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Thanks to VCU Libraries, all VCU students now have free access to the Associated Press Stylebook Online — “the journalist’s bible” crucial for writing news stories and press releases.
Students and faculty members can access the AP Stylebook’s website at http://www.apstylebook.com/vcu_library/ . That link will work from any computer with a VCU IP address — including all the labs in Temple. You won’t even need a user name or password.
If you are off campus, log into myVCU first. Then go to the VCU Libraries home page, click on Databases and drill down to the AP Stylebook Online. (Or go directly to http://library.vcu.edu/search/1161 )
The School of Mass Comm requires all students in MASC 203 Journalism Writing and in many other journalism and PR courses to buy the current AP Stylebook ($20) or get an individual subscription to the AP Stylebook Online ($25 annually). So this online resource might save students a significant amount of money every year.
The stylebook contains AP’s rules for abbreviations, capitalization, numerals, punctuation, word usage and other issues for print, online and broadcast journalists. It also has guides on legal issues, social media and pronunciation.
The AP Stylebook Online has numerous advantages over the print version. For example, it is searchable by keyword, and entries are hyperlinked: You can jump from one AP rule to a related rule.
For radio and television journalists, the online stylebook offers audio files on how to pronounce names and words:
Moreover, the AP Stylebook Online is constantly updated to reflect changes in the names of corporations and government agencies (such as the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) and in terminology (whether “fracking” is acceptable shorthand for “hydraulic fracturing,” for example).
The School of Mass Comm owes a big thanks to the VCU Libraries system — especially University Librarian John Ulmschneider and Karen Cary, the head of collections — for making this new resource available. (And thanks to Sue Robinson, the director of communications and public relations for VCU Libraries, for tipping us off about the resource.)
You still may need a hard copy of the stylebook for certain courses. So check with your instructor.
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Updated: March 19, 2012