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

2. 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.

3. Why do structured classes miss the point of teaching good writing?
(a) They focus more on talent and less on grades.
(b) They focus less on talent and more on getting good 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.

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

5. 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.

6. 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) Reading other travel pieces and compare them.
(d) To go around asking the locals questions.

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

8. 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) Hang out with funny people.
(d) Read other humorous writing and emulate those styles.

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

10. 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.

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

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

13. How does Zinsser gain an edge over his competition?
(a) It is just luck and a good voice.
(b) He does extensive research and is always right.
(c) He holds tons of interviews before writing a word.
(d) He writes in an entertaining way.

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

15. What does the process of memoir writing do for a writer?
(a) It forces them to talk to distant relatives they hate.
(b) It brings up related memories that were pushed into the subconsious.
(c) Nothing but write about everything he or she thinks about daily.
(d) It brings back bad memories that the person tried to forget.

Short Answer Questions

1. What type of memoirs does Zinsser like reading?

2. What do people need to understand about science?

3. How is humor used in writing nonfiction?

4. Why do writers need to stick to rules?

5. What advice does Zinsser give to employees who want to change business writing?

(see the answer keys)

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