The Associated Press Stylebook: and Briefing on Media Law, Fully Revised and Updated [2004]
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The Associated Press Stylebook: and Briefing on Media Law, Fully Revised and Updated [2004]

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  938 ratings  ·  81 reviews
More people write for the Associated Press than for any newspaper in the world, and writers have bought more copies of The AP Stylebook than of any other journalism reference. With this essential guide in hand, any writer can learn to communicate with the clarity and professionalism for which the Associated Press is famous. Fully revised and updated, this edition contains...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 29th 2004 by Basic Books (first published 2000)
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For a while there in college, I lived and breathed this book (or an earlier edition, actually). The parts I need the most are now burned into my brain, and I end up consulting it only once or twice a year these days. I actually don't know how you rate a book like the AP Stylebook, and the four stars I give it are for no defensible reason. If you're a reporter for a news organization that adheres to AP style, you either follow the rules and save yourself a lot of anguish, or you become the bane o...more
Only a seriously obsessed copy editor or someone who had been asked to oversee a revision of his newspaper's stylebook (I plead guilty to the latter) would actually read this book.

Nevertheless, once you've learned to tolerate the taste of the medicine, you can actually start to enjoy it, or at least some of it. And there always the sorts of tidbits that can enlighten or amuse. Many people may know, for instance, that scuba stands for self contained underwater breathing apparatus, or that radar s...more
Also, Safety Math
I love you.
A lot more fascinating than your average grammar resource guide with references and descriptions of terminology (i.e. the list of the worst earthquakes of all times and explanation of magnitude under the heading earthquakes). And yet, AP style requires that you exclude the serial comma. Why? Why! Why?! I'm actually quite passionate about the inclusion of that final comma (me, myself, and I) ever since my grammar professor related law cases lost over the exclusion of the comma when the final two...more
Mike Dierdorf
You can't really review a book like this. It's pretty much a pass-fail on being what it says it is, unless the paper disintegrates in your hands or something.

It passes on all of these criteria.
Ninette Cheng
This is a must for writers, journalists and PR professionals. I like that the new editions even have a social media guide. Be sure to buy a new version every few years!
Everything seems so happy until you get to the section that says you should kill the serial comma.
Erica Hopper
I'm going to use a serial comma if I damn well please.
The 2013 edition includes a 30-page section of social media guidelines, a 14-page section on news values and the 300-page core of the book: the A to Z stylebook.

American English is a living language, and this stylebook helps us to stay current with the style and usage.

Over 90 new and revised entries, including these: after-party, backstage, brain dead/brain death, doughnut, landline, man-made and wacky.


I bought the annual annual stylebook for over ten years while working as a news writer a...more
This book is the secular Bible.

I copy edit birthday cards. It's sick. But the people who recognize that you took the time and effort to say Web site rather than website are the ones who will appreciate the time you spent in writing a thoughtful and educated message for them. Because the sad truth is, they will call you on Christmas and make fun of other people's annual Christmas letters and tell you about all the incorrect AP mistakes they find.
Dave Mosher
This is a poor reference book for journalists. Many words, phrases and terms simply don't exist in this book that are used in stories every day. It also leaves you guessing where to find a usage instructions for simple terms (e.g. seconds, length, etc.), greatly extending the length of time it takes you to write an article. Dictionaries and other reference material shouldn't have to be memorized to be useful.
This is the bible of journalistic writing. I highly recommend the online annual membership to the AP Stylebook as well because when they update it once or twice a month at least you'll get those right away. Everyone should have a copy of this no more than a year or two old though because you never know when you'll be away from the interweb!
I was truly raised without religion, unless you count the AP Stylebook. I am so devoted to it that when the Internet revokes my right to italicize (like facebook - thanks, jerks), I refuse to italicize at all.

I recently lost my copy, and now every day is a blur of confusion, sorrow, and improper hyphen usage. (But mostly sorrow.)
Extremely useful! I consult my 2003 edition on almost a weekly basis. I should probably get an updated version... Although I typically consult Grammar Girl, I think it's still very nice to have a printed style guide handy upon which I can base my own style conventions, especially in cases of it coming down to mere preference.
Aug 03, 2010 Lindsay rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Journalists, Writers, Journalism/Communications students
Shelves: journalism, favorites
Being a journalism major, this book is my bible. I have read it all the way through several times and still refer to it at least a few times a day when writing. It has anything and everything you want to know about writing style, punctuation, and grammar. I honestly don't know how I would live without it.
This might just be my favorite book. It's concise; you can pick it up and put it down; it's full of surprising and useful information; it's gravely underrated as a linear read; it helps you right wrongs; and it has been close to my side (updated editions notwithstanding) since September 2000.
At this point in my career-life, I pretty much have this book memorized. It used to be a lifesaver, now it's an old friend. My only qualm with it is whatever I'm looking for that it doesn't have, and its preference for Web site (two words, cap W). I prefer website.
Nurkastelia A.
Jul 05, 2008 Nurkastelia A. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who edits English stuff
call it Buku Ejaan Yang Disempurnakan versi englais.

basically, it's much like things my English professor taught us during my undergraduate years. So, you know, this vain self thought it really didn't need anything like this AGAIN...

but... yeah, i was wrong. it's highly helpful :D
I probably use this book more than I should. My first job out of college had it practically strapped to my hip and I don't think the dependency has ever quite worn off. I still have my old dog-eared wirebound copy from school, but my newer edition is just so pretty. :)
Jun 16, 2008 Martha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who needs to establish style guidelines for a magazine, newspaper, newsletter, or web site.
OK, so maybe a four-star rating is a bit much for a stylebook, but what can I say? It's very useful, easy to use, and I agree with most of their style decisions to boot. Plus, this one's more suited to periodicals and web sites than the Chicago Manual.
James Pittman
Writers need the best guides when it comes to getting their stuff published, and read, by audiences as small as a school paper to world-renowned papers such as The New York Times. This book gives writers the edge to making their copy the best.
This book feels more like a dictionary to any future journalist. This is the journalists bible so to speak. This edition is packed with up to date information on how to properly write in AP style. I am using this text book forever!
Jan 27, 2008 Ian rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: journalists
Four stars because sometimes I disagree with it, and too many of its rules are still based on the limitations of telegraph technology. Seriously, 1890? I think we've advanced to the point where we can handle brackets and italics.
Oct 26, 2008 Geoffrey is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
It's an absolute must for the newswriter. A majority of newspaper operate their typeediting with Associated Press style, so one must familiarize themselves with it in order to become an incredibly dry and boring writer.
Carlene Byron
what's to say? I learned more about food distinctions from this than I would have expected (in particular, which wine/cheese name is specific to which region) ... otherwise, it's just the precise resource I needed.
May 22, 2008 Amanda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: MY STAFF!
Worst case scenario: Trying to captivate the minds of uneager journalists with Copy-Editing.

I have enudeavorued this nightmare, and came out a bloody mess.

Oh Orange Vice, why do you not love this?
Jun 05, 2008 Dave added it
This is a great book for reference especially now that I'm writing more for Wired follows the AP style guide with their own modifications. I do need to get a more recent copy!
May 10, 2007 Anth added it
It's "scotch" alone and "whiskey" alone. But together it is "Scotch whisky."

"Give me some scotch."
"Give me some whiskey."
"Give me some Scotch whisky."
The book that no one might hand you if you're freelance; it will make your life easier and your work better. But be a slave to any style book and the language will never evolve.
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  • Garner's Modern American Usage
  • The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and The Public Should Expect
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  • Rules for Writers
  • Style: Toward Clarity and Grace
  • The Elephants of Style: A Trunkload of Tips on the Big Issues and Gray Areas of Contemporary American English
  • The Grammar Devotional: Daily Tips for Successful Writing from Grammar Girl
  • Bartlett's Familiar Quotations : A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature
  • The New Fowler's Modern English Usage
  • The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success
  • The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
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The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists. Many newspapers and broadcasters outside the United States are AP subscribers, paying a fee to use AP material without being contributing members...more
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