The Ultimate Writing Guide

Make sure your writing helps people take in your message.

One of the ways to accomplish that is with your writing style. A writing style is made up of many elements, but for now, let’s focus on one: consistency.

For example, there’s a choice on how you show time in your copywriting: am/pm, a.m./p.m., or AM/PM. How do you know which one is proper though? Read on and take our mini-quiz!

How Can You Be Consistent?

To make sure you are consistent, Juice recommends following “The Associated Press Stylebook” (AP Stylebook, for short). This is a style guide for writing. It’s updated and produced annually to adjust for any changes or new guidelines and has been in existence since 1953. It’s our go-to resource for punctuation, spelling, usage, and more. We use this professional style guide for our own copywriting as well as for our clients.

3 Question AP Mini-Quiz

1. How do you show time?

a. am/pm
b. a.m./p.m.
c. AM/PM

2. State names – TRUE or FALSE

a. For mailing only, use the postal abbreviations such as FL and TX – TRUE or FALSE?
b. For copywriting when the state appears on its own, write the state’s full name such as “Florida is a wonderful vacation destination.” – TRUE or FALSE?
c. For copywriting when the state appears after the city, write the state’s abbreviated name (if it has one) such as “I flew from Tampa, Fla. to attend this conference.” – TRUE or FALSE?

3. Which uses of the apostrophe are correct?

a. Girls’ toys (plural noun possessive)
b. Bus’s driver
c. James’ book

The Answers

For the first question, the answer is b.

For the second question, all the answers are true.

For the third question, a-c are all correct.

Your Helpful Resource

There are so many fine details in copywriting that it’s helpful to use AP’s online guide or get their book. For the occasional question, you can do an online search with AP included such as “toward or towards AP style,” and you’ll learn that it’s “toward.”

Do We Ever Deviate?

At Juice, we do a lot of writing for our clients, and some of our clients send us initial drafts to edit. When we write and edit, we utilize the AP Styleguide for clarity. For professional writing guidance, it’s a great resource.

We deviate for one of two reasons:

1. Our client requires it
2. Occasionally, for marketing aesthetics

For writing blog posts, brochures, websites and more, rely upon Juice to communicate your message to your audience! Contact us today to help you.

Note: We’ll save the discussion on your/you’re, there/their/they’re, and more for another day!