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

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

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

4. Why is it so hard to write about places?
(a) It is hard to translate what the eyes see.
(b) Writers tend to fall into cliches, especially when writing about well known places.
(c) Places change over time and it is hard to stay true to the general feel of a place.
(d) Two people never see a place the same way.

5. What is an example of American television shows that use humor to talk about serious issues?
(a) The Today Show.
(b) The Evening News.
(c) The View.
(d) Saturday Night Live.

6. What type of memoirs does Zinsser like reading?
(a) He does not read memoirs.
(b) He only reads novels.
(c) He likes reading memoirs about other writers and their experiences.
(d) He likes reading immigrant memoirs.

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

8. What freedom does he give his students?
(a) He doesn't give freedom. He is very demanding of his students.
(b) He doesn't give deadlines, the gives very little guidance, and just lets people write and turn in first drafts.
(c) He lets everyone out early on Fridays.
(d) The power to decide what to write about, what angle to take, what perspective, and what to cut out.

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

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

11. What do people forget about writing?
(a) It is easy and anyone can do it.
(b) It is a gift that only certain people have.
(c) It is a craft and it can be learned.
(d) It is a science that is hard to understand.

12. 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.

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

14. Why do criticism writers have to be at a higher level than other writers?
(a) 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.
(b) Criticism writers are no different. They still need to use the same basic rules of writing.
(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.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. How much information should a writer provide to his or her readers?

2. What is a major problem of business writing?

3. Does Zinsser ever use humor in his writing?

4. How is humor used in writing nonfiction?

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

(see the answer keys)

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