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 is different about every writer's voice?

2. Why do criticism writers have to be at a higher level than other writers?

3. What does the fear cause writers to do?

4. What is a memoir?

5. What is the danger of overusing humor in writing?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Does Zinsser think that scientists can write?

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

5. Why are Americans scared to write about themselves?

6. How is taste involved in writing?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How have you heard the Eiffel Tower described? Regardless of whether you've seen it or not, describe it a different way, positive or negative. Avoid cliches.

Essay Topic 2

Writing as well as you can is hard. What has been the hardest part about writing as well as you could for this class? Was it the editing? The bracketing? Hearing your peers responses or responding to your peers? Evaluate your experience in the class and explain whether it was positive or negative.

Essay Topic 3

Change the rhythm of the following two sentences to a more accurate rhythm based on the words:

They walked slowly. The cars zoomed past them in an endless glow of white and red lights as they elongated their glides.

Answer: The first sentence should be elongated to give a slow pace to the sentence. The second sentence should be short and crisp. The words can be exchanged between sentences.

(see the answer keys)

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