Follow these guidelines:
STANDING ALONE: Spell out the names of the 50 U.S. states when they stand alone in textual material. Any state name may be condensed, however, to fit typographical requirements for tabular material.
EIGHT 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: Spell out the names of the two states that are not part of the contiguous United States and of the continental states that are five letters or fewer.
ABBREVIATIONS REQUIRED: Use the state abbreviations listed at the end of this section:
--In conjunction with the name of a city, town, village or military base in text. See examples in Punctuation section below. See datelines for guidelines on when a city name may stand alone in the body of a story.
--In short-form listings of party affiliation: D-Ala., R-Mont. See party affiliation entry for details.
Following are the state abbreviations, which also appear in the entries for each state (ZIP code abbreviations in parentheses): Ala. (AL) Ariz. (AZ) Ark. (AR) Calif. (CA) Colo. (CO) Conn. (CT) Del. (DE) Fla. (FL) Ga. (GA) Ill. (IL) Ind. (IN) Kan. (KS) Ky. (KY) La. (LA) Md. (MD) Mass. (MA) Mich. (MI) Minn. (MN) Miss. (MS) Mo. (MO) Mont. (MT) Neb. (NE) Nev. (NV) N.H. (NH) N.J. (NJ) N.M. (NM) N.Y. (NY) N.C. (NC) N.D. (ND) Okla. (OK) Ore. (OR) Pa. (PA) R.I. (RI) S.C. (SC) S.D. (SD) Tenn. (TN) Vt. (VT) Va. (VA) Wash. (WA) W.Va. (WV) Wis. (WI) Wyo (WY)
(These are the ZIP code abbreviations for the eight states that are not abbreviated in datelines or text: AK (Alaska), HI (Hawaii), ID (Idaho), IA (Iowa), ME (Maine), OH (Ohio), TX (Texas), UT (Utah). Also: District of Columbia (DC).
Use the two-letter Postal Service abbreviations only with full addresses, including ZIP code.
PUNCTUATION: Plase one comma between the city and the state name, and another comma after the state name, unless ending a sentence or indicating a dateline: He was traveling from Nashville, Tenn., to Austin, Texas, en route to his home in Albuquerque, N.M. She said Cook County, Ill., was Mayor Daley's stronghold.
MISCELLANEOUS: Use New York state when necessary to distinguish the state from New York City.
Use state of Washington or Washington state when necessary to distinguish the state from the District of Columbia. (Washington State is the name of a university in the state of Washington.)