How to Learn AP Style in a Week

Ok, the title of this post is a little misleading – I don’t know how to learn AP style in its entirety in one week, however I do know how to get the basic skills needed for PR writing and to possibly impress your supervisor. Here we go:

1. Buy “the journalist’s Bible”, also know as the AP Stylebook. This book is filled with all of the information you need to know about AP style. The benefit of having this guide is you know the answer to your question is probably in the book. The fall back is that sometimes words are categorized in ways you may not think of, for instance (give example).
2. Use the Webster dictionary as a spelling reference. If you are looking for the correct spelling of a word and the AP Stylebook doesn’t have an entry, look it up in Webster.
3. Use Google News or any other major newspaper as a third back-up reference. For instance, you can look up “nonprofit” and see which spelling has the most amount of entries and/or you can look specifically at credible news sites such as The New York Times.
4. Create a cheat sheet. As you look up words, record them on a cheat sheet with the page number of the AP Stylebook.

The goal is to be as resourceful as possible, and after you have exhausted all of your resources, be sure to ask. Reach out to your supervisor or you can tweet  @APStylebook any question you may have about AP style.


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