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. Does Zinsser ever use humor in his writing?
(a) No, he is not a funny guy.
(b) Yes, he uses it to humanize his writing and add his own personal voice.
(c) Sometimes, but only when he knows it will be perceived as funny.
(d) Never, he is against humorous writing.

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

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

4. 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) The power to decide what to write about, what angle to take, what perspective, and what to cut out.
(d) He lets everyone out early on Fridays.

5. What is a general rule for writing about sports?
(a) Writing only about one sports.
(b) Overeducating the reader about sports facts.
(c) Being as creative as possible to retain readership.
(d) Using industry standards instead of creative terms when referencing sports topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What do writers focus on most?

2. How does Zinsser end his travel article that he wrote about Timbuktu?

3. What approach to a place should writers take?

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

5. What does Zinsser make sure his paragraphs do?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is a major pitfall of sports writers?

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

3. Does he recommend this level of pride to other writers?

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

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

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

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

8. Why are Americans scared to write about themselves?

9. Does Zinsser think that scientists can write?

10. Why is humor the most powerful tool for a nonfiction writer?

(see the answer keys)

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