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 does the process of memoir writing do for a writer?
(a) It brings back bad memories that the person tried to forget.
(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 forces them to talk to distant relatives they hate.

2. Is there room for opinion when writing a sports article?
(a) Absolutely not.
(b) Writers should limit commentary and stick to the stats.
(c) There is always room for commentary.
(d) Yes. Readers trust sports writers to make sports predictions about their favorite teams.

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

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

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

6. What advice does Zinsser have for all writers?
(a) To never give up in the face of adversity.
(b) To challenge their editors occasionally.
(c) To write as much as they can and become a content mill.
(d) To write the best they can and defend their writing.

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

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

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

10. Why should companies learn to produce better writing?
(a) To get more clients to understand their terms.
(b) To appeal to educators.
(c) To produce more writing jobs.
(d) In a capitalistic world, there is always competition and good writing reduces it.

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

12. How does Zinsser end his travel article that he wrote about Timbuktu?
(a) He repeats his first sentence, throws in a stat about the country, and mentions eveyrone should visit at one point in their life.
(b) He ends by telling the truth and stating how satisfied he was with his desert experience.
(c) He generalizes the story.
(d) He ends with a joke about how hot it was in the desert.

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

14. What did his parents teach him that made him a fantastic writer?
(a) His mother taught him to spell, and his father taught him to write.
(b) His mother instilled in him a love and respect for good writing, and his father taught him to have a strong work ethic.
(c) His mother was a writer and went to career day at his school.
(d) HIs father took him to a field trip to a newspaper office.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What problem does a scientist have when writing about science?

2. How is humor used in writing nonfiction?

3. What should writers focus on when writing travel pieces?

4. Did Zinsser always want to write?

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

(see the answer keys)

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