AP Style

  1. a.m./p.m.
    always lowercase with periods, avoid redundant 10 a.m. this morning
  2. abbreviations/acronyms
    use if common person will recognize it, (Dr., Gov., Jr., Sr., A.D., B.C., certain months, No. 8)
  3. accept/except
    accept means to receive, except means to exclude
  4. accommodate
  5. adresses
    use Ave., Blvd., and St. with numbered adresses, spell them out if no number; lowercase when alone, spell out first through ninth when used as street names, numbers above that; abbreviate compass points in numered adress spell out if not
  6. admit/acknowlegde
    admit implies doing wrong, use acknowlegde
  7. adviser
    not advisor
  8. affect/effect
    affestens to influence, effect means to cause
  9. afterward/toward/forward
    not afterwards, towards, forwards
  10. ages
    alays use figures; hyphen when expressed before a noun (5-year-old boy)
  11. all right
    never alright, hyphen when used as a compound modifier
  12. alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae
    alumnus (alumni)= man who attended school (plural

    alumna (alumnae)= woman who attended school (plural)
  13. ammendments to the constitution
    use First; 10th; plead the Fifth
  14. among/between
    between for two items; among refers to three or more
  15. bad/badly
    bad should not be used as an adverb, but may be used as an adjective
  16. because/since
    use because to denote a specfic cause and effect relationship; since in a more casual sense
  17. capital/capitol
    Capitol is always capitalized when referring to the building
  18. capitalization
    capitalize proper nouns, proper names, popular names and the first word of a sentence
  19. cents
    spell out the word cents for numeral less than one dollar (5 cents); use the $ sign and decimal system for larger amounts ($1.01)
  20. century
    lowercase, spelling out numbers less than 10 (first century, 20th century)
  21. children/kids
    call children 15 and younger by first name on second referece, unless seriousness calls for it
  22. collective nouns
    nouns that denote a unit use singular verbs; team names and band names take plural verbs
  23. commas in a series
    no oxford commas
  24. complement/compliment
    complement is a noun and verb meaning completeness; compliment is praise
  25. compose/comprise
    compose means to create or put together;comprise means to contain
  26. composition titles
    quotes except for the Bible and catalogs of reference
  27. criterion/criteria
    criterion is singular
  28. dates
    always use figures without st, nd, rd, or th
  29. days of the week
    capitalize, dont abbreviate unless in a table
  30. decades
    use figures to indicate decades of history; use apostrophe for numerals left out; show plural by addin the letter s (the mid '30s)
  31. defendant
  32. demolish/destroy
    to do away with something completely; redundant to say totally destroyed
  33. dimensions
    use figures and spell out worrd; hyphenate adjectival forms before nouns (the 5-foot-tall man)
  34. dollars
    use figures and $ sign
  35. each other/ one another
    • each other = two people
    • one another = more than two people
  36. each/either
    each takes a singular verb; either means one or the other, not both
  37. emigrate/immigrate
    one who leaves emigrates; one who comes immigrates
  38. ensure/insure
    ensure means to guarantee; insure for references to insurance
  39. hopefully
    means in a hopeful manner; not used to mean it is hoped, let us hope, or we hope
  40. magazine titles
    not in quotes
  41. months
    only abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.; spell out when using alone
  42. seasons
    lowercase unless part of a formal name
  43. newspaper titles
    not in quotes
  44. farther/further
    farther refers to physical distance; further refers to extension of time or degree
  45. fewer/less
    fewer refers to individuals; less refers to bulk or quantity
  46. flier/flyer
    flier refers to a bill or handbill; flyer refers to a proper name for tains and busses
  47. gender neutral titles
    firefighters, not firemen
  48. holidays
    capitalize them
  49. homicide/murder/manslaughter
    slaying or killing; malicious, premeditated; without malice
  50. last/past
    do not use last as a synonym for latest; use pasat when talking about previous
  51. lay/lie
    • action word: lay (laid, laying)
    • reclining horizontally: lie (lay, lain)
  52. like/as
    like compares, as introduces clauses
  53. login/log in
    always two words in verb form
  54. media/medium
    medium is in singular form
  55. over/more than
    over refers to spatial relationships; more than refers to numerals
  56. people/persons
    person is an individual; people is plural
  57. percent
    one word, written out, with numerals used for numbers
  58. pore/pour
    pore is to gaze intently; pour is a continuos stream
  59. principal/principle
    principal is a rank of authority; principle is found truth
  60. rebut/refute
    rebut is to argue to the contrary; refute is to break down someone's argument
  61. semiannual/biennial
    semiannual is twice a year; biennial is once every two years
  62. State Names
    only 8 not abbrevited (Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah)
  63. stationary/stationery
    ary is to stand still; ery is writing paper
  64. temperatures
    use words to indicate below zero; use figures except for zero; temps fo up and down in numbers not get warmer and colder
  65. that/which
    that is used with essential clauses, no comma; which is used in nonessential clauses, usually with a comma
  66. under way
    always two words
  67. who/whom
    who is the subject, whom is the object of the preposition
Card Set
AP Style
AP Style