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Ap Style Journalism Notes
Terms in this set (35)
a. Always write out the numbers zero through nine (except when dealing with age)
b. When using any number over nine, use numerals
c. At the beginning of a sentence, always spell out the number (One hundred people died.) except years
d. Capitalize the word room when used with the number of the room (Room B119)
e. Abbreviate the word "street (St.), road (Rd.), boulevard (Blvd.), avenue (Ave.)" when used with a specific street address (example: 6901 Coit Rd. - specific; or the school is located on Coit Road - general)
a. When addressing adults, use their full name on first mention. Then use the last name only. Exception, use Dr. if they have that title. Ex: Dr. Alicia Maphies on first mention, then Dr. Maphies any other time mentioned in same article.
b. With students, on first use, use classification first then first and last name (senior Bob Jones). DO NOT capitalize classification unless it is the first word in the sentence. On second and subsequent uses, use only the last name (Jones).
c. Capitalize a title placed directly in front of a name (Principal Randy Spain).
d. Capitalize titles if they are the first word in a sentence. If it is a long title (3 or more words), place the title after the name
e. Capitalize and set in italic all books, newspapers, magazines or any other publication. We will never underline anything - for any reason!
a. Always put day of the week, and date (Monday, Oct. 20, 2005). Notice where the commas are placed in the example. If the date falls over a month away from the publication date, use only the date (Dec. 19, 2005).
b. Spell out the names of all months and days of the week. Abbreviate months when used with a specific date.
c. On times of day or night, do not use the word "o'clock." For 12 p.m. use noon; for 12 a.m. use midnight. Use 3 p.m. instead of 3:00 p.m. Periods go between the a and m and p and m, and they are set lower case.
d. Dates are all numeric (1983) and in plural form do not have an apostrophe (1990s)
e. Use July 1, not July 1st
a. Always use the verb "said" - nothing else - unless you have special permission.
b. When quoting, never attribute before the quote itself. (wrong: Mr. Troy Aikman said, "never do this.") (right: "Never do this!" Mr. Troy Aikman said.)
c. When attributing quotes, put the subject then the verb (Troy said - NOT said Troy). The verb will come first only when the person has a long title (said Mr. Troy Aikman, NFL football announcer) (Principal Randy Spain said).
d. All quotes of students must have grade classification included with the first quote (junior Sally Smith said. Do not write, - Sally Smith, junior, said.)
a. Use CHS when talking about our school. Do not use Centennial High School. Remember to try to avoid using the name of the school - your audience is captured - you don't have to call them by name each time. When talking about the other schools in town, refer to them as FHS, LHS and WHS — always.
b. Never use a comma before a conjunction in a simple sentence (Our colors are red, blue and white.)
c. We will not use apostrophes as they relate to athletic teams - girls JV volleyball team; boys basketball.
d. We will call our 9th grade teams the freshman teams.
Lends credibility, professionalism and consistency to the publication
Immediate recognition and understanding One voice that all staff writers use
AP style is our resource
The Associated Press put together a list of clear rules that allow uniformity for reading ease for all. These rules permit few exceptions and rely on the dictionary as the arbiter of conflicts. They are updated regularly as language use changes.
Spell out whole numbers below 10 including zero, use figures for 10 and above.
- Will had three dogs and 10 cats.
- I need two chairs, 14 plates and one fork.
Always spell out a numeral at the beginning of a sentence no matter what it is.
- Eleven people were hired.
- One teacher wore his red shirt today. Capitalize words used with a numeral
- Room 220, Page 2
Use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3) unless Roman numerals (I, V, X) are specifically required. Use Roman numerals for wars and sequences of people and acts of plays.
- World War 1
- King Henry VIII - Act II, Scene I
Use commas in figures 1,000 and above
- 2,340 books
Spell out numbers in expressions.
- A thousand times no!
- Thanks a million.
Spell out first through ninth for sequences or grades; starting with 10th, use figures.
- He made it to third base in the second inning.
- The First Amendment
- I placed ninth in the race. Suzi placed 10th in the race.
Dates and Days
Capitalize and spell out days of the week. - I'm going to the game on Friday.
Do not abbreviate except when used in columns. - Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed
Never use 1st, 3rd - July 1, May 13
Do not include the current year.
- The Frisco HS game was Oct. 2. - April 2, 1989
Dates and Days
For date spans, use a hyphen
- April 11-15
Do not use the words "this year" Capitalize all holidays
- Labor Day
Capitalize the names of months in all uses.
Spell out months when used alone or with a year and no day.
- January was a cold month.
- January 1972 was a cold month.
Rule of 5: When used with a specific date, abbreviate months with more than five letters. (Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.)
- Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month.
- March 2 was the coldest day of the month.
Always put a comma after the year when a month, day and year are used.
- Feb. 14, 1987, was the target date.
For decades or centuries, use an s without an apostrophe.
- the 1890s
- the 1800s
Use the apostrophe when numbers are left out.
- The Roaring '20s
Years are the only exception to the rule of starting sentences with a numeral.
- 2014 is when the next election will be held.
Use figures except for noon and midnight.
Use a colon to separate hours from minutes. Leave off minutes if zero. (2:00 p.m.)
- 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Note how a.m. and p.m. are used Avoid repeating information
- 10 a.m. this morning
Use midnight and noon instead of 12 a.m. or p.m.
Lowercase general reference
If part of a formal name, capitalize.
- Dartmouth Winter Carnival
- Winter Olympics
Use the abbreviations for Ave., Blvd., and St. only with a numbered address.
- 1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Spell out and capitalize when part of a street name without a number.
- Pennsylvania Avenue
All similar words (alley, drive, road, terrace, etc.) are always spelled out.
- The victim lives at 1900 Oak Drive.
- The victim lives on Oak Drive.
- CHS is on Coit Road. Our address is 6901 Coit Road.
Spell out and capitalize First through Ninth when used as street names.
- The man lives at 710 First St.
Use figures with two letters for streets that are 10th and above.
- The man lives at 100 21st St.
Eight states are never abbreviated:
- Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah Abbreviate all other states (NOT postal abbrev.)
- Ariz. - Ark. - Calif. - Colo. - Conn. - Del. - Fla.
- Kan. - Ky.
- Mass. - Mich. - Minn.
- Miss. - N.C. - Vt. - Mo. - N.D.
- Mont. - Okla. - Neb. - Ore.
- Wash. - W.Va. - Wis.
- N.J. - N.M. - N.Y.
State Names Punctuation
Place one comma between the city and the state name.
- He lives in Frisco, Texas.
Place a comma after the state name if the sentence continues.
- He was traveling from Nashville, Tenn., to Austin, Texas, to his home in Albuquerque, N.M.
Use numerals. Note the hyphens.
- A 5-year-old boy walked by. (hyphenate if a noun follows the age) - Jake is 5 years old.
- I am in my 20s. (no apostrophe)
- The girl, 8, and boy, 14, love to dance. Refer to 17 and under as boy or girl.
- The 17-year-old boy graduated from high school. - The 18-year-old woman robbed a bank.
Names & Titles
For adults, use courtesy titles
- Mrs. Ms. Miss Mr. Dr. Coach
Do not capitalize senior, junior, etc. unless first word in sentence
- Junior Jane Jones
- The NHS president is senior Sam Smith.
Do not put a period between initials in an abbreviated name
- The new receiver is DJ Walden.
Names & Titles
Adults: 1st use - full title and name
- Mr. David Scroggins is a Math teacher. On next reference, use title and last name - Mr. Scroggins is the department chair.
Students: 1st use - full name and title
- He played tennis with freshman Bob White.
On next reference, use last name only
- White is trying out for the varsity team.
Names & Titles
Capitalize titles used directly before a name.
-Principal Randy Spain
Short titles (1-2 words) are before a name, longer titles should follow the name.
-The head of the committee is Governor Ralph Smith.
-Ralph Smith, Governor of Utah, spoke....
Lowercase and spell out titles when they are not used with a name.
-The president issued a statement. -The pope gave his blessing.
Spell out the word cents, use numerals for amounts less than a dollar.
- 5 cents, 99 cents
Use a dollar sign and decimals for larger amounts. For even sums, omit the decimals.
- The book cost $1.52. - He owes me $253.98. - The ticket price is $7.
Use the word for amounts without a figure
- Dad, please give me a dollar. Or $10 would be great!
If more than $1 million, use the $ and numerals up to two decimal points. - It is worth $4.35 million.
- He proposed a $300 billion budget.
When typing, only one space after a comma or ending punctuation NEVER use a comma in a series (and, or)
- The flag is red, white and blue.
Use a comma, IF you have two complete sentences you are combining
- Frisco HS is our biggest rival, and they are expected to challenge us at districts.
Do not use exclamation points. They are overused and rarely is anything that exciting!
Fractions & Percents
Spell out fractions less than 1 in stories, use hyphens between words.
For percents, always use the word.
- 2 percent
- .06 percent
- We found that 40 percent of students like math.
The exception is in surveys and graphs.
Capitalize and use quote marks for all
- Newspapers - Magazines - Publications - Songs
We never underline text in Journalism
Using Quotation Marks
Note the placement of the comma and quotation marks.
- "I like math," he said, "but fractions confuse me."
- A teacher said the homework is "to give you a chance to practice what we learn in class." Note the placement of the question mark.
- The student asked, "What is the answer to number 3?" - Did the student say "I didn't do my homework"?
For colleges in our area (known) or already mentioned in a story
- TCU, UNT, A&M
For comparison/competition, use vs.
- The Frisco HS vs. CHS game is our biggest rivalry.
Use all caps and no periods for well known groups , tests or programs
- NHS, PTA, FFA, AP, SAT Noun: United States Adjective: U.S.
Capitalize Internet and Web
Use the following:
- website - server - email - online
- chat room - dot-com
- home page - search engine - screen saver
- login, logon, logoff
The 9th grade class are freshmen
If you refer to one of them, he/she is a freshman Capitalize specific school subjects, but not general studies
- He likes math.
- He is taking Algebra 2.
Languages always are capitalized!
When referring to other schools, use HS or MS
- Frisco HS, Prosper HS, Wester MS Use CHS when referring to us
Do not capitalize varsity. Use JV.
Capitalize mascot names.
- Lady Titans, Titans, Raccoons, Coyotes
Do not capitalize "football team"
- Williams plays on the varsity boys soccer team.
Do not capitalize officer positions
- Senior Sonny Bryant is the team captain.
Do not use apostrophes for teams.
- Roland plays for the girls JV volleyball team
Do not capitalize "district" or "state" unless a specific meet title
- The team is excited to make it to state.
- They are competing in the 4A State Track Meet. Use a hyphen in scores.
- The Titans beat the Redhawks, 25-22.
For clarification on any of these issues, see the AP Stylebook on the bookshelf
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