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. Why is it so hard to write about places?
(a) Two people never see a place the same way.
(b) Places change over time and it is hard to stay true to the general feel of a place.
(c) Writers tend to fall into cliches, especially when writing about well known places.
(d) It is hard to translate what the eyes see.

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

3. What is a good way to edit a long story?
(a) Read it backwards.
(b) Take a break and read it with fresh eyes.
(c) Break it into sections to make it more manageable.
(d) Have someone else read it aloud.

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

5. Why should companies learn to produce better writing?
(a) To get more clients to understand their terms.
(b) In a capitalistic world, there is always competition and good writing reduces it.
(c) To appeal to educators.
(d) To produce more writing jobs.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is a memoir?

2. What does Zinsser think about writing memoirs?

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

4. Is there room for opinion when writing a sports article?

5. How does Zinsser create his final products?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is a major pitfall of sports writers?

3. How is taste involved in writing?

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

5. Why are Americans scared to write about themselves?

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

7. What is a strategy to making sure the above choices fit?

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

9. What needs to be described in a travel article?

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

(see the answer keys)

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