more on getting good grades.
(b) They focus more on talent and less on grades.
(c) They focus more on the final product than the writing process.
(d) They focus more on the writing process than the final product.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is different about every writer's voice?

2. What is the advantage of a writer writing his or her own memoir?

3. Why is it so hard to write about places?

4. Why doesn't Zinsser teach people how to get published?

5. What is the danger of overusing humor in writing?

(see the answer keys)

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