AP Style Guidelines
The Associated Press Stylebook at UAMS
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has adopted the Associated Press (AP) guidelines for grammar, punctuation and writing style. The Associated Press Stylebook provides a uniform presentation of the printed word to make copy written anywhere understandable everywhere. The AP’s standard reference for spelling is Webster’s New World College Dictionary.
The following selections are the most frequently used guidelines at UAMS. A few have undergone minor revisions, in order to focus on and/or address issues that pertain to the UAMS community.
AP Stylebook Guidelines at UAMS
academic degrees Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, etc., but not in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. Also, there is no apostrophe in associate degree.
When mentioning an academic degree to establish someone’s credentials, do not use an academic abbreviation; instead, use a phrase such as: He has a doctorate in psychology. (NOT: He has a Ph.D. in psychology.) She received her medical degree from UAMS. (NOT: She received her M.D. from UAMS.)
Use an academic abbreviation only after a full name – never after just a last name – and only on first reference. When used after a name, an academic abbreviation contains periods and is set off by commas: Stephanie Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., spoke at the conference.
Do not precede a name with a courtesy title for an academic degree and follow it with the abbreviation for the degree in the same reference:
Wrong: Dr. Suzanne Klimberg, M.D., is a surgeon.
Right: Suzanne Klimberg, M.D., is a surgeon.
addresses Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. only with numbered addresses: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Spell them out and capitalize when part of formal street names without numbers: Pennsylvania Avenue. Lowercase and spell them out when used with more than one street name: Massachusetts and Pennsylvania avenues.
All similar words – circle, drive, lane, road, terrace, etc. – are always spelled out.
Always use figures for address numbers: 501 Jack Stephens Drive.
Spell out and capitalize First through Ninth when used with street names: 7 Fifth Ave. Use figures with two letters for 10th and above: 100 21st St.
Abbreviate compass points used to indicate directional ends of streets in numbered addresses: 4301 W. Markham St. Do not abbreviate if the number is omitted: West Markham Street.
Use periods in the abbreviation P.O. for P.O. Box numbers.
Use these forms, as appropriate, for highways identified by number: U.S. Route 1, U.S. 1, Route 1, U.S. Highway 34, Interstate Highway 495, Interstate 495. On second reference only for Interstate, use I-495. When a letter is appended to a number, capitalize it, but do not use a hyphen: Route 1A.
Also see separate entry for states.
African-American Acceptable for an American black person of African descent. Also acceptable is black. The terms are not necessarily interchangeable. People from Caribbean nations, for example, generally refer to themselves as Caribbean-American. Follow a person’ preference.
after- Do not put a hyphen after this prefix when it is used to form a noun: aftereffect, afterthought.
Do put a hyphen after this prefix when it is used to form a compound adjective: after-dinner drink, after-theater snack.
afterward Do not use afterwards.
ages Always use figures for people and animals, but not for inanimate objects: The girl is 12 years old. The woman, 35, has a daughter, 10. The boy’s sister is 9 months old. The law is eight years old.
Use hyphens for ages expressed as adjectives before nouns and as substitutes for nouns: The 5-year-old boy played in the yard. The race is for 3-year-olds.
For years expressed in decades, do not use an apostrophe: The man is in his 50s.
AIDS This is acceptable in all references for acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
Alzheimer’s disease Lowercase disease.
American Hospital Association AHA is acceptable on second reference.
American Medical Association AMA is acceptable on second reference.
among, between In general, use between to introduce two items and among to introduce three or more items.
ampersand (&) Use the ampersand when it is part of a company’s formal name: Procter & Gamble. Otherwise, the ampersand should not be used in place of and.
annual An event cannot be described as annual until it has been held in at least two successive years. Do not use the term first annual; instead, note that the sponsors plan to hold an event annually.
ante- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: antebellum, antedate.
anti- Hyphenate all words containing this prefix except the following, which have specific meanings of their own:
antibiotic antiparticle (and similar terms in physics, such as antiproton)
This approach has been adopted in the interests of readability and easily remembered consistency.
association Do not abbreviate this word. Capitalize as part of a proper name: The American Medical Association is the nation’s largest physician group. When used alone, do not capitalize: Members of the association meet on the third Tuesday of the month.
baby boomer Lowercase, without a hyphen.
backward Do not use backwards.
bi- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: bifocal, bilateral, bilingual, bimonthly.
board of directors, board of trustees Always lowercase these and similar widely used internal elements of an organization.
book titles Put quotation marks around them and capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters (about, from, into, with and similar words).
building Never abbreviate. Capitalize the proper names of buildings, including the word building if it is an integral part of the proper name: The Empire State Building is a well-known landmark. When used alone, do not capitalize: The building was demolished last week.
by- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: bypass, byproduct, bystreet.
Caesarean section Caesarean is capitalized.
cancel, canceled, canceling Spell with only one l. However, cancellation contains two l’s.
cannot It is one word.
caregiver, caretaker Both are one word, with no hyphen.
center Capitalize when it is part of a proper name: UAMS Medical Center provides excellent patient care. Do not capitalize when it is used alone: She will arrive at the center at noon.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Spell out on first reference. CDC is acceptable on second reference and takes a singular verb.
chair Capitalize as a formal title before a name: Orthopaedics Department Chair C. Lowry Barnes, M.D., attended the meeting. Lowercase and spell out in all other instances, including when set off from a person’s name by commas and when used without a name: C. Lowry Barnes, M.D., the chairman of orthpaedics, attended the meeting. The chairman attended the meeting.
Do not use chairperson unless it is an organization’s formal title for office.
chapters Capitalize when used with a numeral in reference to a section of a book or legal code, and always use figures: Chapter 1, Chapter 20. Lowercase when the word is used alone.
cities and towns Capitalize them in all uses.
When used in copy, some U.S. cities are not followed by their states. Determining factors are each city’s population, the frequency of the city’s appearance in the news, the uniqueness of its name and experience that has shown the name to be almost synonymous with its state.
The following U.S. cities stand alone in copy:
Atlanta Houston Philadelphia
Baltimore Indianapolis Phoenix
Boston Las Vegas Pittsburgh
Chicago Los Angeles St. Louis
Cincinnati Miami Salt Lake City
Cleveland Milwaukee San Antonio
Dallas Minneapolis San Diego
Denver New Orleans San Francisco
Detroit New York City Seattle
Honolulu Oklahoma City Washington, D.C.
There are also foreign cities that are not followed by their countries, with the determining factors being the same as those for U.S. cities.
co- Hyphenate all nouns, adjectives and verbs that indicate occupation or status: co-author, co-chairman, co-sponsor, co-worker. Do not hyphenate other combinations: coeducation, coexist, coexistence, cooperate, cooperative, coordinate, coordination.
college Capitalize when it is part of a proper name: The UAMS College of Public Health held its dedication ceremony in 2004. Do not capitalize when it is used alone: The college will sponsor a fundraising event in April.
committee Capitalize when it is part of a formal name: He is a member of the Committee on Pain Management of the American Back Society. Do not capitalize when it is used alone: The committee will meet twice a month.
company, companies Use Co. or Cos. when a business uses either word at the end of its proper name: Ford Motor Co., American Broadcasting Cos. But: Aluminum Company of America.
If company or companies appears alone in second reference, lowercase the word and spell it out: The company will hold its annual meeting next month.
dates Always use Arabic figures without st, nd, rd or th.
Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec.; always spell out March, April, May, June and July. Spell out all months when using alone or with a year alone. When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas. When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with commas.
Examples: February 1981 was a cold month. May 22 is the day she will arrive. Sept. 16 was the coolest day of the month. Her birthday is Nov. 27, 1962.
Use an s without an apostrophe to indicate a span of a decade or century: the 1890s, the 1900s. Years are the lone exception to the general rule that figures cannot be used to start a sentence: 1976 was a very good year.
days of the week Capitalize them, and do not abbreviate them.
daytime Do not hyphenate.
department Capitalize when it is part of a proper name: The UAMS Medical Center Department of Patient Care Services and the UAMS Department of Construction and Contract Management collaborated on the project. Retain capitalization when the name is flip-flopped and the word of is dropped: the Patient Care Services Department, the Construction and Contract Management Department.
Do not capitalize when it is used alone: Members of the department will participate in a two-day training session.
dietitian Do not use dietician.
dimensions Use figures and spell out inches, feet, yards, etc., to indicate depth, height, length and width. Hyphenate adjectives before nouns.
Examples: He is 5 feet 10 inches tall. The 5-foot-10-inch man visited the children. The basketball team signed a 7-footer. The car is 17 feet long, 6 feet wide and 5 feet high. The rug is 9 feet by 12 feet. The 9-by-12 rug looks great in the living room.
directions and regions In general, lowercase north, south, east, west, northeast, southwest, etc., when they indicate compass direction: He drove west. The cold front is moving east.
Capitalize these words when they designate regions: The storm system developed in the Midwest. The North was victorious. She has a Southern accent. European leaders met to talk about oil supplies from Southeast Asia.
Lowercase compass points when they describe sections of states or cities: northwest Arkansas, western Texas, southern Atlanta. Capitalize compass points when they are part of proper names (North Dakota, West Virginia) and when they are used to denote widely known sections (Southern California, the South Side of Chicago).
disabled, handicapped, impaired In general, do not describe an individual as disabled or handicapped unless it is clearly pertinent to the story. Avoid such euphemisms as mentally challenged and descriptions that connote pity, such as afflicted with or suffers from multiple sclerosis. Instead, use a description such as She has multiple sclerosis.
diseases Do not capitalize such diseases as arthritis, leukemia, pneumonia, etc. When a disease is known by the name of a person identified with it, capitalize only the individual’s name: Bright’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
division Capitalize when it is part of a proper name: The Division of Cardiovascular Medicine holds an annual seminar on heart disease for the public. Retain capitalization when the name is flip-flopped and the word of is dropped: the Cardiovascular Medicine Division.
Do not capitalize when it is used alone: The department has several subspecialty divisions.
down- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: downgrade, downtown.
-down Follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary; hyphenate nouns and adjectives that are not listed there. Examples: breakdown, countdown. Verbs should be two words. Examples: break down, count down.
each other, one another Use each other for references to two people. Use one another for references to more than two people.
editor in chief Follow the style of the publication, but in general, do not hyphenate. Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name.
email Do not hyphenate and do not capitalize unless at the beginning of a sentence.
entitled Use it to mean a right to do or have something. Do not use it to mean titled. Right: She was entitled to the promotion. Right: The book was titled Gone With the Wind.
everyday, every day Use everyday (one word) as an adjective meaning ordinary before a noun: He wears everyday shoes.
Use every day (two words) as an adverb to indicate when or how often an activity is performed: She goes to work every day.
ex- Do not hyphenate words that use this prefix to mean “out of”: excommunicate. Hyphenate when using this prefix to mean “former”: ex-president.
farsighted, farsightedness These words are not hyphenated.
-fold Do not precede this suffix with a hyphen: twofold, threefold, fourfold, tenfold.
Food and Drug Administration FDA is acceptable on second reference.
fore- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: forebrain, forefather, foregoing, foretooth.
forward Do not use forwards.
fractions Spell out amounts less than 1, using hyphens between the words: two-thirds, four-fifths, seven-sixteenths. Use figures for precise amounts larger than 1, converting to decimals whenever practical: 3.9, 6.3
full- Hyphenate when used to form compound adjectives: full-length coat, full-page essay, full-scale room.
full-time, full time Hyphenate when used as a compound adjective: She has a full-time job. Otherwise: He works full time.
fundraising, fundraiser One word in all cases.
governor Capitalize and abbreviate as Gov. or Govs. when used as a formal title before one or more names in regular text: Gov. Asa Hutchinson will attend the dedication ceremony. On all subsequent references, use only the individual’s last name: Hutchinson attended the ceremony.
Capitalize and spell out when used as a formal title before one or more names in direct quotations: “Governor Asa Hutchinson will arrive at the dedication ceremony around 1 p.m.,” the event coordinator said.
Lowercase and spell out in all other uses: The governor will attend the dedication ceremony.
health care It is two words in all references unless it is specified as one word as part of an organization’s formal name, such as the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.
home page Use two words when referring to the front page of a particular website.
hometowns Use commas to set off an individual’s hometown from his or her name: Tim Johnson, of Minneapolis, was a guest speaker at the conference.
hotline Lowercase in all references.
hydro- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: hydroelectric, hydrophobia.
hyper- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: hyperactive, hypercritical.
in- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: inpatient, inbound, indoor. However, a few combinations do take hyphens: in-depth, in-group, in-house, in-law.
-in Precede this suffix with a hyphen: break-in, walk-in, write-in.
incorporated Abbreviate and capitalize as Inc. when used as part of a corporate name. Do not set it off with commas: J.C. Penney Co. Inc. announced its expansion this week.
infra- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: infrared, infrastructure.
initials Use periods and no space when an individual uses initials instead of a first name: H.L. Mencken.
inter- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix unless the main element is a proper noun: interracial, interstate, inter-American.
internet Always lowercase.
intra- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: intramural, intrastate.
intranet Always lowercase.
junior, senior Abbreviate as Jr. and Sr. only with full names. Do not precede by a comma: John F. Kennedy Jr.
lectures Capitalize formal titles of lectures and put them in quotation marks.
like- Hyphenate only when the word is used as a prefix meaning similar to: like-minded.
-like Do not precede this suffix with a hyphen unless the letter l would be tripled or the main element is a proper noun: businesslike, shell-like, German-like.
long-term, long term Hyphenate when used as a compound adjective: She requires long-term medical care. Otherwise: We will win in the long term.
longtime, long time When used as an adjective: They are longtime partners. Otherwise: They have known each other a long time.
-ly Do not use a hyphen between an adverb ending in ly and the adjective it modifies: an easily remembered rule, a badly damaged island, a fully informed woman.
magazine and professional journal titles Italicize them and capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters (about, from, into, with and similar words).
mid- Do not use a hyphen after this prefix unless a capitalized word or a figure follows: midterm, midsemester, mid-America, mid-Atlantic, mid-30s, mid-1980s.
millions, billions Use figures in all except casual uses: The nation has 1 million citizens. I need $7 billion. I’d like to make a billion dollars.
Do not go beyond two decimal places: 7.51 million people, $256 billion, 7,542,500 people.
Do not drop the word million or billion in the first figure of a range: He is worth from $2 million to $4 million.
mini- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: miniseries, miniskirt, minivan.
monetary units Use figures and the $ sign in all except casual references and amounts without figures: The book cost $4. The registration fee for the conference is $75. The new equipment will cost $3,478. Dad, please give me a dollar. Dollars are flowing overseas.
For specified amounts, use a singular verb: He said $500,000 is what they want.
Spell out the word cents and lowercase, using numerals for amounts that are less than a dollar: 5 cents, 12 cents, 88 cents. Use the $ sign and decimal system for larger amounts: $1.01, $2.50, $98.57. Do not include .00 when there are no cents in the amount.
monthlong It is one word. Do not hyphenate.
movie titles Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters (about, from, into, with and similar words), and put the titles in quotation marks.
multi- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: multicolored, multidisciplinary, multilateral, multimillionaire.
names Give a person’s full name on first reference; if appropriate, include academic abbreviation(s), set off by commas, after the name. Use only the last name on all subsequent references. As an otolaryngologist, James Y. Suen, M.D., subspecializes in head and neck oncology. Suen was co-founder of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at UAMS.
Use Dr. and Mr. only in direct quotations. Use Mrs., Miss and Ms. only in direct quotations. When it is necessary to distinguish between two people who use the same last name, as in married couples or brothers and sisters, use the first and last name, without courtesy title.
nearsighted, nearsightedness These words are not hyphenated.
newspaper titles Italicize them.
nighttime Do not hyphenate.
No. Use this abbreviation for number in conjunction with a figure to indicate position or rank: No. 1 man, No. 3 choice. Do not use it in street addresses or school names.
non- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix when forming a compound adjective that does not have special meaning and can be understood if not is used before the base word: nonprofit, noncontroversial, nonaligned.
Use a hyphen before proper nouns and in awkward combinations: non-Republican, non-nuclear.
numerals In general, spell out whole numbers below 10 and use figures for 10 and above: They have three sons and two daughters. She has 15 pairs of black shoes.
Spell out first through ninth when they indicate sequence in time or location: He ran to third base. She was first in line. They reviewed the Fifth Amendment in class. Use figures for 10th and above: She wrote her 15th book last year.
Spell out numerals at the beginning of sentences; reorganize the sentence if necessary. The sole exception to this rule is numerals that identify calendar years.
Wrong: 993 freshmen entered the college last year.
Right: Last year, 993 freshmen entered the college.
Right: 1976 was a very good year.
Spell out casual expressions: A thousand times no! Thanks a million. He walked a quarter of a mile.
See separate entries for specific guidelines for addresses, ages, chapters, dates, dimensions, fractions, millions and billions, monetary units (dollars and cents), No., page numbers, percent, room numbers, telephone numbers, times and weights.
off-, -off Follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary; hyphenate words that are not listed there. Examples: off-color, off-white, offhand, offset, send-off, cutoff, liftoff.
OK Do not use okay.
online It is one word in all uses. Do not hyphenate.
out- Follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary; hyphenate words that are not listed there. Examples: outpatient, outdated, output.
-out Follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary; hyphenate nouns and adjectives that are not listed there. Examples: fade-out, hide-out, fallout, pullout, workout. Verbs should be two words. Examples: fade out, hide out, pull out.
over- Follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary; hyphenate words that are not listed there. Examples: overexert, overrate, override.
-over Follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary; hyphenate nouns and adjectives that are not listed there. Examples: carry-over, holdover, takeover. Verbs should be two words. Examples: carry over, take over.
over, more than Over generally refers to spatial relationships: The plane flew over the city. He threw the ball over the fence. More than is preferred with numerals: Their salaries increased more than $20 a week. There are more than 35 students in the class. She has worked at UAMS for more than 10 years.
page numbers Use figures and capitalize page when used with a figure: Page 1, Page 10. When a letter is attached to the figure, capitalize it, but do not use a hyphen: Page 22A.
Pap smear or test Pap is capitalized; test or smear is lowercase.
Parkinson’s disease Lowercase disease.
part-time, part time Hyphenate when used as a compound adjective: She has a part-time job. Otherwise: He works part time.
people, persons Use person when speaking of an individual. People is preferred to persons in all plural uses. Persons should be used only when it is in a direct quote or part of an organization’s official title, as in the Bureau of Missing Persons.
percent Spell out as one word in all references: percent. (NOT per cent or %).
Always use figures: 4 percent, 33 percent. Use decimal points, not fractions, when appropriate: 65.8 percent. For amounts less than 1 percent, precede the decimal point with a zero: 0.7 percent.
Repeat percent with each individual figure: He said 10 percent to 25 percent of the members may not vote.
post- Follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary; hyphenate words that are not listed there. Examples: postdoctoral, postgraduate, postoperative, post-mortem.
pre- Hyphenate if the word that follows this prefix begins with e: pre-eminent, pre-exist. Otherwise, follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary, hyphenating words that are not listed there. Examples: precondition, predispose, premedical, prenatal, preoperative.
president Capitalize and spell out only as a formal title before one or more names: President Barak Obama, Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. On all subsequent references, use only the individual’s last name: Obama visited the troops in Iraq.
Lowercase and spell out in all other uses: The president will attend the meeting. Abraham Lincoln was the president during the Civil War.
pro- Hyphenate words that denote support for something: pro-business, pro-labor, pro-peace, pro-war.
program Capitalize when it is part of a proper name: The Adolescent Eating Disorders Program in the Department of Pediatrics is starting a public awareness campaign. Do not capitalize when it is used alone: The program is starting a public awareness campaign.
representative Capitalize and abbreviate as Rep. or Reps. when used as a formal title before one or more names in regular text: Rep. French Hill will attend the dedication ceremony. On all subsequent references, use only the individual’s last name: Hill attended the ceremony.
Capitalize and spell out when used as a formal title before one or more names in direct quotations: “Representative French Hill will arrive at the dedication ceremony around 1 p.m.,” the event coordinator said.
Lowercase and spell out in all other uses: The representative will attend the dedication ceremony.
Add U.S. or state before the title only if necessary to avoid confusion.
Rep. and U.S. Rep. – not Congressman and Congresswoman – are the preferred first-reference forms when a formal title is used before the name of a U.S. House of Representatives member. Congressman and congresswoman, in lowercase, may be used in subsequent references that do not use an individual’s name.
room numbers Use figures and capitalize room when used with a figure: Room 7, Room 216. When a letter is attached to the figure, capitalize it, but do not use a hyphen: Room G141A.
rooms Capitalize the names of specially designated rooms: the Betsy Blass Conference Room, the Sam Walton Auditorium.
R.S.V.P. Capitalize all letters, with periods after each letter.
seasons Lowercase spring, summer, fall and winter and their derivatives, such as springtime, unless part of a formal name: Summer Olympics, Dartmouth Winter Carnival.
self- Always hyphenate: self-assured, self-defense, self-esteem.
semi- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix unless the word that follows it begins with i: semifinal, semiofficial, semi-invalid.
senator Capitalize and abbreviate as Sen. or Sens. when used as a formal title before one or more names in regular text: Sen. John Boozman will attend the dedication ceremony. On all subsequent references, use only the individual’s last name: Boozman attended the ceremony.
Capitalize and spell out when used as a formal title before one or more names in direct quotations: “Senator John Boozman will arrive at the dedication ceremony around 1 p.m.,” the event coordinator said.
Lowercase and spell out in all other uses: The senator will attend the dedication ceremony.
Add U.S. or state before the title only if necessary to avoid confusion.
state names Spell out the names of the 50 U.S. states when they stand alone in textual material: California is one of the largest states in the country.
The names of the following eight states are never abbreviated in textual material: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah.
Use the following abbreviations when referring to states are paired with cities, towns, villages and military bases:
Alabama: Ala. Maryland: Md. North Dakota: N.D.
Arizona: Ariz. Massachusetts: Mass. Oklahoma: Okla.
Arkansas: Ark. Michigan: Mich. Oregon: Ore.
California: Calif. Minnesota: Minn. Pennsylvania: Pa.
Colorado: Colo. Mississippi: Miss. Rhode Island: R.I.
Connecticut: Conn. Missouri: Mo. South Carolina: S.C.
Delaware: Del. Montana: Mont. South Dakota: S.D.
Florida: Fla. Nebraska: Neb. Tennessee: Tenn.
Georgia: Ga. Nevada: Nev. Vermont: Vt.
Illinois: Ill. New Hampshire: N.H. Virginia: Va.
Indiana: Ind. New Jersey: N.J. Washington: Wash.
Kansas: Kan. New Mexico: N.M. West Virginia: W.Va.
Kentucky: Ky. New York: N.Y. Wisconsin: Wis.
Louisiana: La. North Carolina: N.C. Wyoming: Wyo.
Examples: UAMS is located in Little Rock, Ark. She traveled from Charleston, S.C., to St. Paul, Minn. The southernmost state capital in the nation is Austin, Texas.
Also see separate entry for cities and towns.
The following are the U.S. Postal Service abbreviations for all 50 states; use them only with full addresses, including zip codes:
Alabama: AL Louisiana: LA Ohio: OH
Alaska: AK Maine: ME Oklahoma: OK
Arizona: AZ Maryland: MD Oregon: OR
Arkansas: AR Massachusetts: MA Pennsylvania: PA
California: CA Michigan: MI Rhode Island: RI
Colorado: CO Minnesota: MN South Carolina: SC
Connecticut: CT Mississippi: MS South Dakota: SD
Delaware: DE Missouri: MO Tennessee: TN
Florida: FL Montana: MT Texas: TX
Georgia: GA Nebraska: NE Utah: UT
Hawaii: HI Nevada: NV Vermont: VT
Idaho: ID New Hampshire: NH Virginia: VA
Illinois: IL New Jersey: NJ Washington: WA
Indiana: IN New Mexico: NM West Virginia: WV
Iowa: IA New York: NY Wisconsin: WI
Kansas: KS North Carolina: NC Wyoming: WY
Kentucky: KY North Dakota: ND
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
4301 W. Markham St.
Little Rock, AR 72205-7199
sub- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: subcommittee, subdivision, suborbital, subspecialty.
super- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix unless a capitalized word follows it: supercharge, superpower, super-Democrat.
teen, teenager, teenage Do not hyphenate these words. Do not use teen-aged.
telephone numbers In the United States, the format (501) 686-7000 should be followed. The parentheses around the area code are based on a format that telephone companies have agreed upon for domestic and international communications.
The format for toll-free numbers: (800) 111-1000.
The format if extension numbers are given: ext. 2, ext. 364, ext. 4071. Use a comma to separate the main number from the extension: (501) 686-7000, ext. 1127.
television program titles Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters (about, from, into, with and similar words), and put the titles in quotation marks. Put quote marks around show only if the word is part of the program’s formal title: “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”
three-D 3-D is preferred.
times Use figures except for noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes, and lowercase and use periods for a.m. and p.m.: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
Do not include :00 when there are no minutes in the time.
Avoid redundancy, such as 10 a.m. this morning, 7 p.m. tonight, etc.
titles (occupational) In general, confine capitalization to formal titles used directly before individual names: UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., gave the State of the University Address yesterday. Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy Director Bart Barlogie, M.D., Ph.D., presented the results of his research.
(A formal title is one that denotes a scope of authority.)
Lowercase and spell out titles when they are not used with individual names: The chancellor issued a statement.
Lowercase and spell out titles in constructions that set them off from names by commas: Katy Warren, M.Ed., R.D.H., an associate professor of dental hygiene, received an award.
toward Do not use towards.
trans- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix unless a capitalized word follows it: transcontinental, transsexual, trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific.
T-shirt Capitalize the T and lowercase the s. The word is hyphenated.
tuberculosis TB is acceptable on second reference.
ultra- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: ultramodern, ultrasonic, ultraviolet.
un- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix unless a capitalized word follows it: unarmed, unnecessary, un-American.
under- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: underground, undersold.
under way It is two words in virtually all uses.
United States Spell it out when used as a noun: She lives in the United States. Use U.S. (with periods, but no space) only as an adjective: The U.S. population has increased since the last census was taken.
up- In general, do not use a hyphen after this prefix: upend, upgrade, upstate.
-up Follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary; hyphenate nouns and adjectives that are not listed there. Examples: breakup, call-up, change-up, checkup, close-up, cover-up, follow-up, makeup, mix-up, setup. Verbs should be two words.
upward Do not use upwards.
versus Spell it out in ordinary speech and writing: They discussed the proposal to revamp Medicare versus proposals to reform Medicare and Medicaid at the same time. However, in short expressions, the abbreviation vs. is permitted: The treatment options of surgery vs. radiation were discussed.
Veterans Affairs This was Veterans Administration, but became Cabinet level in March 1989, with the full title being the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA (without periods) is still used on second reference.
UAMS has working relationships in various capacities with the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS). CAVHS is part of the VA and operates two hospitals in central Arkansas: the John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital in Little Rock (adjacent to UAMS) and the Eugene J. Towbin Healthcare Center in North Little Rock.
vice- Always use two words, with no hyphen: vice chairman, vice chancellor, vice president, vice secretary.
vitamins Lowercase vitamin and capitalize the letter and/or figure for the type: vitamin A, vitamin B-12.
Web Short form of World Wide Web. The Web is not the same as the Internet, but is a subset; other applications, such as email, exist on the Internet. The Web is a service, or set of standards, that enables the publishing of multimedia documents on the Internet. Also, website, webpage, webcam, webcast and webmaster. But as a short form and in terms of separate words, the Web and Web feed.
weekend It is one word. Do not hyphenate.
weeklong It is one word. Do not hyphenate.
weights Always use figures: The baby weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces. She had a 9-pound, 7-ounce boy.
well Hyphenate when forming a compound adjective: He is a well-known physician. She was a well-dressed woman.
well-being Hyphenate this word.
wide- In general, use a hyphen: wide-angled lens, wide-awake patient, wide-eyed child. However, do not hyphenate widespread.
-wide Do not hyphenate: citywide, countrywide, nationwide, statewide, worldwide.
-wise Do not hyphenate when the word means in the direction of or with regard to: clockwise, lengthwise, otherwise. Hyphenate when forming a compound adjective in which wise means smart: penny-wise businessman, street-wise teenager.
workforce, workday, workout, workplace, workstation, workweek All are one word, with no hyphen.
World Health Organization WHO is acceptable on second reference.
Xerox It is a trademark for a brand of photocopy machine. Never use it as a verb; instead, use a generic term, such as photocopy.
X-ray Always capitalize the X.
yearlong, yearslong It is one word. Do not hyphenate.
The Associated Press Guide to Punctuation
The AP Stylebook includes an extensive section dedicated to the proper use of various elements of punctuation. Some of those elements are given below.
apostrophe ( ’ ) Listed below are some of the many guidelines related to the apostrophe.
PLURAL AND SINGULAR NOUNS NOT ENDING IN S: Add ’s: the alumni’s contributions, women’s rights, the church’s needs, the girl’s toys.
PLURAL NOUNS ENDING IN S: Add only an apostrophe: the horses’ food, the states’ rights, the ships’ wake.
SINGULAR COMMON NOUNS ENDING IN S: Add ’s unless the next word begins with s (in which case, add only an apostrophe): the hostess’s invitation, the hostess’ seat, the witness’s answer, the witness’ story.
SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Add only an apostrophe: Arkansas’ natural resources, UAMS’ centers of excellence, Achilles’ heel, James’ book, Tennessee Williams’ plays.
FIGURES: For omitted figures, add an apostrophe: The class of ’65 will have a reunion this summer. The Charleston was a popular dance in the ’20s.
However, without omitted figures, add only a lowercase s (no apostrophe): The custom began in the 1940s. The airline has two 727s. Temperatures will be in the low 60s.
LETTERS: For omitted letters, use an apostrophe: It isn’t time for class to begin. Rock ’n’ roll is his favorite type of music. Her favorite Christmas expression is ’tis the season to be jolly. He is a ne’er-do-well.
To make single letters plural, use ’s: Mind your p’s and q’s. He learned the three R’s and brought home a report card with four A’s and two B’s.
However, to make multiple letters plural, add only a lowercase s (no apostrophe): She knows her ABCs. I gave him two IOUs. Four VIPs were at the event.
WORDS AS WORDS: Add only a lowercase s (no apostrophe) to make plural: His speech had too many “ifs,” “ands” and “buts” in it.
colon ( : ) The most frequent use of a colon is at the end of a sentence to introduce a list, tabulation, text, etc.: There were three considerations: expense, time and feasibility.
Capitalize the first word after a colon only if it is a proper noun or the start of a complete sentence: He promised this: Jones would be punished for his crime. He promised this: The company will make good all the losses.
PLACEMENT WITH QUOTATION MARKS: Colons go outside quotation marks unless they are part of the quotations themselves.
comma ( , ) Listed below are a few of the many guidelines related to the comma.
IN A SERIES: Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction (words such as and and or) in a simple series: The flag is red, white and blue. (NOT: The flag is red, white, and blue.) He would nominate Tom, Dick or Harry. (NOT: He would nominate Tom, Dick, or Harry.)
However, put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction: I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs for breakfast.
Use a comma also before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases: The main points to consider are whether the athletes are skillful enough to compete, whether they have the stamina to endure the training, and whether they have the proper mental attitude.
WITH INTRODUCTORY CLAUSES AND PHRASES: Use a comma to separate an introductory clause or phrase from the main clause: When he had tired of New York City, he moved to Boston. On the street below, the curious gathered.
WITH CONJUNCTIONS: When a conjunction – such as and, but or for – links two clauses that could stand alone as separate sentences, use a comma before the conjunction in most cases: She was glad she had looked, for a man was approaching the house. We are visiting St. Paul and Minneapolis, and we also plan to take a side trip to Duluth, Minn. We visited Washington, D.C., and our senator greeted us personally.
However, do not use a comma when the subject of the two clauses is the same and is not repeated in the second clause: We are visiting Washington and plan to see the White House.
IN LARGE FIGURES: Use a comma for most figures greater than 999. The major exceptions are street addresses, room numbers, serial numbers, telephone numbers and years.
PLACEMENT WITH QUOTATION MARKS: Commas always go inside quotation marks.
dash ( – ) Guidelines for two of the most frequent uses of the dash are given below.
SERIES WITHIN A PHRASE: When a phrase that otherwise would be set off by commas contains a series of words that must be separated by commas, use dashes to set off the full phrase: He listed the qualities – intelligence, humor, conservatism and independence – that he liked in an executive.
ABRUPT CHANGE: Use dashes to denote an abrupt change in thought in a sentence or an emphatic pause: Smith offered a plan – it was unprecedented – to raise revenues. We will fly to Paris in June – if I get a raise.
PLACEMENT WITH QUOTATION MARKS: Dashes go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted material only. They go outside the quotation marks when they apply to the whole sentence.
Put a space on each side of a dash.
ellipsis ( … ) An ellipsis consists of one space, followed by three periods, followed by one space.
OMISSION OF WORDS: Use an ellipsis to indicate the deletion of one or more words in condensing quotes, texts and documents. Be especially careful to avoid deletions that would distort the meaning. Example: He felt strongly that it was necessary to see the constitutional process through to its conclusion, that to do otherwise would be … a dangerously destabilizing precedent for the future.
HESITATION: An ellipsis may also be used to indicate a pause or hesitation in speech or a thought that the writer or speaker does not complete.
SPECIAL EFFECTS: Ellipses also may be used to separate individual items within a paragraph to show business gossip or similar material.
exclamation point ( ! )
PLACEMENT WITH QUOTATION MARKS: Exclamation points go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted material only: “How wonderful!” he exclaimed. They go outside the quotation marks when they apply to the whole sentence: I love watching “Gone With the Wind”!
hyphen ( – ) Hyphens are joiners. Use them to avoid ambiguity or to form a single idea from two or more words. They should not be used in instances where dashes are required.
parentheses ( ) Be sparing with parentheses. They are jarring to the reader. The temptation to use parentheses is a clue that a sentence is becoming contorted; try to write it another way. If a sentence must include incidental material, then commas or two dashes are frequently more effective. Use these alternatives whenever possible.
period ( . ) Use a single space after a period at the end of a sentence.
PLACEMENT WITH QUOTATION MARKS: Commas always go inside quotation marks.
question mark ( ? )
PLACEMENT WITH QUOTATION MARKS: Question marks go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted material only: He asked, “How long will it take?” They go outside the quotation marks when they apply to the whole sentence: Who wrote “Gone With the Wind”?
quotation marks ( “ ” ) Periods and commas at the end of quotations always go within the quotation marks.
Dashes, semicolons, question marks and exclamation points go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted material only. They go outside the quotation marks when they apply to the whole sentence.
Colons go outside quotation marks unless they are part of the quotations themselves.
AVOID UNNECESSARY FRAGMENTS: Do not use quotation marks to report a few ordinary words that a speaker or writer has used:
Wrong: The senator said he would “go home to Michigan” if he lost the election.
Right: The senator said he would go home to Michigan if he lost the election.
PARTIAL QUOTES: When a partial quote is used, do not put quotation marks around words that the speaker could not have used. For instance, the individual says, “I am horrified at your slovenly manners.”
Wrong: She said she “was horrified at their slovenly manners.”
Right: She said she was horrified at their “slovenly manners.”
semicolon ( ; ) In general, use the semicolon to indicate a greater separation of thought and information than a comma can convey, but less than the separation that a period implies.
TO CLARIFY A SERIES: Use semicolons to separate elements of a series when the items in the series are long or when individual segments contain material that also must be set off by commas: He leaves a son, John Smith, of Chicago; three daughters, Jane Smith, of Wichita, Kan., Mary Smith, of Denver, and Susan Smith Kingsbury, of Boston; and a sister, Martha Warren, of Omaha, Neb. (Note that the semicolon is used before the final and in such a series.)
TO LINK INDEPENDENT CLAUSES: Use a semicolon when a coordinating conjunction – such as and, but or for – is not present: The package was due last week; it arrived today.
PLACEMENT WITH QUOTATION MARKS: Semicolons go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted material only. They go outside the quotation marks when they apply to the whole sentence.