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AP Style Limits in First Draft
Sunday, July 12, 2015

One of the greatest benefits of writing with First Draft is that it can be used to publish content that adheres to AP Style writing rules. It's generally accepted that AP Style rules give writing a professional polish. But after studying the whole lot of them, it became apparent that addressing each and every rule in First Draft would actually delay the writing process. There are, after all, thousands of them -- some of which are extremely specific to topics like religion, sports, and politics.

Since First Draft's approach to writing is all-encompassing, some rules are not addressed in the software. The following describes which rules are ignored and why.

Problematic AP Style Rules

  • Foreign words, companies, persons, religions, and government institutions. Unless a foreign word or phrase is part of everyday-English, it isn't addressed inside First Draft.
  • Extremely specific company or organization names. Some company or organization names are nationally known, so those are certainly addressed inside First Draft. Others are extremely specific, even to the local level. Those items are not addressed.
  • Religious institutions, persons, or events. There are simply too many of these to address, and including them in First Draft would significantly reduce the software's small size and fast processing speed.
  • Building names. Again, there are way too many building names to monitor in the software, so unless a building is widely known, the proper format of its name isn't part of the program.
  • Industry-specific organizations, persons, etc. Since the typical freelance writer doesn't write about oil companies, nuclear facilities, or medical procedures, these items aren't address in the software either.
  • Other industry-specific items such as sports, fashion and food.

Solution

The best way to address these types of issues in First Draft, should you have to write about them, is to use a Data Pack that contains topic-specific words and phrases that have already been formatted to fit AP style writing. By using a Data Pack, an external collection of industry-specific keywords and keyword-related phrases, you can easily incorporate AP Style rules into your writing without suffering from a slowed performance.

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