Do it with (AP) Style

Take the AP Style Quiz

newspaperAssociated Press style is the gold standard for journalistic writing in the U.S. (And a lot of other things, too.) From personal essays you’re hoping to freelance to press releases for a client, knowing whether it’s e-mail or email will give your copy a clean look that editors will love. (Or, at least, give you some good writing karma!)Take the Writers’ Week AP Style Quiz and test your skills. If you’re rusty, or even if you’re not, consider  an online subscription to AP’s online stylebook. Or pickup a hard copy. You can also follow @APStylebook on Twitter.

1    What’s the correct style for a state when it’s used in a dateline or in conjunction with a city?

Alaska: AK, Alak., Alaska

Delaware: DE, Del., Dela.

Pennsylvania: Penn., Pa., PA

Texas: Texas, Tex., Txs.

Wisconsin: Wisc., WI, Wis.

New Jersey: N.J., NJ, Jersey

California: Cali., Calif., CA


2    More than/Over:

The book has more than/over 1,500 style mistakes.


3    Temblor/Tremblor:

The earthquake had a magnitude of 5.6 and rattled homes across the region. Geologists blamed the temblor/tremblor on a long-dormant fault line.


4    Numbers:

a)    Eighty/80 books were donated.

b)    Officials said there were six/6 robberies overnight.

c)     The hurricane was the eleventh/11th storm of the season.


5    Political Affiliations:

Michele Bachmann has support of the Tea Party/tea party. But the Minnesota Republican/republican faces a heated battle from GOP/Grand Old Party rival, Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

6    Wine:

Like all good writers, she relaxed after a long day at the computer by enjoying an oaky Chardonnay/chardonnay or a nice, full-bodied Bordeaux/bordeaux.


7    He ran to the local Wal-Mart/Walmart to pick up some groceries.


8   Abbreviations:

a)    Senator/Sen. Debbie Stabenow

b)    Rev./Reverend/Pastor Al Sharpton


9    Tech Things:

a)    She couldn’t stop hitting refresh on the website/Web site.

b)    He hastily sent the e-mail/email without proofreading.

c)     Stewart issued an edict, saying no one was allowed to use their smartphones/Smart Phones/ SmartPhones during board meetings.

d)    As Internet/internet dates go, this one was going down in flames.


For quiz answers, click here. (No cheating!)

About Emily Suess

Emily Suess is a technical marketing writer by day and a freelance copywriter by night. And, no, she's not related to Dr. Seuss.
  • Melissa Breau

    *Spoiler alert* 
    I’ve got to say it drives me crazy that the AP style still requires you to capitalize Internet; it just feels old fashioned. In general AP style is my fav3 (I did fairly well on the quiz—though the wine question def. tripped me up). 

    • Emily Suess

      I feel the same way about those instances where I have to put a caps on Web. Thank goodness language and style evolve!

  • Lindsey

    Oh wow, there are a lot of these I didn’t know. Glad I picked the AP book :)

  • Ashley

    When they changed e-mail to email, my fingers basically had a seizure trying to unlearn a decade of muscle memory. Still drives me nuts.

  • Elisabeth Kauffman

    I <3 my AP style book. :) It gets referred to often.

    @twitter-15949299:disqus My finger-seizure came when I learned that you only put one space after a period. My whole academic career I'd been drilled to put two spaces! It was a life-changer.

  • Kim02

    i did gr8 !!!!!

  • Pingback: Virtual Goodie Bag for Writers | Suess's Pieces

  • Pingback: Building Your Freelance Writing Career | Suess's Pieces

  • Pingback: Never stop learning « rockstarjournalist

  • Pingback: Never stop learning « rockstarjournalist

  • Susan

    I thought it was The Rev. Al Sharpton. Did AP change the style so you no longer have to write “the” before Rev.?