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

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

3. Does Zinsser ever use humor in his writing?
(a) Yes, he uses it to humanize his writing and add his own personal voice.
(b) Never, he is against humorous writing.
(c) No, he is not a funny guy.
(d) Sometimes, but only when he knows it will be perceived as funny.

4. 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.

5. What occurs when business writing is bad?
(a) Executives get fired for pawning off simple writing tasks.
(b) People will get fired for bad writing.
(c) Investors will agree to terms they do not understand.
(d) Customers will go elsewhere to buy their goods and services.

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

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

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

9. What does the fear cause writers to do?
(a) It will make writers stop writing.
(b) It will keep writers away from discovering new subjects.
(c) It will stop the flow of information.
(d) It will lead to excessively bad writing.

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

11. Where is there an opportunity for great creative writing?
(a) Online at freelance job web sites.
(b) Writing for the arts is the best opportunity to write creatively.
(c) LIterary journals.
(d) At the local library.

12. What is different about every writer's voice?
(a) Everything. Every writer has a unique voice that needs to be discovered.
(b) The sounds of a writers voice when speaking.
(c) The tenses taht a writer chooses.
(d) The characters that writers speak through.

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

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

15. How does Zinsser create his final products?
(a) He usually knows his writing is good, so he just gives everything a once over and he is done.
(b) He pawns them off to his editor which sends his writing back with red squiggles.
(c) He spends hours finding the right words, best rhythms, and makes sure every sentence leads into another.
(d) He takes a week to read over his writing with fresh eyes.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did he love about the New York Herald?

2. What do writers focus on most?

3. Where does a writer need to start to get his or her voice discovered?

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

5. Should a writer use different voices for different types of writing?

(see the answer keys)

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