Writer’s Corner: How to Become an AP Style Pro!

By Cami Howard Senior Communication Student

A first experience with writing according to AP Style guidelines is daunting. For an inexperienced writer it may feel like learning another language.

The first publication of the AP Stylebook was available in 1953. The guidelines were introduced much earlier to news writers, to attempt to standardize journalistic communication. Updates and additions are now made to the AP Stylebook annually. It is the go-to resource for news writing.

The purpose of the style is to support consistency for ease of reading and collective comprehension. All communication based professions use the AP Stylebook. Without a working knowledge of the guidelines, it is difficult to find employment after graduation. Providing quality writing samples while utilizing these journalistic guidelines will win respect and possible employment.

Mastering the AP Stylebook requires incredible focus and effort.

As the AP Style guidelines continue to evolve, the platform is changing as well. Now that accessibility has surpassed the spiral notebook, it’s never been easier to write like a pro.

Healthy Habits to Learn AP Style

  1. There’s and app for that! Seriously, open it and read every time you want to look at social media (for some of us… this simple habit will make us masters in no time!).
  1. Test your knowledge. The Associated Press Stylebook’s website has quizzes available to test us as we learn. Also, if you are a serious media writer, take advantage of their word processor add-ons.
  1. Review the Stylebook Frequently! Netflix and Chill? Try reading a few of the most common grammar rules between episode binging.
  1. Write your personal emails in AP Style, for practice. I promise your friends and family will not mind receiving a professionally written correspondence. When you take the time to write in this manner daily, it becomes second nature.
  1. Get a buddy! Your journalist friends will get their ego stroked if you ask for their professional opinion and editing advice.


Visit the Associated Press Stylebook website for more information.



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