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

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

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

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

5. 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) Enought to make a show worth seeing, without spoiling it for the readers and viewers.
(d) Very little. Readers need to be left in the dark so they can go see a show on their own.

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

7. Writers should always look for ________________.
(a) The unique aspects of a place.
(b) Things that relate places to another.
(c) People to tell them about a place so they don't have to actually go anywhere.
(d) Making places more accessible to other people.

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

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

10. What does Zinsser throw away in his writing classes?
(a) Deadlines.
(b) Books.
(c) Story webs.
(d) Story prompts.

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

12. Where does a writer need to start to get his or her voice discovered?
(a) Sign up for a talent search.
(b) Go to a literary agent and ask how to get their voice out.
(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.

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

14. What is the danger of overusing humor in writing?
(a) Rejection from not being funny enough, or at all.
(b) It can get tiresome and jokes over time will become weaker.
(c) A writer's credibility will tank.
(d) A writer will not be taken seriously.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Why is it so hard to write about places?

2. What is a second approach Zinsser recommends that complements the first approach mentioned?

3. What freedom does he give his students?

4. What is the best way to add humor into writing?

5. Does Zinsser ever use humor in his writing?

(see the answer keys)

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