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. How is humor used in writing nonfiction?
(a) It is used to practice jokes for stand up comedians.
(b) It is never used. Nonfiction should always be serious.
(c) It is used to bring out points that cannot be made in a straight forward manner.
(d) It is used to make fun of people without them every knowing.

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

3. 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.

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

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

6. Writers should always look for ________________.
(a) Things that relate places to another.
(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) The unique aspects of a place.

7. Should a writer use different voices for different types of writing?
(a) No, a reader should always stick to his or her voice. No matter what.
(b) No, a writer cannot use the same voice when writing about politics and jazz.
(c) No, it will make it seem like the writer has a personality disorder.
(d) Yes. Different situations call for different voices and types of writing.

8. 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) Salt caravans are general knowledge and he didn't want to sound cliche.
(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.

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

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

11. What do people need to understand about science?
(a) It is a foundation that needs to be built upon.
(b) Only nerds can learn it.
(c) It can be learned at any point in life.
(d) It is easy to understand if given the chance.

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

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

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

15. 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.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the best way to learn to write with humor?

2. What does Zinsser think about writing memoirs?

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

4. What did his parents teach him that made him a fantastic writer?

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

(see the answer keys)

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