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AP Stylebook: State abbreviations
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By Dayna Fields
Penny Riordan manages digital content partnerships for GateHouse Media. She works out of the Center for News and Design in Austin. Prior to joining the company, she worked at Patch.com for four years, where she led social media, blogging and UGC ...
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Penny Riordan manages digital content partnerships for GateHouse Media. She works out of the Center for News and Design in Austin. Prior to joining the company, she worked at Patch.com for four years, where she led social media, blogging and UGC efforts for the company. She also launched a Patch site in Maryland. Penny has also worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Maryland and Connecticut.
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The AP Stylebook says state abbreviations are used in both datelines and in text.

Of course, use state abbreviations in conjunction with the name of a city, town, village or military base in most datelines. However, there are exceptions for large cities that stand alone in datelines.

Also use state abbreviations in conjunction with the name of a city, county, town, village or military base in text.  (i.e. He went from Chicago, Ill., to Austin, Texas.)

Finally, use state abbreviations in short-form listings of party affiliations: D-Ala., R-Mont.

AP Stylebook: State abbreviations

Ala. Ariz. Ark. Calif. Colo. Conn.

Del. Fla. Ga. Ill. Ind. Kan. Ky.

La. Md. Mass. Mich. Minn.

Miss. Mo. Mont. Neb. Nev.

N.H. N.J. N.M. N.Y. N.C. N.D.

Okla. Ore. Pa. R.I. S.C. S.D.

Tenn. Vt. Va. Wash. W.Va. Wis. Wyo.

Side notes:

- In headlines, don't use periods for state abbreviated with two capital letters: NY, NJ, NH, NM, NC, SC, ND, SD AND RI. Other states retain periods: Ga., Ky., Mont., Conn.

- Use state of Washington or Washington state when necessary to distinguish the state from the District of Columbia. (Washington State is the name of a university in the state of Washington.)

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