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Associated Press Style
What is it? 0 Associated Press style is almost universally used by American newspapers, and by most magazines on online news sties. 0 AP style regulates how news writers craft their stories. 0 Among the issues handled by AP style: titles, abbreviations, addresses, directions, currency, time, and racial categories
Why is it important 0 AP style allows for the routinization of news writing. 0 Employees can leave one news outfit for another without retraining. 0 Newspapers can publish (with permission) stories from other news sites with little editing. 0 Employers can hire college graduates with a basic understanding of news writing, since most teach AP style.
What it does not do 0 AP Style does not necessarily follow the standard conventions of English composition. 0 Basic details, such as proper titles and state abbreviations, are often different in AP Style as opposed to standard composition.
How do I learn AP Style 0 Some items, such as numbers and time, can be easily memorized. 0 Other items, such as proper titles and proper names, often differ, for no logical reason. 0 The best way to follow AP style is to look up everything after you write a story. 0 This means – get the book!
Titles 0 (a) Nearly all formal titles are capitalized BEFORE the name, lowercased after the name. 0 I voted for President George W. Bush. 0 Mayor Larry Brown favored the idea. 0 (b) Titles that ARE abbreviated (e. g. such as Gov. , Sen. , Rev. , Dr. ) are abbreviated when they come BEFORE the name. Sen. Don Nichols is a Republican. 0 Gov. Frank Keating opposed the bill.
Titles 0 (c) Use Dr. for medical doctors. If you use Dr. for academics, specify the specialty to avoid confusion with a medical doctor. 0 Dr. Jack Kevorkian assisted in the suicide. 0 Dr. Joey Senat, an assistant professor of journalism, discussed censorship. 0 (d) Professor is NEVER abbreviated. Ensure that the rank is correct, e. g. professor, assistant professor, associate professor: 0 WRONG: Prof. John Catsis 0 RIGHT: Associate Professor John Catsis 0 (e) Use "the Rev. " before ministers on first reference. 0 The Rev. Jesse Jackson was arrested during the protest concerning the execution. 0 Services, conducted by the Rev. Ted Milton, will be 1 p. m. Saturday at Zion Church, 224 Oak St.
Titles 0 (f) When the title comes AFTER the name, spell out the title but DO NOT capitalize it. 0 Larry Brown, the mayor, cut the ribbon. 0 The bill was vetoed by Frank Keating, the governor. 0 (g) When the title stands alone, spell out the title and DO NOT capitalize it. 0 The pope will visit next week. 0 The president vetoed the bill. 0 (h) An EXCEPTION: When a title is used before a name, but there is punctuation (such as a comma) between the title and the name, do not capitalize the title. 0 I listened to the district attorney, Kevin Crane.
Titles 0 (i) Long titles go best AFTER the name. 0 Bad – Deputy Undersecretary for Consumer Affairs Maureen Maxwell gave a talk on managing your budget. 0 Good – Maureen Maxwell, deputy undersecretary for consumer affairs, gave a talk on managing your budget. 0 (j) On legislators _ senators, representatives, etc. _ set off their party affiliation and state (or area) with commas, NOT parentheses. Do not put a period after the party affiliation: 0 U. S. Rep. Wes Watkins, R-Okla. , said. . 0 State Sen. Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater, introduced. . .
Addresses 0 0 0 0 Addresses and Streets (a) Abbreviate only with an EXACT, numbered address. 901 Ninth St. BUT: The gym is on Ninth Street. (b) On exact addresses, abbreviate the direction: 555 N. Garth Ave. 333 W. Broadway (c) CAPITALIZE the name of the street BUT only ABBREVIATE the following in EXACT addresses: 999 Stadium Blvd 767 Milestone Ave. 545 Hitt St. (This can be remembered as BAS, which is part of a word. ). All other street names are spelled out and CAPITALIZED. 444 Boomer Road 334 Smiley Lane
Capitalization/Geography 0 0 0 0 0 (a) Capitalize River or Dam as part of a proper name: Red River Hoover Dam BUT, in plurals, DO NOT capitalize the river or dam: Arkansas and Mississippi rivers (That same lower-case for plurals applies to counties, streets, etc. ) First and 12 th streets Payne and Pawnee counties (b) Capitalize the specific regions: Midwest, East, West Coast, South, etc. But NOT compass directions: Oklahoma is part of the Southwest. They were headed east on Interstate 70.
Capitalization/Government 0 (c) Capitalize official names , including City Commission, Commerce Committee, Congress, Senate, House, General Assembly, Republican Party, and Democratic Party. Capitalize words derived from official names, such as Republicans and Democrats. 0 The City Commission approved the ordinance. 0 The Democrats control the Commerce Committee. 0 BUT LOWERCASE when not using the official name, often on second and subsequent references. 0 The commission passed the measure by a 4 -3 vote. 0 Despite Democratic opposition, the committee approved the bill. 0 (d) Capitalize: Branches of the US (not foreign) military -- Army, Navy, Marines, etc. 0 She served in the Army 0 The Mexican navy picked the survivors.
Abbreviations/Acronyms 0 (a) Do not use acronyms unless they are familiar to your readers. Spell out governmental agencies on first reference, and abbreviate on second reference. DO NOT use brackets or periods. 0 Federal Communications Commission. The FCC issued the ruling. 0 FBI and CIA can stand alone anytime. But try to avoid alphabet soup. 0 WRONG: Oklahoma State University (OSU). The OSU. . . 0 RIGHT: Oklahoma State University. The OSU. . 0 (b) As a noun, United States is spelled out. As an adjective, it is abbreviated US: 0 The United States opposed the treaty because US companies would pay higher tariffs.
Abbreviations/States 0 (c) SPELL OUT the names of all of the states when they stand ALONE. 0 She went on a ski trip in Colorado. 0 BUT abbreviate the state names when they are used with a city: 0 She went to a ski trip in Boulder, Colo. 0 EXCEPTION: There are eight states that are not abbreviated: The two that are disconnected _ Alaska and Hawaii _ ) and the six with five letters or fewer: Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah. 0 We landed in Waco, Texas. 0 DO NOT USE POSTAL ABBREVIATIONS, except for addresses for memorials in obituaries. 0 WRONG: They traced the car to Sand Springs, OK. 0 RIGHT: They traced the car to Sand Springs, Okla.
Abbreviations/Cont’d. 0 (d) No periods are used with mph, as in 35 mph, nor with mm, as in 35 mm. After chasing the car at speeds exceeding 100 mph, officers found a 9 mm handgun when the searched the vehicle, police said. 0 (e) Abbreviate company, corporation, limited and incorporated at the end of a company's name. In most cases the Inc. is unnecessary, but use it when it is an important part of the name, such as Time Inc. The Phillips Petroleum Co. increased its market share. 0 (f) Do not use courtesy titles, except on second and other references in an obituary. 0 WRONG: Mrs. Janet Reno was attorney general. 0 RIGHT: Janet Reno was attorney general. 0 (g) Abbreviate junior and senior with names, and do not use a comma to separate them. . 0 Robert Downey Jr. starred in "Back to School. "
Numbers 0 (a) In general, SPELL OUT one through nine, use figures for 10 above. 0 He invited 12 guests to the party but only nine showed up.
Numbers/Exceptions 0 EXCEPTIONS: Always use figures for these: 0 (b) For ages, uses dashes when it is an adjective. Do not use dashes when it is a noun. 0 Ages: John is 7 years old. 0 Jenny, a 9 -year-old girl, ran away, too. 0 (c) Dimensions: The 7 -foot-2 center weighed 230 pounds. 0 The waves were 6 feet high. 0 (d) Percentages: 4 percent (NOTE that percent is ONE word. ) 0 1 percent to 5 percent (USE the word "percent" every time. ) 0 (e) Time: 6 p. m. (NOT 6: 00 p. m/6 pm — p. m. has periods and is and lowercased. ) 0 8 tonight (8 p. m. tonight would be redundant)
Numbers/Exceptions 0 (f) Street numbers: 9 Quinton Court 0 BUT 88 Ninth Street 0 (g) Day of the month: Jan. 9, 1997, (not 9 th) 0 (h)Do not start a sentence with a figure. WRONG: 70 runners straggled in. 0 RIGHT: Seventy runners straggled in. 0 EXCEPTION: AP allows you to start a sentence with a year: 0 1996 was a watershed. 0 But it's best to avoid even this.
Money 0 (a) Use the dollar sign. . . $10, $1, 000, $90, 000 (NOT $90 thousand or 90 thousand dollars) 0 (b) Use exact figures up to $1 million. On figures more than $1 million, use: $1 million, $2. 7 million, $6. 28 billion 0 (c) Round off, unless an exact figure is required. $9, 853, 159 can usually become $9. 85 million. 0 (d) Repeat the word with ranges: WRONG: $8 to $10 million 0 RIGHT: $8 million to $10 million 0 (e) For amounts less than a dollar, use a number and SPELL OUT cents: A Coke costs 25 cents during finals week.
Misc 0 (a) Nicknames are enclosed in quotes, NOT parentheses: WRONG: Jesse (The Body) Ventura 0 RIGHT: Jesse "The Body" Ventura or "The Gov" 0 (b) Put quotation marks around the titles of movies, plays, books (but not the Bible or reference works), operas, songs, TV programs, speeches and works of art. But NOT around the names of newspapers or magazines. 0 The editorial in the Daily Oklahoman supported the bond issue. 0 He loved to watch "Saturday Night Live. " 0 (c) When using two initials instead of a first name, do not put a space between them: B. J. Thomas