On Writing Well Test | Final Test - Hard

William Zinsser
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What should writers focus on the most?

2. What does Zinsser throw away in his writing classes?

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

4. How much information should a writer provide to his or her readers?

5. Why is it important for writers to stick to industry standards?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. What is a major pitfall of sports writers?

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

10. Why do writers need to develop their own voice? How does writing compare to other art forms?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Rewrite the following sentence into an ending sentence and the first sentence in the following paragraph: The car drove off the cliff. Make it compelling. Make the reader want to keep on reading.

Ex: Ending Sentence: The car sped off the cliff. First sentence next paragraph: They all survived.

Essay Topic 2

Zinsser says that writers should write from their subconscious to let everything flow, then go back and hammer out all the gritty details. How often do you take this approach? Do you agree with it? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

What do you think about Zinsser's point of view on the audience? Who does he feel is more important? Do you agree that a writer should ignore their potential audience and focus solely on pleasing themselves first? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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