Citation Guide


Month Abbreviations

Months may be abbreviated in news stories, but not days of the week. Abbreviate the month only when it is followed by the number of the day.

Example: Plan to turn in your photos for the March issue by Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2010.

January Jan. July July
February Feb. August Aug.
March Mar. September Sept.
April Apr. October Oct.
May May November Nov.
June June December Dec.

Note: There are three months that are never abbreviated.

Recommended References Books

  • Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Inc.
  • Review and Herald Stylebook, Review and Herald Publishing Assn.
  • The Associated Press Guide to Punctuation, Basic Books
  • The Associated Press Stylebook, Basic Books
  • The Chicago Manual of Style, The University of Chicago Press
  • The Gregg Reference Manual, McGraw Hill
  • Webster's Guide to Abbreviations, Merriam-Webster, Inc.

NOTE: The Lake Union Herald editorial staff primarily refers to The Associated Press Stylebook and the Review and Herald Stylebook. During a production cycle, all of the above books may be utilized to clarify grammar, spelling, and style questions. Since a majority of our work is spent editing the copy we receive, it would be helpful if all writers referred to these books also for style questions.

State Abbreviations (For use in all text except postal addresses and feature articles.)

Alabama Ala. Missouri Mo.
Alaska Alaska Montana Mont.
Arizona Ariz. Nebraska Neb.
Arkansas Ark. Nevada Nev.
California Calif. New Hampshire N.H.
Colorado Colo. New Jersey N.J.
Connecticut Conn. New Mexico N.M.
Delaware Del. New York N.Y.
District of Columbia D.C. North Carolina N.C.
Florida Fla. North Dakota N.D.
Georgia Ga. Ohio Ohio
Hawaii Hawaii Oklahoma Okla.
Idaho Idaho Oregon Ore.
Illinois Ill. Pennsylvania Pa.
Indiana Ind. Rhode Island R.I.
Iowa Iowa South Carolina S.C.
Kansas Kan. South Dakota S.D.
Kentucky Ky. Tennessee Tenn.
Louisiana La. Texas Texas
Maine Maine Utah Utah
Maryland Md. Vermont Vt.
Massachusetts Mass. Virginia Va.
Michigan Mich. Washington Wash.
Minnesota Minn. West Virginia W. Va.
Mississippi Miss. Wisconsin Wis.
    Wyoming Wyo

State Abbreviations (Postal Addresses)

Alabama AL Missouri MO
Alaska AK Montana MT
Arizona AZ Nebraska NE
Arkansas AR Nevada NV
California CA New Hampshire NH
Colorado CO New Jersey NJ
Connecticut CT New Mexico NM
Delaware DE New York NY
District of Columbia DC North Carolina NC
Florida FL North Dakota ND
Georgia GA Ohio OH
Hawaii HI Oklahoma OK
Idaho ID Oregon OR
Illinois IL Pennsylvania PA
Indiana IN Rhode Island RI
Iowa IA South Carolina SC
Kansas KS South Dakota SD
Kentucky KY Tennessee TN
Louisiana LA Texas TX
Maine ME Utah UT
Maryland MD Vermont VT
Massachusetts MA Virginia VA
Michigan MI Washington WA
Minnesota MN West Virginia WV
Mississippi MS Wisconsin WI
    Wyoming WY




Time Zones

Time zones may be abbreviated after a clock time, if the story involves travel between time zones or the time of a radio broadcast or televised program is likely to affect people in more than one time zone. Check your time zone.

  • Example: The program will be aired at 7:00 p.m. ET.
  • Example: Listen for the program at 6:00 p.m. CDT.

Rules for Good Writing

  • Choose the simple word over the fancy.
  • Use the familiar word rather than the unfamiliar.
  • Avoid unnecessary adjectives and adverbs.
  • Use picture nouns and action verbs.
  • Never use a long word when you can just as well use a short one.
  • Avoid excessive "to be" words.
  • Master the simple declarative sentence.
  • Choose the simple sentence over the complicated one.
  • Vary your sentence length.
  • Put the words you want to emphasize at the beginning or end of your sentence.
  • Use the active voice.
  • Put statements in a positive form.
  • Vary paragraph length.
  • Cut needless words, sentences, and paragraphs.
  • Avoid limitation. Write in your own natural style.
  • Avoid denominational jargon and phraseology.
  • Write for understanding, not to impress.
  • Never assume the reader is religiously oriented as you are.
  • Revise and rewrite. You can always improve.

Source: Atlantic Union Gleaner Correspondent's Handbook