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

2. 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.

3. What should writers focus on when writing travel pieces?
(a) Style and substance.
(b) Information and substance.
(c) Style and sentence structure.
(d) Substance and exaggerating adjectives.

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

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

6. Does ZInsser give in to his editor's changes?
(a) No. He tends to fight them constantly.
(b) No, and he never gives in.
(c) Yes, they are the editors after all.
(d) Sometimes, only when they are worth it.

7. 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 creates more bad writers.
(c) It distracts the readers and show conempt for the language.
(d) It makes readers mad.

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

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

10. Do criticism writers need to take a stance on a show?
(a) No, that should be left up to the audience.
(b) Yes, but they should mind their wording to not offend those in the show.
(c) Opinions should always be left out of writing.
(d) Absolutely. They have the power to make or break a show.

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

12. 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 the final product than the writing process.
(c) They focus more on the writing process than the final product.
(d) They focus more on talent and less on grades.

13. 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.

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

15. Where does a writer need to start to get his or her voice discovered?
(a) Go to a literary agent and ask how to get their voice out.
(b) Sign up for a talent search.
(c) Read stories aloud at poetry clubs or book clubs.
(d) A writer needs to emulate other writers and see how they utlilize their voices in their writing.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why does this misconception exist?

2. What does Zinsser throw away in his writing classes?

3. What do people need to understand about science?

4. What is a memoir?

5. Why do writers need to stick to rules?

(see the answer keys)

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