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AP Style Guide: Home



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Smith Library: 336.841.9101

Wanek Learning Commons: 336.841.9002

What is Associated Press (AP) Style?

What is Associated Press (AP) Style?

Associated Press (AP) Style provides guidelines and style conventions for news writing. AP Style aims to create consistency amongst teams of multiple journalists, writers, and editors, as well as avoid unintentionally offensive language. The entries provide current guidelines on a broad range of topics, from proper abbreviations and numeral usage, to specialized terminology and media law.

The AP Stylebook includes thousands of entries, far more than is useful to list on this guide. Please consult one of the stylebooks we have available at the HPU Libraries for a complete listing of conventions.

How Do I Borrow an AP Stylebook from HPU Libraries?

Our AP stylebooks are kept in non-circulating Reference collections at both Smith Library and the Wanek Center Learning Commons. Though patrons cannot check out these items, we do encourage students to scan or copy sections they need from the stylebooks for later reference.

You can find the Smith Library AP stylebooks in the Quick Reference section on the main floor, near the Research Services Desk. There are printers with scanners on both the main floor and lower level of Smith.

The Wanek Center Learning Commons Reference collection is next to the checkout desk. Printers for scanning and copying are in the printer room at the back of the Learning Commons.

AP Stylebooks

How Do I Use an AP Stylebook?

Because attempting to memorize an AP Stylebook would be similar to trying to memorize a dictionary, it is more important to be familiar with the types of rules an AP Stylebook contains. If you know how to navigate the stylebook efficiently, knowing a rule exists in the book is almost as good as knowing the rule itself.


Using the Index

The final section in the Stylebook is the index. Terms covered in the Stylebook are listed in alphabetical order, along with the page number the associated entry is located on. Some terms in the index will also include the phrase "See also" with an additional term or terms listed. These additional terms are related to the term you looked up in the index. Be sure to look up the "see also" terms; the "see also" terms will often have important information and usage guidelines for the original term you looked up.

Stylebook Sections

Other than the index, the AP Stylebook contains a number of useful sections. These include the Stylebook itself, which is an a-z listing of guides to capitalization, abbreviation, spelling, numerals, and usage. Further sections include guidelines on broadcasting, business, data journalism, food, religion, sports, and punctuation. Take a look at the table of contents at the beginning of the book to see a full listing of all the sections.


How Do I Get Help with AP Style?

The HPU librarians are happy to assist in locating AP stylebooks, navigating the stylebooks for specific content, or helping you save portions of the material for later use. We offer both walk-up assistance, as well as consultations scheduled via our appointment platform.

For questions regarding AP Style writing conventions, or checking your written material against the AP Style guidelines, we recommend scheduling an appointment with the HPU Writing Center.

HPU Writing Center

The HPU Writing Center is coordinated by the English Department and is available by appointment only. To make an appointment, click on the link below, register as a user, log in, choose a location, and choose an available time slot.

HPU Writing Center Appointment Scheduler