Thursday, April 2, 2009

How to Write a Quiz (Part 2)

Would you provide there readers with multiple choice or would it be True and False? You can make the Quiz straightforward where the person has to write out the answers and check at the back for the answers. The quiz might follow a Yes/No pattern through a maze leading to a choice of possible overall answers to the Quiz. There is also the option of allocating points to each answer. For example the option A=1, B=2, C=3, D-= 4 etc for Question 1. The reader would then have to add up the points to get the final score which would have a corresponding overall answer to the Quiz.

For The Back to School Quiz, let us use multiple options of A to D.

Write the questions down. You can brainstorm a number of questions relating to the topic. So a question on what was done in the holidays could indicate the sort of thing the reader might want to do at school. For example,

1. You spent the holiday...

Or you can also work backwards by writing the end destinations or answers of the Quiz first and then finding questions that would lead up to it.

Mostly As

Sports your thing! Get adventurous, do something new rugby, cage ball,

Synchronised swimming etc set yourself a challenge like running the marathon.

A question could come up like

2. You’re made Principal for the day, you...

Write the answers. If it is true or false, you will have two options per question. If it is a maze style quiz it would be yes or no options to all the questions. If it is multiple choices like for the Back to School Quiz. The answers to

Question 1 could be:

1. You spent the holiday

A. outdoors rock climbing, water skiing and having an adventure!

B. in Guatemala, building a children’s orphanage.

C. mainly with your girlfriends, sleepovers and going out.

D. at Performers Camp.

E. working in the library.

Or the answer could be short like:

3. In one word, you are

A. daring.

B. determined.

C. popular.

D. dramatic.

E. brainy.

Now you need to write the summary of all the possible answers. For the True/False, you will just write two summaries. A straightforward Quiz which has only answers would require a form of grading. So if there are 15 questions, 12- 15=excellent, 19-11=Good, 7-10=fair, 3-6=poor and 0-3= Fail.

For the Back to School Quiz, the Summaries could be as follows:

Mostly As

Sports your thing! Get adventurous, do something new like rugby, cage ball,

synchronised swimming etc set yourself a challenge like running the marathon.

Mostly Bs

You love to be in charge. Sign up for community work, mentor a new student in

the lower years and don’t forget class president.

Mostly Cs

You are Miss. Social Butterfly. You love your friends and parties. Cheerleading,

gymnastics, dancing and girly gossip.

Mostly Ds

Performing is your middle name. Lots of opportunities for you from the marching

Band to the Winter Musicale. Talent Shows are your thing.

Mostly Es

You love to learn. Form a funky book club if reading’s your passion. Invent something with your friends, publish a book on lulu. Tutor for a few bucks.

When your quiz has been written. Take a break from it before doing your last revisions sp you have a fresh eye. When revising, it is important that the questions relate back to the purpose as well as consistently lead up to the corresponding overall answers.

Once it is finished, you can send a query including the title of the quiz, its purpose and a few sample questions. You can also send the quiz in its entirety if the guidelines do not state otherwise.

Depending on the market some publications will pay anything between $1 and $50. So you have nothing to lose and everything to learn by writing a quiz today.

Taken from 'How to Write Quizzes for Publication' by Isabella E.C. Akinseye which was featured in Art & Prose magazine Issue 7.

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