Many student journalists dread learning AP style. To help them out, I’ve pulled together some of the most essential rules. Most of these examples were taken from the AP Stylebook. Let me know what important rules I’ve missed, or if you see a mistake.
- Avoid unnecessary capital letters
- Avoid alphabet soup (tons of abbreviations)
- If the capitalization rule for a word isn’t listed in the AP Stylebook, then consult Webster’s New World College Dictionary
- Capitalize nouns that identify persons, places or things (John, Mary, America, Boston, England)
- Capitalize words when they are part of the full name for a person, place or thing (Democratic Party, Mississippi River, St. George Street, St. Augustine)
- Lowercase common nouns when they stand alone (political party, river, street)
- Lowercase words in plural uses (the Democratic and Republican parties, Main and State streets, Mississippi and Arkansas rivers)