• In general, avoid unnecessary capitalization.
  • The title Dr. is used only for medical doctors, not someone with a doctorate.
  • In general, formal titles are capitalized only when they precede a name, not after. This includes “Barack Obama, president of the United States.”
  • Use a hyphen for both first-grader and first-grade student.
  • Use figures for numbers of 10 and higher, except when they begin a sentence.
  • In a series of items, AP style calls for no comma before the final “and,” such as in “red, white and blue.”
  • Periods and commas are always placed within quotation marks, never outside.

Common Style Errors in News Releases

  • 4 p.m., not 4:00 p.m.
  • 2013–14, not 2013–2014
  • After the Center for the Study of Snowboarding has been introduced, use “center” on second reference, not “Center.”
  • The word “university” is not capitalized when used by itself.
  • After Professor John Smith has been introduced use “Smith” on second reference, not “Professor Smith.”
  • When introducing multiple professors, make “professors” lowercase, as in “professors John Smith, John Jones and Jim Johnson.”
  • Corporation is always abbreviated as Corp. Company is always abbreviated as Co. And if a company name ends in Inc., Co. or Corp. do not set it off by a comma.
  • A premiere is a first performance. Premier means first in importance or rank.
  • Underway is always one word.
  • Do not capitalize the word city in “city of” phrases such as “city of Boulder.”