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. Why do criticism writers have to be at a higher level than other writers?
(a) Criticism writers are no different. They still need to use the same basic rules of writing.
(b) Criticism need to be stronger at literary elements because they need to recreate a scene or a song in the imagination of their readers with words only.
(c) Criticism is harder to write about because it tends to be less attractive than other writing.
(d) Only those able to understand the arts can write about them, and very little people can.

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

3. Is sports writing different from any other form of good writing?
(a) No, it is just as good as other writing.
(b) No, good writing is good writing.
(c) Yes, it isn't as comprehensive.
(d) Yes, it isn't as important.

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

5. Cliche words should be avoided at all costs. What else should be avoided?
(a) Assuming the writer has already been to a place.
(b) Cliched details.
(c) Not describing a place enough.
(d) Overly describing a single place.

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

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

8. 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.

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

10. What does Zinsser think about writing memoirs?
(a) He is against memoirs and thinks writers should never write about themselves.
(b) He encourages them and wants writers to stop being afraid about writing about themselves.
(c) He likes memoirs and reads them constantly.
(d) He thinks memoirs are tacky writers.

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

12. What is the best way to learn to write with humor?
(a) Read other humorous writing and emulate those styles.
(b) Practice saying funny things aloud to friends and family.
(c) Hang out with funny people.
(d) Go to comedy shows.

13. How are writers like painters?
(a) Writers and painters will destory their work if it is not to their expectations.
(b) Painters start with models and then learn to create in they own way. Writers use formulas then find their own voice.
(c) Writing isn't like painting at all. Neither has anything in common with the other.
(d) They both have the freedom of creativity with no rules that bind them.

14. Why do writers need to stick to rules?
(a) In order to get taken seriously and get picked up by an agent.
(b) To impress their teachers with their adherance to rules.
(c) To get a copy past their editors on time.
(d) Writers need to stick to rules because readers expect them to.

15. What is a major problem with humorous writing?
(a) It can never be taken seriously.
(b) Sarcasm does not come out in writing.
(c) It gets dated, and what is funny in 1980 will not be funny in 2080.
(d) It is too hard to be funny in writing and takes a gifted person.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why do structured classes miss the point of teaching good writing?

2. What is a memoir?

3. What does the fear cause writers to do?

4. What is a misconception about writers and scientists?

5. What advice does Zinsser give to employees who want to change business writing?

(see the answer keys)

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