Associated Press (AP) Style

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Associated Press (AP) Style by Mind Map: Associated Press (AP) Style

1. What?

1.1. Commonly accepted journalistic standards for usage, spelling, grammar and punctuation.

1.2. Standard style guide for most U.S. newspapers, magazines and public relations firms.

2. Why?

2.1. Accurate

2.2. Clear

2.3. Tight

2.4. Non-offensive

3. Numbers

3.1. Use figures

3.1.1. Percentage

3.1.2. Age

3.1.3. Numbers above 10

3.2. Spell out

3.2.1. Numbers below 10

3.2.2. Numerals that start a sentence

4. Place

4.1. Adresses

4.1.1. Abbreviate words street, avenue, boulevard and compass directions in numbered adress

4.1.2. Never abbreviate drive, highway, place

4.2. State

4.2.1. Spell out names of states unless preceded by a city, county or military base name

4.2.2. Spell out states with five or fewer letters

4.2.3. Abbreviate all state names

5. Time

5.1. Days & Dates

5.1.1. Use numerals without st, nd, rd or th in dates

5.1.2. Avoid using today, yesterday and tomorrow

5.1.3. When writing about events use months and dates

5.1.4. When referring to a month, day and year, set off year with commas

5.2. Months

5.2.1. Never abbreviate months not immediately precede a date

5.2.2. Abbreviate only if month's name is six letters or longer

5.3. Years

5.3.1. Add an "s" to first year in the decade

5.3.2. Never spelled out

5.4. a.m. vs p.m.

5.4.1. “8 p.m. tonight” is redundant

5.4.2. Use figures except for noon and midnight

6. Titles

6.1. Compositions

6.1.1. Capitalize

6.1.1.1. First and last word of title

6.1.1.2. All words four letters or longer

6.1.1.3. "The" in the title if that's the way publication prefers to be known

6.1.2. Don't capitalize

6.1.2.1. Articles

6.1.2.2. Conjunctions

6.1.2.3. Prepositions

6.2. People

6.2.1. Capitalize formal titles before a name

6.2.2. Do not separate title from name by a comma

6.2.3. Titles after a name or standing alone are almost never capitalized

6.3. Places

6.3.1. General compass directions should be lowercase

6.3.2. Capitalize name of U.S. regions

6.4. Ethnic Groups

6.4.1. Preferred usage

6.4.1.1. African Americans is "black", not capitalized

6.4.1.2. Caucasians is "white", not capitalized

6.4.1.3. Asian people is "Asian", capitalized

6.4.1.4. "American Indian" is preferred over "Native American"

7. Punctuations

7.1. Comma

7.1.1. Don't use before conjunctions in a simple series

7.1.2. Use it to set off a person's hometown and age

7.1.3. Place it before and after

7.1.3.1. A year, if it follows a month and date

7.1.3.2. A state, if it follows a city or country name

7.1.3.3. An appositive

7.2. Colon

7.2.1. Capitalize first word after colon only if it is a proper noun or start of a complete sentence

7.2.2. Go outside quotation marks unless part of quoted material

7.3. Hyphen

7.3.1. Use it for compound adjectives before the noun

7.3.2. Don't use when compound modifiers occurs after the verb

7.4. Period

7.4.1. Use a single space after period at the end of a sentence

7.4.2. Don't put space between initials

8. "Quotations" in the news

8.1. Quote marks

8.1.1. Indicate exact wording

8.1.2. Always appear outside punctuation

8.2. When a full-sentence quotation is introduced or followed by attribution, place a comma between them

8.3. Quotations that are questions only need a question mark

8.4. Begin a new paragraph with each speaker in a dialogue

8.5. Use single marks for quotes within quotes

8.6. Use a colon after attribution if a quote is more than 2 sentences