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The Associated Press Stylebook is a manual that both journalists and public relations practitioners follow. AP Style includes rules and formatting suggestions for written documents. Journalists use it in articles, while PR practitioners use it in press releases. The stylebook changes a bit every year, sometimes to reflect cultural terms or new words. In general, there are few easy rules for journalists and PR practitioners to remember.
1. Numbers one through nine are spelled out, while numbers 10 and above are typically represented as numerals. Example: “I have three pets at home.”
2. Percentages are always represented as numerals, while the word “percent” is spelled out. Example: “I give 100 percent of my attention to this job.”
3. Ages are always represented as numerals. Example: “She is 25 years old.”
4. Dollar amounts use the “$” sign and express the amounts as numerals. Example: “You have $12,000 in the bank.”
5. Dates are represented as numerals. The months of August through February are abbreviated, and the months of March through July are never abbreviated. “Th” is also not used when mentioning the month. Example: “I have an appointment with the doctor on Dec. 6.”
6. Farther means physical distance, while further is an extension of time or degree. Example: “You walked farther than your friend” or “I will look further into the issue.”
7. Street addresses are expressed as numerals. If terms like “street”, “way” or “road” are paired with a number, they are abbreviated. If not, they are spelled out. Two exceptions are “route” and “road”, which are never abbreviated. Example: “You live at 546 Sycamore St. Her work office is on Holmes Road.”
8. United States and U.S. are used in different cases. United States is used as a noun, while U.S. is used as an adjective. Example: “I live in the United States. I live on U.S. territory.”
9. Job titles are capitalized before a person’s name, but lowercase after the name or independent of it. Example: “President Barack Obama is in the White House. The president is speaking.”
10. Media titles, like those of films, books and songs, are capitalized and put in quotation marks. Quotation marks should not be used for reference books, magazines or newspapers. Example: “I saw the movie ‘Frozen’ last week.”
Interested in knowing more about AP Style? The stylebook can be purchased online for multiple devices. To purchase the AP Stylebook, click here.