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." rather than, "He was born in the state of Michigan."
See similar style under cities.
Names of U.S. states should be spelled out in text in two cases: (1) when the name of the state appears alone (We traveled to Virginia in June.) and (2) when the name of the state is preceded by the name of a city and the state name could not be made parenthetical or eliminated from the sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence. (There is a Kalamazoo, North Carolina, as well as a Kalamazoo, Michigan.)
State names are abbreviated in text in two cases: (1) when used in an address and (2) when used to clarify location. When used as part of an address, two-letter USPS abbreviations should always be used. (For more information, write to Joan Jones, 23 Any St, Greensburg PA 15601-2001.) See also addresses. When used to clarify location, traditional abbreviations should be used. (We traveled to Mount Pleasant, Mich., for the football game.) See also Which cities need to be identified by state.
Tests for abbreviation
If the construction includes a ZIP code, it's an address; if it does not, it's a location. See also addresses.
Use USPS abbreviations in addresses. Use traditional abbreviations to clarify location.
|American Somoa||AS||Amer. Somoa|
|District of Columbia||DC||D.C.|
*States with five or fewer letters, plus Alaska and Hawaii, are not abbreviated.