AP Style: Confusing

AP Style: Definitely NOT what your elementary teacher taught you.  What makess AP style so confusing is that there are so many different variations of abbreviations!  The reason for this is because you simply can not fit everything into a printed newspaper or magazine article, so there had to be compromises.

Here are some quick tips for AP Style:

• Spell out the numbers one through nine; for 10 and up, use Arabic numerals.For ages and percentages, always use Arabic numerals, even for numbers lessthan 10.

• Spell out numerals that start a sentence; if the result is awkward, recast thesentence: Twenty-seven detainees were released yesterday. Yesterday, 993 freshmen entered the college.

•The one exception to this rule is in a sentence that begins with a calendar year: 1938 was a turbulent year for Leon.
• For large numbers: use a hyphen to connect a word ending in y to another word: twenty-one, one hundred forty-three, seventy-six thousand five hundred eighty-seven

• Do not use commas between other separate words that are part of one number: one thousand one hundred fifty-five
Comma(,):

• Do not put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series: John, Paul,George and Ringo; red, white and blue.
• Use a comma to set off a person’s hometown and age: Jane Doe, Framingham,was absent.
              -Joe Blow, 34, was arrested yesterday.
•Ethnic groups:

-The preferred usage for African Americans is “black.” The term is notcapitalized.
-Preferred usage for Caucasians is “white,” also not capitalized.
-Preferred usage for Asian people is “Asian,” capitalized. Please notethat in British usage the term applies only to people of the IndianSubcontinent.
-“American Indian,” capitalized with no hyphen, is preferred over “NativeAmerican.”
Newspapers and magazines:

-Do not place in quotation marks.
-Capitalize the in the name if that is the way the publication prefers tobe known.
-Lowercase the before names if listing several publications, some of which use the as part of the name and some of which do not: TimeNewsweek, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.
-Where location is needed but not part of the official name, useparentheses: The Huntsville (Ala.) Times, The Toledo (Ohio) Blade.
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One thought on “AP Style: Confusing

  1. This is very helpful. The thing with numbers always has me confused. I am constantly trying to improve my writing, but I know it still needs work in places.

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