AP Style Usage Tips

For writing style, College Relations follows the Associated Press Stylebook guidelines. AP style is a very comprehensive list of writing rules and can be tricky at times. Below we have compiled a list  of some common AP style rules that may be helpful when preparing written communication for COCC.

AP Style Book

Detailed rules and information can be found on the AP style website - www.apstylebook.com.


Notes on Common AP Style Examples

Dates and Times:

  • Abbreviate the months when used with dates (Except March, April, May and June).
  • Spell out months when used without dates ("There will be six films shown in September").
  • Use day with date (Monday, Nov. 5).
  • In dates, use numerals without "st" or "th" (March 1, not March 1st)
  • Always use 'a.m.' and 'p.m.' instead of 'o'clock,' 'morning' and 'evening;' use 'noon' and 'midnight' instead of 12.
  • Use 'to' not '-' when separating times (7 to 9 p.m., not 7 - 9 p.m.); also, don't use a.m. and p.m. twice, unless it changes (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. is okay; however 3 to 5 p.m.)
  • Do not use unnecessary zeroes (8 p.m., not 8:00 p.m.)


  • Except for dates, times, prices, budget figures, etc., spell out number one through nine and use numerals for 10 and above. Spell out any numbers at the beginning of sentences (or avoid using them at the beginning).
  • On prices, do not use unnecessary zeroes ($4, not $4.00); spell out cents (75 cents, not $.75).
  • Internet-related words: website, webcam, webcast, webmaster, the web, web page, web feed


  • Title normally goes after name and in lower case.
  • If using a title before the name, use commas only if the sentence could run without the person's name ("The president, Barack Obama, spoke").
  • Titles that are occupational descriptions should not be capitalized and do not need commas before the name ("Noted author Stephen King will be on campus next Wednesday").
  • No comma before Jr. or Sr. (Martin Luther King Jr.)


  • Do not break words at the end of a line.
  • Do not break paragraphs at the end of a page.

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