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AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
AP Stylebook highlights
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AP Stylebook highlights

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This will tell you 90 percent (not % or per cent) of what you need to know.

This will tell you 90 percent (not % or per cent) of what you need to know.

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  • 1. AP Stylebook highlights This will tell you 90 percent (not % or per cent) of what you need to know
  • 2. 1. States • In 2014, the AP Stylebook eliminated most abbreviations for states. Now abbreviations are only used in datelines.
  • 3. 1. States • In 2014, the AP Stylebook eliminated most abbreviations for states. Now abbreviations are only used in datelines. • The AP does not use postal abbreviations. Consider the following datelines: – Incorrect: CONCORD, MA — Police arrested … – Correct: CONCORD, Mass. — Police arrested …
  • 4. 2. Cities • Most cities and towns are also identified by state. For example, Annapolis, Maryland.
  • 5. 2. Cities • Most cities and towns are also identified by state. For example, Annapolis, Maryland. • Many large cities do not need a state whether it is in the dateline or within the article. See “Datelines” in the AP Stylebook. – Wrong: Washington, D.C. – Wicked wrong: Washington, DC – Right: Washington
  • 6. 3. Numerals • Spell out numbers from zero through nine and use numerals for 10 and up.
  • 7. 3. Numerals • Spell out numbers from zero through nine and use numerals for 10 and up. • Ages are always rendered as numerals: the 5-year-old boy.
  • 8. 3. Numerals • Spell out numbers from zero through nine and use numerals for 10 and up. • Ages are always rendered as numerals: the 5-year-old boy. • Percentages are spelled out with a numeral: 6 percent.
  • 9. 3. Numerals • Spell out numbers from zero through nine and use numerals for 10 and up. • Ages are always rendered as numerals: the 5-year-old boy. • Percentages are spelled out with a numeral: 6 percent. • Numerals with millions and billions: 7 million, 4.8 billion.
  • 10. 3. Numerals • Use numerals for large numbers lower than 1 million: 3,750 for example, or 375,000. • Money always takes a dollar sign, even when you are quoting someone: – 46 cents (no cent sign) – $46 – $4,600 – $4.6 million
  • 11. 4. Politics • Wrong: US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was elected to the seat once held by Ted Kennedy.
  • 12. 4. Politics • Wrong: US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was elected to the seat once held by Ted Kennedy. • Right: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, was elected to the seat once held by Ted Kennedy.
  • 13. 4. Politics • We refer to President Barack Obama (including first name on first reference), but to the president (lowercase) when there’s no name.
  • 14. 4. Politics • Official titles are capitalized when they appear before a name, but lowercased when used after a name. – Right: Secretary of State John Kerry took office shortly after Hillary Clinton stepped down. – Right: John Kerry, secretary of state, took office shortly after Hillary Clinton stepped down.
  • 15. 4. Politics • Unofficial titles are akin to job descriptions, and are lowercased whether they appear before or after a person’s name. – Right: Romney senior strategist Eric Fehrnstrom had previously worked as a reporter for the Boston Herald.
  • 16. 5. Our country • Spell out United States whenever it is used as a noun. – Energy prices in the United States tend to fluctuate depending on economic activity.
  • 17. 5. Our country • Spell out United States whenever it is used as a noun. • The abbreviation U.S. is sufficient when used as an adjective. – The U.S. economy has a major effect on energy prices.
  • 18. 5. Our country • Spell out United States whenever it is used as a noun. • The abbreviation U.S. is sufficient when used as an adjective. • The abbreviation US is always wrong. Two-letter abbreviations take periods (except AP).
  • 19. 6. Punctuation • Commas and periods go inside quotation marks. – Wrong: The author will read from his new book, “Getting Rich”, today at 3 p.m. – Right: The author will read from his new book, “Getting Rich,” today at 3 p.m.
  • 20. 6. Punctuation • Colons and semicolons generally go outside the quotation marks. – We must read three novels over the summer: Herman Melville’s masterpiece, “Moby Dick”; a 1920s classic by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “This Side of Paradise”; and Ernest Hemingway’s last major work, “The Old Man and the Sea.”
  • 21. 6. Punctuation • With question marks and exclamation points, it depends on the context. – “Why is it taking so long to get there?” she asked. – Have you ever read “Moby Dick”?
  • 22. 6. Punctuation • We use double quotes in all cases unless we need to use them inside quotation marks. – “He said we must read ‘Moby Dick’ before the end of the semester.” – Wrong: The sign said ‘Exit’ in bright red lights. – Right: The sign said “Exit” in bright red lights.
  • 23. 6. Punctuation • We use double quotes in all cases unless we need to use them inside quotation marks. • No serial (Oxford) commas. – Wrong: Tom, Dick, and Harry. – Right: Tom, Dick and Harry.
  • 24. 6. Punctuation • We use double quotes in all cases unless we need to use them inside quotation marks. • No serial (Oxford) commas. • No commas with Jr. – Wrong: Ken Griffey, Jr., was the greatest player of his era until injuries slowed him down. – Wicked wrong: Ken Griffey, Jr. was the greatest player of his era until injuries slowed him down.
  • 25. 6. Punctuation • We use double quotes in all cases unless we need to use them inside quotation marks. • No serial (Oxford) commas. • No commas with Jr. – Right: Ken Griffey Jr. was the greatest player of his era until injuries slowed him down.
  • 26. 7. Time • 1 p.m. or 10:15 a.m. Not 1 o’clock in the afternoon or a quarter after 10 in the morning.
  • 27. 7. Time • 1 p.m. or 10:15 a.m. Not 1 o’clock in the afternoon or a quarter after 10 in the morning. • Midnight and noon are rendered just like that, without a 12. – The Rotary Club will meet from noon to 1:30 p.m.
  • 28. 7. Time • Months are spelled out when used without a date. – She is hoping to take two weeks off in August.
  • 29. 7. Time • Months are spelled out when used without a date. – She is hoping to take two weeks off in August. • Months are abbreviated when used with a date. – She plans to begin her vacation on Aug. 13. (Please note that it’s not 13th.)
  • 30. 7. Time • Months are spelled out when used without a date. – She is hoping to take two weeks off in August. • Months are abbreviated when used with a date. – She plans to begin her vacation on Aug. 13. (Please note that it’s not 13th.) • We do not specify the year unless it’s in the past or the future.
  • 31. 8. Addresses • Street names are spelled out when not used with a specific address. – He lives on Whalley Avenue.
  • 32. 8. Addresses • Street names are spelled out when not used with a specific address. – He lives on Whalley Avenue. • Street names are abbreviated when used with a specific address. – He lives at 7 Whalley Ave.
  • 33. 8. Addresses • Street names are spelled out when not used with a specific address. • Street names are abbreviated when used with a specific address.
  • 34. 8. Addresses • Street names are spelled out when not used with a specific address. • Street names are abbreviated when used with a specific address. • Some types of streets are always spelled out, the most common example of which is road.
  • 35. 8. Addresses • Street names are spelled out when not used with a specific address. • Street names are abbreviated when used with a specific address. • Some types of streets are always spelled out, the most common example of which is road. • Lowercase when referring to more than one. – The intersection of Smith and Jones streets. – The intersection of Smith Street and Jones Road.
  • 36. 9. Possessives • Some style guides form the possessive of a proper name ending in s with ’s. – Fred Jones’s car is a rusting hulk of metal and random wires.
  • 37. 9. Possessives • Some style guides form the possessive of a proper name ending in s with ’s. – Fred Jones’s car is a rusting hulk of metal and random wires. • AP style eliminates the s. – Fred Jones’ car is a rusting hulk of metal and random wires.
  • 38. 10. Titles • AP style does not use italics at all except, incongruously enough, in the AP Stylebook in order to distinguish rules from examples (as I have done here). See the stylebook entry “words as words.”
  • 39. 10. Titles • The names of newspapers, websites and magazines are rendered without any punctuation. – The Boston Globe (capitalize The because it is part of the name; always check) – Gawker – Entertainment Weekly – Talking Points Memo
  • 40. 10. Titles • The names of books, movies, TV shows, albums, songs, video games and the like should be in quotation marks. – “Lincoln” – “In Cold Blood” – “30 Rock” – “Call of Duty: Black Ops” – “Highway 61 Revisited”
  • 41. 11. Special digital considerations • The word Web is always uppercase • The word website is lowercase • The word Internet is uppercase
  • 42. 12. A grammatical tip • Spend some time reading and understanding the stylebook’s sections on essential and nonessential clauses and phrases. • If you can understand why this sentence is telling us that Mary Smith has more than one husband, then you’re starting to get it: – Mary Smith and her husband John Jones appeared before the Planning Board on Tuesday.
  • 43. Must-read stylebook entries • abbreviations • capitalization • datelines • essential clauses/nonessential clauses • essential phrases/nonessential phrases • numerals • possessives • A Guide to Punctuation
  • 44. On Twitter @APStylebook @FakeAPStylebook
  • 45. Credit • This presentation is based on the short guide to AP style in “Reporting for the Media” (ninth edition), by Bender, Davenport, Drager and Fedler.

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