City Website Writing Guide

A quick reference guide to writing in AP style for the City of Albuquerque website.

Use this style guide to create accessible, consistent, and easily readable content across the website.

Overview

These topics apply to all content you add to the website. Find more detailed information and resources below.

  • Our Visitors - Know your audience so that our diverse community can quickly and easily access the information you share.
  • Style - Use AP Style except in a few noted cases.
  • Inclusive - Make sure all content is accessible to people using a screen reader, translation services, a cell phone, and a desk top computer.
  • Plain Language - Write for the web the same way you talk. Do not use jargon, extra words, complicated words, or repetitive information. Use short headers, sentences, and paragraphs. Always use active voice.
  • Professional & Accurate - We are expected to provide complete, up-to-date, and accurate public information.
  • Formatting - Keep in mind that the way you organize your information is as important as what you write. For more information, view the City Website Formatting Guide.

Our Visitors

The better you know your audience, the better you are able to provide the information you are looking for. The web team is happy to provide analytics of your page views and calls to 311.

  • More than 10,000 visitors access the website each day.
  • A little more than half of our visitors use a mobile device to access the website.
  • This website is the primary knowledge base for our 311 Community Contact Center agents.
  • This website ranks very high in Google searches.
  • The vast majority of visitors get to this site from a Google search.

AP Style Quick Reference Guide

Download the AP Style Quick Reference Guide

Addresses

We don't use AP Style for address. Instead, use the number, street name, cardinals, zip cone and omit the causeway (St. Blvd. Rd.). Example: “309 San Mateo NE, 87110”

Capitalization

Capitalize "City" when in reference to the "City of Albuquerque." Capitalize "City Council."

Commas

We don't use AP Style for commas. Instead, use the Oxford comma before the word "and" in a series.

Dates

Spell out March, April, May, June, July and abbreviate all other months. Do not use "nd" "rd" or "st" at the end of the day. Spell out the day of the week. Example: “Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010”

Numbers

Use cardinal numbers for 1-9. Spell out numbers 10 and up. Use cardinal numbers age, dates, percentages, decimals, dimensions, weight, and temperature.

Phone Numbers

Use figures and include area code and hyphens so the phone number can be clicked on a cell phone. Example: 505-768-2000

Times

"1 p.m.," "1:30 p.m." Use "midnight" and "noon."

Website

Spell website as a single word (not web site).

Inclusive

Accessibility Quick Reference Guide

  • Provide informative, unique page titles
  • Use headings to convey meaning and structure
  • Make link text meaningful (no "click here" links)
  • Write meaningful text alternatives for images (always fill out descriptions for images, links, pdfs, etc.)
  • Create transcripts and captions for multimedia
  • Provide clear instructions
  • Keep content clear and concise

The W3C has a Writing for Web Accessibility Guide that is both succinct and informative.

Languages

When sharing info in another language, use the name of that language to link to or describe your info.

Languages in English

Original form

English

English

Spanish

Español

Vietnamese

Tiếng Việt

Chinese (Traditional)

中文
Zhōngwén

French

Français

Swahili

kiswahili

Kinyarwanda

Kinyarwanda

Farsi (Persian)

فارسی

Dari

دری

Pashto

پښتو

Korean

한국어
hangugeo

Portuguese

Português

Russian

Русский

Arabic

العربية

Japanese

日本語
nihongo

Demographic Information

View the Office of Equity & Inclusion guide to collecting demographic information on all questionnaires.