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 type of memoirs does Zinsser like reading?
(a) He likes reading memoirs about other writers and their experiences.
(b) He does not read memoirs.
(c) He only reads novels.
(d) He likes reading immigrant memoirs.

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

3. How does Zinsser create his final products?
(a) He usually knows his writing is good, so he just gives everything a once over and he is done.
(b) He pawns them off to his editor which sends his writing back with red squiggles.
(c) He spends hours finding the right words, best rhythms, and makes sure every sentence leads into another.
(d) He takes a week to read over his writing with fresh eyes.

4. Why do writers need to stick to rules?
(a) In order to get taken seriously and get picked up by an agent.
(b) To get a copy past their editors on time.
(c) To impress their teachers with their adherance to rules.
(d) Writers need to stick to rules because readers expect them to.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. Do criticism writers need to take a stance on a show?

3. What is the advantage of a writer writing his or her own memoir?

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

5. What should writers focus on when writing travel pieces?

Short Essay Questions

1. Does Zinsser think that scientists can write?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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