The state of...
Always lowercase the word state in constructions such as, "the state of Michigan." In general, the construction the "state of" is unnecessary and should not be used, except as a nonspecific reference to the government of a state or in cases such as "state of Washington" or "state of New York," to distinguish between the state and the well-known city of the same name.
Use: Funding was provided by the state of Michigan (meaning the government).
Use: He was born in Michigan (not the state of Michigan).
Spell out state names in most cases
The names of the 50 U.S. states should be spelled out in general text, whether standing alone or in conjunction with a city, town, village or military base. See the cities entry for a list of large cities that never need to be identified by state.
When to use abbreviations
Use the state abbreviations listed at the end of this section only in the following cases.
- In conjunction with the name of a city, town, village or military base in most datelines, use the traditional abbreviation.
- In lists and tabular material, use the traditional abbreviation.
- In short-form listings of party affiliation, use the traditional abbreviation (D-Ala., R-Mont.).
- When used in an address, use the two-letter USPS abbreviation. (For more information, write to Joan Jones, 23 Any St, Greensburg PA 15601-2001.) See also addresses. When used to clarify location, the state name should be spelled out. (We traveled to DeKalb, Illinois, for the football game.) If the construction includes a ZIP code, it's an address; if it does not, it's a location.
When writing news stories, no state name is necessary in the body of the story if it is the same as the dateline. So, for example, if your dateline reads "KALAMAZOO, Mich.," then every city you list is presumed to be in Michigan. If a city is located in another state, you need to spell out that state name fully.
|American Somoa||AS||Amer. Somoa|
|District of Columbia||DC||D.C.|
Eight states not abbreviated
The names of eight states are never abbreviated in datelines or text: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah. Memory aid: States with five or fewer letters, plus Alaska and Hawaii, are never abbreviated.