What is Your Writing Style?

AP Style and how to use it in your writing.

There are many different styles that you can adopt when writing an article. The three most common are AP Style, Chicago Manual and New York Times. When writing an article it is important to adopt one and stick to it throughout.

The method I am going to work through is AP Style. The other two do not generally alter much from this main type. Here is a quick whistle-stop tour of the AP style of writing.

Names

When writing names, you initially put both of the names. After the first mention, you then use only the surname.

Martha Stewart cooked the cake. When interviewed Stewart said it was all in the wrist.

When talking about two names you use the Mr and Mrs for the names.

Rita Smith and Tom Smith went to the cinema. Mr Smith said he hated the film.

Addresses

Street addresses are always written in full and never abbreviated. The house number is written in numerical form.

Ages

Ages are written in number form. If the age is an adjective or substituted for a noun, then hyphenate the age.

Tom Smith is 7 years old.

The school is open for 12-year-olds.

Dates

Dates are written in numerical form. March to July are never abbreviated. If the writing consists of months that do not contain numbers, then they are not abbreviated.

December is cold

My appointment is Dec 5th.

Numbers

Number 1–9 are spelt out, 10 plus are written as numerals.

Sid has five sweets

Sid has 25 sweets.

Money is always expressed as a symbol. Percentages are always expressed numerically.

My tips were 5% more.

Job Titles

Job titles are capitalised before the names, but not if after the name.

Tom Smith is an editor.

Editor Tom Smith

Proper Names

Proper names such as movie titles and songs are always put in quotation marks.

I love ‘The Hunger Games.’

Finally

You need to follow a consistent format and style throughout your articles. When you accomplish this you will have a style that is attractive to magazines. Some freelance jobs may specify the style that needs to be used. In this case, ensure that you follow the style mentioned.

Which style do you use for your writing?

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