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A quick reference guide to AP style.

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AP Style Quick Reference Guide

  • Addresses: The City of Albuquerque omits the causeway (e.g. "Boulevard," "Street"). We deviate from typical AP style in this way.

    “309 San Mateo NE”

  • Ages: Use cardinal numbers.

    “The 28-year-old man has a son who is 2 years old.”

  • Capitalization: Avoid excess capitalization. Capitalize pronouns.
  • Commas: Contrary to the dictation of AP style, we do use the Oxford comma at the City.

    “We brought juice, carrots, and sandwiches."

  • Composition Titles: Quotation marks around book titles, movie titles, etc.
  • Dates: Spell out March, April, May, June, and July; abbreviate all other months. Dates take the form “Sept. 8, 2010.” Do not use "nd," "rd," or "st" at the end of the day. Always spell out the day of the week.
  • Decades: “1980s,” “We grew up in the '80s”
  • Email (not e-mail)
  • Hyphenation: Hyphenate phrases when they modify a noun like an adjective would. A good rule of thumb is if the phrase comes after the noun, it isn’t hyphenated. Also, -ly acts the same way as a hyphen to connect words.

    “driving on a one-way street”
    “the street runs one way”
    “the badly needed water”

  • Money: Never include both the $ sign and the word “dollar” (as in “$1 dollar”). It is redundant. Cardinal numbers are used in all cases up to $999,999. If the dollar amount is whole, do not include the cents amount (as in "$1.00").

    "$1 or $1.99"
    "$1 million"
    "99 cents"

  • Months: Spell out months when in sentence format.

    “The party was in December.”
    “He moved to Santa Fe in October 2008 and to Albuquerque in April 2010.”

  • Numbers: Use cardinal numbers for 1-9. Spell out numbers 10 and up. (exceptions: age, proper nouns, percentages, decimals, dimensions, weight, or temperature)
  • Seasons: Do not capitalize.
  • Theater (not theatre, unless that is the name of the theater itself)
  • Times: "1 p.m.," "1:30 p.m." 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. are referred to as "midnight" and "noon."
  • Titles: Capitalize titles when they’re used as “Mr. or Mrs.” would be used.

    “Barack Obama is the president...”
    “Please stand for President Barack Obama.”

  • website (not web site)
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