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) From reading good books.
(b) He learned while he was deployed during WWII.
(c) He taught himself.
(d) From reading the New York Herald.

2. Do writers need to write all the time?
(a) Yes, because writers are always able to write.
(b) Yes, even if they have to force it out.
(c) No, writers should only write when they are in the zone.
(d) No, if they are not in the mood, it will come out in their writing.

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

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

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

6. What is the best way to add humor into writing?
(a) Adding asterisks to funny lines.
(b) Making seperate paragraphs that only have the funny line in them.
(c) Making all funny lines italicized.
(d) Making a funny sentence sneak up on a reader to get an unexpected laugh.

7. How much information should a writer provide to his or her readers?
(a) Enought to make a show worth seeing, without spoiling it for the readers and viewers.
(b) Only dates and times of the show with a thumbs up or down.
(c) Everything about the show that he or she felt was worthwhile.
(d) Very little. Readers need to be left in the dark so they can go see a show on their own.

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

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

10. Why does this misconception exist?
(a) Early education lumps students into categories, creating boundaries they can never cross in the future.
(b) Writers only want to read literature, and not science.
(c) Scientists are left brain individuals that don't want to learn to write.
(d) Writing is too complex for many, and is more of an art than a science.

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

12. Why doesn't Zinsser teach people how to get published?
(a) He wants people to learn that themselves as part of a growing experience.
(b) He does not want any competition.
(c) Because he doesn't know how to get people published.
(d) Because he doesn't really know what editors want.

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

14. What advice does Zinsser give to employees who want to change business writing?
(a) Keep trying to change it and make it better.
(b) Write the way they want regardless of what their bosses say.
(c) Take their concerns to the board.
(d) Complain to HR.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. How is humor used in writing nonfiction?

3. Why do criticism writers have to be at a higher level than other writers?

4. Do readers generally like knowing about athletes' personal lives?

5. What is a major problem with humorous writing?

(see the answer keys)

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