AP Style

All you need to know about titles in AP Style

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 12.30.53 PMRemember back in college when you had to keep track of all the different AP rules for your student newspaper on top of The Chicago Manual of Style for your academic classes? Sometimes it’s difficult to remember which rules are AP and which rules are remnants from years of college courses. This can be particularly tricky with the titles of major works, so here’s a few rules to brush up on.

The rules below apply for the following works: book titles, computer game titles, movie titles, opera titles, play titles, poem titles, album and song titles, radio and television program titles as well as the titles of lectures, speeches, and works of art.

  • Put quotation marks around the names except the Bible and catalogs of reference material (almanacs, directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, and similar publications). EX: Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, Second Edition
  • Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. EX: “Gone With the Wind”
  • If an article — the, a, an — is the first or last word in a title, capitalize it. The same rule applies to words of fewer than four letters.
  • Names of most websites and apps are capitalized without quotes. EX: Twitter, Snapchat
  • However, computer game apps such as “FarmVille” are in quotes.

Don’t forget! Unlike other stylebooks, The Associated Press does not italicize words in news stories, which makes things a whole lot easier to remember!

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