Writers, 15 AP style rules for back to school

The kids go back to school this month. If you’re writing copy around their return, make sure you’re using the correct style.

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academic departments: Lowercase except for words that are proper nouns or adjectives. The marketing department; the department of English.

ballpoint pen: Proper style for students’ writing instruments.

bus, buses: Proper style for the transportation vehicles. The verb forms: bus, bused and busing. Add an extra s, and you’re insinuating kissing.

chapter: Capitalize when used with a numeral in reference to a section of a book or legal code. Always use Arabic figures. Chapter 1, Chapter 20. Lowercase when standing alone. The book chapters are short.

day care: Two words, no hyphen in all uses.

dean’s list: Lowercase in all uses. He is on the dean’s list for fall semester. She is a dean’s list student.

encyclopedia: Lowercase, but follow the spelling of formal names: Encyclopedia Britannica.

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