Editorial Style Guide

4.0 Inclusive Language Resources

4.1 Disabilities

In general, refer to a disability only if relevant to the story, and if a medical diagnosis has been made or the person uses the term.

The terms disabilities and disabled include a broad range of physical, psychological, developmental and intellectual conditions both visible and invisible.

Both, people with disabilities and "disabled" people are acceptable terms, but try to determine the preference of a person or group. When possible, ask people how they want to be described.

For a further discussion on how to cover disabilities, visit www.apstylebook.com/ap_stylebook/disabilities.

4.2 Gender and Pronouns

Gender refers to internal and social identity and often corresponds with but is not synonymous with sex. Sex refers to biological characteristics, such as chromosomes, hormones and reproductive anatomy, which can also vary or change in understanding over time, or be medically and legally altered.

Since not all people fall under one of two categories for sex or gender — as in the cases of nonbinary and intersex people — avoid references to both, either or opposite sexes or genders.

Don’t make assumptions about a person’s gender identity based on their pronouns or vice versa. Additionally, don’t assume a person’s pronouns based on their first name.

In stories about people who identify as neither male nor female or ask not to be referred to as he/she/him/her, use a person’s name, reword the sentence or use they/them pronouns (making sure the phrasing does not imply more than one person).

Don’t refer to "preferred" or "chosen" pronouns. Instead, “the pronouns they use,” “whose pronouns are,” “who uses the pronouns,” etc. Do not use neopronouns such as xe or zim as they are rarely used and not recognized by general audiences.

Identify people as transgender or nonbinary only if pertinent, and only use the name by which they live publicly (this may differ from their legal name).

For a more complete discussion on this topic, visit www.apstylebook.com/ap_stylebook/gender-sex-and-sexual-orientation.

It is important to write in a way that does not exclude a particular gender:

Instead of



business executive, manager


camera operator


female student, student






mail carrier


police officer

4.3 Race and Ethnicity

In general, refer to a person’s race or ethnicity only if relevant to the story or if quoted.

African American: Not interchangeable with Black, but acceptable to use for Black Americans of African descent. Americans of Caribbean heritage, for example, generally refer to themselves as Caribbean American.

Black, white: Do not use either term as a singular or plural noun. Instead, use phrasing such as Black people, white people, Black teachers, white students. Black and white are acceptable as adjectives when relevant.

People/students of color: The term is acceptable when necessary in broad references to multiple races other than white.

For a more complete discussion on race-related coverage, visit www.apstylebook.com/ap_stylebook/race-related-coverage (no subscription required).

4.4 Replacing Outdated Terminology

Instead of saying this:

Say this:


Transgender, trans

It, "she/he"


Non-white students, ethnic students

Students of color



Gays, homosexuals

LGBTQ people/community

Ladies, gentlemen


Ladies, girls

Women, team