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Not Always Clear Cut

The handout on AP Style Tips brought up many points that I never would have thought about--such as how to deal with dates and titles, as they vary from what I'm used to. There was another point on the second page about how the reporter's personal opinions cannot go into the article at all. This seems like common sense after everything we were told in class, but this example showed just how easy it would be to accidentally slip our opinions into an article. Certain points may not seem like opinions at the time we're writing--like the example "Exam week stress is terrible"--but they are still opinions and have no place in the article.

Now onto applying this to the examples . . .

Assistant News Editor, Anne O'Nymous read the article.
Either the comma before "Anne" needs to be taken out or the sentence needs to be rewritten--Anne O'Nymous, the Assistant News Editor, read the article.

She was highly appreciated by Jameson for solving the problem. "I really appreciate her work ethic and problem-solving ability," said Jameson.
Who was highly appreciated by Jameson? This needs to be clarified. Also, the first sentence should be rewritten so that it is active rather than passive--Jameson highly appreciated her for solving the problem--unless it is cut in favor of the quote. The quote and the paraphrase are not both necessary, because they say the same thing.

Spunky Inkworthy has only written for The Setonian this year, but Obituaries Editor, Lazarus O'Mortigan, was very complimentary towards Spunky's contributions.
For what paper is Lazarus O'Mortigan the Obituaries Editor? Also, the commas around Lazaurus O'Mortigan are not necessary, as Obituaries Editor is his title. The only way commas would be necessary there is if it were rewritten as "Lazarus O'Mortigan, the Obituaries Editor for [insert name of paper here], was very . . . ."

In a telephone call from Head Librarian Marian Paroo, she discussed Inkworthy's contributions.
Who discussed Inkworthy's contributions with whom? Also, this may work better if it were written as "She discussed Inkworthy's contributions in a telephone call from Head Librarian Marian Paroo." This will "make meaning early," as Clark and Scanlan suggested on pages 297-299 of America's Best Newspaper Writing .

"Here is a quote", said Bill Jones freshman.
The comma should go inside the quotes, and "freshman" should come before "Bill Jones."

Other Thoughts on AP Style Tips

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 13, 2009 8:28 PM.

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