3AP StyleIt is important that we stay consistent in the way we present our words and punctuation when writing for a publication like a newspaper or the yearbook.If we’re not all on the same page, how will you know when to abbreviate, when to capitalize, how to write numbers, etc., and how will you know you’re doing it the way the rest of our staff is?That’s why we follow the same journalistic style in our writing - that is called AP (Associated Press) Style.
4AP Style: Capitalization Lets work on some examples:My favorite class is Math.My favorite class is biology II.My favorite class is French.Do not capitalize the names of school subjects unless it is the official course titles or the name of a language.The team won the 5-A District MeetThe team won the district track meet.Do not capitalize district or state when referring to sports unless referring to a specific meet in its complete official title.
5AP Style: Capitalization We have to meet at 7 A.M. for picturesDo not capitalize a.m. and p.m.The raiders defense shut McKinney out in the second half.The Football Team held McKinney scoreless in the second half.Do capitalize the name of athletic teams: Raiders, Cardinals, but not football team, volleyball team
6AP Style: Abbreviations Southern Methodist University is going to Honolulu, Hawaii to play in a bowl game.Do abbreviate names of colleges in the area. Abbreviate names in all caps with no periods (UT, SMU, TCU)Do abbreviate states when preceded by the name of a cityThe HPMS turkey drive was on Nov. 11, 2012.Do abbreviate months when they are followed by a date. Months with no abbreviated form are March, April, May, June, JulyIn the second game, it was the Raiders vs. McKinney Evans.Do abbreviate versus as vs. (with a period)
7AP Style: Abbreviations It was another lazy Wed. afternoon in TX.Don’t abbreviate state names that stand aloneDon’t abbreviate days of the weekEighth grade Highland Park Middle School students returned at Noon from their field trip.Abbreviate and use all caps without periods of accepted and well known abbreviations: PTA, HPMS, MISAvoid referring to an organization by abbreviations when it is not commonly known
8AP Style: Names“I was so happy with how well the band performed,” said seventh grader Jody Smith.“I didn’t think we would all nail our parts,” said Smith.On first mention of a person in a story, use his/her first and last name and appropriate identification (said English teacher Carolyn Brown).After first mention, refer to students by their last names in all stories. Refer to adults with an appropriate courtesy title (Mr., Mrs., Dr.). If you don’t know if they’re a Ms. or Mrs., ask! (said Mrs. Brown).Eighth grader Alex Emery or Alex Emery, eighth grader.Short titles should precede the name and be capitalized. If long, place behind the name and do not capitalize. Principal Laurie Hitzelberger. Mary Smith, director of student involvement.When identification follows the name, it is set off by commas and is not capitalized: Sue Smith, eighth grader; Mr. Bohac, assistant principal.
9AP Style: NumbersAll 8th grade students were called to the auditorium at 12 p.m.With the exceptions noted below, numbers one through nine are written out and numbers 10 and up are numerals.This is true even in a sequence: 10 boys, 11 girls and three teachers.Spell out seventh, eighth, etc. when referring to gradesUse Noon and Midnight rather than 12 a.m and 12 p.m.It’s hard to believe that Mr. Capp is only 22 years old. He is a looming figure standing at six foot two inches tall.He showed up at 7:00 p.m. and paid his ten dollars.Use figures when referring to ages, weights, sizes, dimensions, scores, prices, degrees, percents, time ratings and hours of the day.For even amounts of money or times, eliminate the extra zeros. $10, 7 p.m.
10AP Style: Numbers The Raiders’ won 25 to 22. Use a hyphen in scores. The Raiders edged the Hawks, Note: Raiders has NO apostrophe!Applications are being accepted April 11th through April 30th.When writing out a date span, use a hyphen instead of the word to: April5 8th graders were caught skipping school on Monday.When starting a sentence with a number, spell it out.
11AP Style: Punctuation Apostrophe ‘ Use an apostrophe to indicate possession in singular and plural nouns that do not end in s. (boy’s shorts, Margie’s books, Francis’s telephone).Use an apostrophe to indicate omitted letters or numbers: ’12-13 school year.Do not use an apostrophe behind a year unless you are showing possession.The possessive form of personal pronouns such as its and yours do not need an apostrophe.Comma ,In a series, don’t use them before an “and”Use one in a sentence after a conjunction IF the part of the sentence following the comma would be a complete sentence (it must have its own subject).Exclamation point !Don’t use exclamation points. Use a period instead.Period .Rather than building a complicated sentence, consider a period.Semicolon ;Use the semicolon to separate phrases containing commas, statements of contrast and statements too closely related.Do not use a semicolon when a period would work just as well.
12AP Style: Other RulesUse the word “said” instead of commented, related, stated etc. when attributing a quote.Place the attribution at the end of quotes.Always place the period or comma before last quotation mark.“I had a headache,” said Mr. Cappotelli.“I had a headache,” said Mr. Cappotelli, “it hurt really bad.”Make sure you qualify your attribution with a grade or title.“I love school,” yearbook adviser Mr. Cappotelli said.Proper titles are set in quotation marks, not underlined“To Kill a Mockingbird”Don’t underline websites
13AP Style: The bottom line Stick to the rules and stay consistent!For spelling questions, refer to Google or a dictionary!If you don’t know, ask. Don’t just assume or do it your way or the way you were taught in LA. Writing as a journalist is different