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 does Zinsser make sure his paragraphs do?
(a) He makes sure they all flow and summarize themselves at the end.
(b) He proofreads and makes sure the right punctuation is used throughout.
(c) He makes sure that the last paragraph references all the paragraphs before it.
(d) He makes sure each paragraph draws the reader onward through the entire story.

2. 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) Only those able to understand the arts can write about them, and very little people can.
(d) Criticism is harder to write about because it tends to be less attractive than other writing.

3. What is a major problem with humorous writing?
(a) It gets dated, and what is funny in 1980 will not be funny in 2080.
(b) It is too hard to be funny in writing and takes a gifted person.
(c) Sarcasm does not come out in writing.
(d) It can never be taken seriously.

4. Why is it important for writers to practice?
(a) Writing is a craft, much like dancing and painting. All three need to do their thing.
(b) In order to make daily word counts.
(c) In order to stay ahead of other writers that are also looking for jobs.
(d) Writers dont need to practice, they just need to write.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What problem does a scientist have when writing about science?

2. What is the problem with freelance writers and editors today?

3. What does the process of memoir writing do for a writer?

4. What is a memoir?

5. Why doesn't Zinsser teach people how to get published?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why is there an attitude that certain people are only meant to learn certain subjects and skills like writing or science?

4. Why are Americans scared to write about themselves?

5. How does Zinsser react when editors want to change too much of his work?

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

7. Does Zinsser think that scientists can write?

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

9. Should sports writers add their opinions in sports articles?

10. Why do critics need to be well versed in the art they are writing about?

(see the answer keys)

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