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

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

3. 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.

4. Where does a writer need to start to get his or her voice discovered?
(a) Sign up for a talent search.
(b) A writer needs to emulate other writers and see how they utlilize their voices in their writing.
(c) Go to a literary agent and ask how to get their voice out.
(d) Read stories aloud at poetry clubs or book clubs.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What did he love about the New York Herald?

2. What do sports writers forget to do when writing about sports for so long?

3. What is a major problem of business writing?

4. Why do writers need to stick to rules?

5. What stops Americans from writing memoirs?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What tense do business writer stend to use that hurts their writing?

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

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

5. Does Zinsser think that scientists can write?

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

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

8. Why is bad to fall into cliches when travel writing?

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

10. What are some of the hardest parts of writing about performances?

(see the answer keys)

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