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The Cheater’s Guide To AP Style Capitals Proper nouns Capitals Proper nouns “Real” titles directly before names Capitals Proper nouns “Real” titles directly before names Regions Legislative bodies: Council, Assembly Capital Don’ts

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Capitals

  • Proper nouns


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Capitals

  • Proper nouns

  • “Real” titles directly before names


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Capitals

  • Proper nouns

  • “Real” titles directly before names

  • Regions

  • Legislative bodies: Council, Assembly


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Capital Don’ts

  • Plurals: the departments of Labor and Justice; the Tennessee and Ohio rivers

  • Compass directions

  • Shorthand names on second reference, or generic references


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Numbers

  • Figures or words?


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Numbers

  • Figures or words?

  • Generally follow the digit rule

  • Mix and match

  • Only years at the start of a sentence


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Numbers: exceptions

  • Ages are always figures

  • Dimensions (inches, feet, yards)

  • Percent


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Abbreviations

  • To abbreviate or not to abbreviate, that is the question.


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Abbreviations

  • To abbreviate or not to abbreviate, that is the question.

  • Some things are always abbreviated: FBI, CNN.


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Abbreviations

  • To abbreviate or not to abbreviate, that is the question.

  • Some things are always abbreviated: FBI, CNN.

  • Some are abbreviated in specific usages: doctor vs. Dr. Jones; Wis. Vs. Wisconsin.


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Abbreviations

  • Some are evolving: frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  • Some can be abbreviated on second reference (National Rifle Association = NRA).


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Titles

  • “Coach” is considered a job description, not a formal title: L/C.

  • Professor--lowercase and do not abbreviate before a name.

  • Plurals

  • Fire & police


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Addresses

  • Abbreviate exact numbered address:

  • 801 Algoma Blvd. but Algoma Boulevard.

  • B-A-S

  • Everything else is spelled out: road, lane, drive, circle, court, etc.


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Time references

  • Use days of week within seven days of an event (not today or tonight). Otherwise specify the date.


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Time references

  • Use days of week within seven days of an event (not today or tonight). Otherwise specify the date.

  • Abbreviate months only when a day is specified: February 2007 vs. Feb. 27, 2007.


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Time references

  • Five months (five letters or fewer) are never abbreviated.


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Time references

  • Five months (five letters or fewer) are never abbreviated.

  • There is neither a 12 a.m. or a 12 p.m.

  • Avoid redundancies: next Tuesday, 10 a.m. this morning.


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Word usage

  • If you do not recognize a word, look it up.


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Word usage

  • If you do not recognize a word, look it up.

  • Be sensitive to distinctions: burglary, larceny, robbery, theft; homicide, murder, manslaughter; pedal, peddle.


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Word usage

  • If you do not recognize a word, look it up.

  • Be sensitive to distinctions: burglary, larceny, robbery, theft; homicide, murder, manslaughter; pedal, peddle.

  • Trademarks: photocopy sted Xerox.


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Punctuation

  • Commas.

  • Hyphens

  • Quotation marks.

  • Apostrohes.

  • Colons & semicolons.


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Commas

  • 10 simple rules.

  • In journalism: When in doubt, leave it out.


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Hyphens

  • Hyphens—use sparingly.

  • Distinguish between compound adjectives (hyphenated) and adverb-adjective combos (no hyphens).


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Hyphens

  • Little-known athlete

  • Widely known author


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Hyphens

  • Hyphen is not the same as a dash, which can work like a comma or parens to emphasize or set apart.

  • -


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Quotation marks

He said, “I am shocked and horrified by the incident.

“I am so horrified, in fact, that I will ask for the death penalty.”


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Quotation marks

He said he was “shocked and horrified by the incident.”

“I am so horrified, in fact, that I will ask for the death penalty.”


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Quotation marks

  • Commas and periods always, always, always inside (in U.S. usage).


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Quotation marks

  • Commas and periods always, always always inside (in U.S. usage).

  • Question marks, exclamation points depend on the sense of the sentence.


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Apostrophes

  • Special rules for possessives: plural nouns not ending in s, plural nouns ending in s, nouns plural in form singular in meaning, nouns the same in singular and plural, etc.


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Apostrophes

  • The ’20s.

  • Not the 20’s.

  • Four A’s and two B’s.

  • ABCs, VIPs.


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Colons & semicolons

  • Which is which?

    ; versus :


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Colons

  • He promised this: The company will make good on all the losses.

  • There were three considerations: expense, time and feasibility.


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Semicolons

  • He was survived by a son, John Smith, of Chicago; three daughters, Jane Smith of Wichita, Kan., Mary Smith, of Denver, and Susan of Boston; and a sister, Martha, of Omaha, Neb.

  • Can be used to link independent clauses but may signal complexity.


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Prefixes

  • Generally do not use a hyphen with a word starting with a consonant.


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Prefixes

  • Generally do not use a hyphen with a word starting with a consonant.

  • Nonprofit, but non-nuclear.


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Prefixes

  • Generally do not use a hyphen with a word starting with a consonant.

  • Nonprofit, but non-nuclear.

  • Cooperate and coordinate, otherwise hyphenate: re-elect.


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Prefixes

  • Generally do not use a hyphen with a word starting with a consonant.

  • Nonprofit, but non-nuclear.

  • Cooperate and coordinate, otherwise hyphenate: re-elect.

  • Look it up!


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Suffixes

  • Two words for the verb form:

  • Stand out

  • Hyphenate noun or adjective

  • Standout (player)


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Suffixes

  • Two words for the verb form:

  • Stand out

  • Hyphenate noun or adjective

  • Standout (player)

  • But there are many exceptions!



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