AP Style: Learn It, Live It, Love It


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AP Style: Learn It, Live It, Love It

  1. 1. Highlights of the most important style rules
  2. 2.  First published in 1953 (62 pages) Presentation of the printed word should be accurate, consistent, pleasing to the eye and should conform to grammatical rules In 1977, morphed into more of a reference work (400 pages) 2000 edition included a new section on “Internet Guidelines,” defining terms such as byte, chat room 2011 (480 pages) More than two million copies have been sold
  3. 3. Use only if the reader would quickly recognize.If an abbreviation or acronym is common enough to be used publicly, theabbreviation or acronym can be used on second reference. Do not put anunfamiliar abbreviation or acronym in parentheses after the first reference. Ifan abbreviation or acronym would not be clear on second reference withoutthis arrangement, do not use it.Many specific abbreviations/acronyms are entries.Abbreviations Abbreviate titles when used before a full name Abbreviate junior/senior after a name (no comma) Abbreviate months if used with a specific date Abbreviate degrees only if listing credentials after a name (use a comma) Abbreviate states if used with a city (use stylebook abbreviations, not Postal Service) Abbreviate company, corporation, incorporated and limited when used after the name of a corporate entity
  4. 4. Always use figures for an address numberAve., Blvd., St. Abbreviate only with a numbered address Spell out and capitalize when part of a street name without a numberAll similar words (alley, drive, road, terrace, etc.) Always are spelled out. Capitalize when part of a formal name without a number Lowercase when used alone or with two or more names.First through Ninth Spell out and capitalize when used as street names Use figures with two letters for 10th and aboveAbbreviate compass points used to indicate directional ends of a streetUse periods in the abbreviation P.O. for P.O. Box numbers.
  5. 5. Omitted letters It’s February ‘Tis the season to be jollyOmitted figures I graduated in ’98
  6. 6. Singular nouns Add ‘s unless the next word begins with S (the witness’s answer, the witness’ story)Plural nouns Ending in S: Add only an apostrophe (the girls’ toys) Not ending in S: Add ‘s (the boy’s snacks)Joint possession If possession is joint: Use a possessive form after only the last word (Ben and Dan’s house) If objects are individually owned: Use a possessive form after both words (Ben’s and Dan’s books)Singular proper names ending in S: For those that end in S, use only an apostrophe (Kansas’ schools)Nouns the same in singular and plural Treat them as plurals (two deer’s tracks)Compound words Add an apostrophe or ‘s to the word closest to the object possessed (the attorney general’s request)Special expressions For appearance’ sake For conscience’ sake For goodness’ sake Use ‘s otherwise (my conscience’s voice)
  7. 7. Made with two hyphens.Put a space on both sides of a dash.Uses To denote an abrupt change in thought or a pause To set off a series within a phrase Before an author’s name at the end of a quotation In datelines To introduce individual sections of a list  The first word following the dash should be capitalized  Use periods at the end of each section
  8. 8. Days Capitalize Abbreviate only in tabular formMonths Capitalize When used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out when using alone or with a year (no comma) In tabular material, use three-letter forms without a period for all monthsYears Use figures, without commas To indicate spans of decades or centuries, use “s” without an apostrophe (ex: the 1990s, the 1900s) Use a numeral even to start a sentence
  9. 9. Both provide information about a word/phrase in the sentence.Essential clauses Cannot be eliminated without changing the meaning of the sentence Essential clauses are not set off by commas. Ex: The man who saved my life is a retired teacher. “That” is the preferred pronoun to introduce essential clauses (for inanimate objects)Nonessential clauses Can be eliminated without altering the basic meaning of the sentence Nonessential clauses are set off by commas. Ex: The tree, which was old, fell down during the storm. “Which” is the appropriate pronoun (for inanimate objects)Tip: If you can drop the clause and not lose the meaning of the sentence, use which; otherwise,use that. A which clause is surrounded by commas; no commas are used with that clauses.
  10. 10. Join words.Made with no space on either side.The fewer the better.Uses Compound modifiers (before a noun) Two-thought compounds Compound proper nouns & adjectives To avoid duplicated vowels With numerals (odds, ratios, scores, fractions) Suspensive hyphenation
  11. 11.  Accept, except Affect, effect Among, between Fewer, less People, persons Principal, principle Good, well In, into Like, as
  12. 12. Generally spell out numbers below 10 and use numerals for 10 and above.Spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence (years are an exception).Ages Always use numerals when referring to people Hyphenate when used as an adjective or a nounMoney Use numerals most of the time Use the $ with dollars, but spell out cents with amounts less than $1 Spell out dollar or dollars in a casual reference With amounts larger than $999,999, use a figure and the words million, billion, trillion: $4.38 billion, $1 trillion.Numbers between 1,000 and 999,999 Use commasNumbers of a million or more Most of the time, use only the first few digits (rarely more than two decimal places) followed by million, billion or trillion
  13. 13. Mostly used for direct quotations.Running quotations If a quotation continues through a new paragraph, do not put close-quote marks at the end of the first paragraph. Do, however, put open-quote marks at the start of the second paragraph. Use close-quote marks only at the end of the quoted material.Unfamiliar terms Words being introduced may be placed in quotation marks on first reference only.Quotes within quotes Alternate between double quotation marks (“or”) and single quotation marks (‘or’).Placement with other punctuation The period and comma always go within quotation marks The dash, semicolon, question mark and exclamation point go within the question marks when they apply to the quoted matter only. Put outside when applied to the whole sentence.
  14. 14.  Check in (v.), check-in (n.) E-book, e-reader, email Friend, follow, like Google, Googling, Googled IM Internet Retweet Smartphone Text messaging/instant messaging Unfollow, unfriend Website, the Web
  15. 15. Times Use figures except for noon and midnight Use a colon to separate hours from minutes Avoid redundancies (10 a.m. this morning)Time of day The exact time of day an event happened is generally not necessaryTime zones Use the clock time in force where the event happened or will take place Spell out in references not accompanied by a clock reading Only include if the story is nationwide or involves travel or broadcast programs Abbreviations are acceptable on first reference within the continental United States if linked to a clock reading
  16. 16. In general, confine capitalization to formal titles useddirectly before an individual’s name.Lowercase and spell out titles not used with an individual’sname, and when titles are set off from a name by commas.Formal titles vs. occupational titles: Formal titles denote authority, academic degree (capitalize before a name) Other titles are occupational descriptions (do not capitalize before a name)If there is doubt about the status of a title, use a constructionthat sets the name or the title off with commas.
  17. 17. Who: Human beings Animals with a name The subject of a sentence—not object The woman who rented the room…Whom: When someone is the object The woman to whom the room was rented…
  18. 18. The first reference for spelling, style, usage andforeign geographic names is Websters NewWorld College Dictionary www.yourdictionary.com
  19. 19. Contact me:Maria Fogliasso@KCGrammarGirl