AP Style Quiz: Answers Explained


On Monday we put your AP style skills to the test with a 14 question quiz. And whether you aced every question or need to study a little more, it’s still useful to know the basics of AP style. Below are some of the more common rules you’re likely to come across in your every day writing, and in honor of Halloween we’ve even added some spooky examples!

AP style

Titles – When a formal title comes before a name it’s uppercase, when it comes after it’s lowercase. This is still true when referencing President Obama as president without his name; some organizations make the mistake of capitalizing president when it stands alone!

  • Example: Count Dracula hid in his coffin.
  • Example: The count hid in his coffin.

Dates and times – You spell out the month when it’s used with a year, you can abbreviate the month when it’s used with a full date. And when a time span crosses noon or midnight, use a.m. and p.m. abbreviations.

  • Example: Oct. 31., 2013
  • Example: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Numerals – Write out numbers one through nine and use figures for 10 and above. With ages you can use the figure, even if it’s fewer than 10.

  • Example: The ghost looked like a 3-year-old boy.
  • Example: There were seven vampires still in the museum.

Affect vs. Effect – Affect as a verb means to influence. Effect as a verb means to cause. Understandably, similar looking and sounding words can trip any writer up, so that just means you’ll have to use extra caution!

  • Example: The haunted house barely affected me.
  • Example: Adding a mask to the witch’s costume was a nice effect.

Geography – Directions like east, west, north, south, etc. should be lowercase except when used to designate a region. Also, check out the state names entry to see which states are abbreviated, and how.

  • Example: The trick-or-treaters headed south.
  • Example: There is an old curse on a town in Central Ohio.

Jessica S. • October 31, 2013

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