On Writing Well Test | Final Test - Medium

William Zinsser
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

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

2. Why is jargon, or corporate speak, so prevalent in business writing?
(a) There is a lack of writing skills learned in college because all the focus is on business.
(b) It is the industry standard.
(c) People lose their ability to write when they take a job since they stop writing.
(d) It is prevalent because subordinates think that the executives want jargon-filled writing in order to sound more professional.

3. What advice does Zinsser have for all writers?
(a) To write as much as they can and become a content mill.
(b) To never give up in the face of adversity.
(c) To write the best they can and defend their writing.
(d) To challenge their editors occasionally.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Cliche words should be avoided at all costs. What else should be avoided?

2. What occurs when business writing is bad?

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

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

5. What happens when writers do not stick to proper grammar rules?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Zinsser feel about writing when a writer doesn't want to? Why do writers have this luxury?

2. Why is corporate speak the norm in business writing?

3. Who does Zinsser blame when it comes to focusing on the final prize instead of the work of an article?

4. Explain some of the choices that writers have to take when editing?

5. What is a good way to learn how to write with humor? How much humor should be used?

6. Why should exact details be avoided in memoirs? What approach should writers take instead?

7. Why are Americans scared to write about themselves?

8. Why does a writer's fear of new subjects keep him from taking original and interesting projects?

9. Does Zinsser think that scientists can write?

10. How is taste involved in writing?

(see the answer keys)

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