Basic rules for Acronyms and Abbreviations

Basic rules for Acronyms and Abbreviations

How to manage abbreviations

How to manage acronyms

How to Manage Abbreviations

The word abbreviation originates from the Latin word “short”, and is a form of shortening words and phrases. More often than not, abbreviations consist of more than one letter (a group of letters) that is taken from the original word/ phrase. Even the word “abbreviation” by itself can be shortened to become an “abbrev.” or “abbr.”

When it comes to using abbreviations in the text, simple rules apply.

-          First, never begin a sentence with an abbreviation, especially a lowercase one.

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-          Second, use the most common abbreviations like i.e., e.g., or etc. only in parentheses. For example, if you want to include an i.e. in the text, you should write “that is (i.e.)”.

-          Third, do not forget about traditional abbreviations that are used in written texts all around, including Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., Ltd., Inc., E.E. Cummings, and others. These are the abbreviations you can use freely in any type of academic texts.

-          When an abbreviation is used as part of a reference, periods should be used (Vol. 2, p. 11, pp. 120-123, 3rd ed.)

How to Manage Acronyms

Acronyms and initialisms exemplify a unique type of abbreviations that are created by using the first letters of words in a name or phrase. Here, the following rules apply:

-          Write the term in full when you use it the first time. Afterwards, an acronym can be used all over the text.

-          The first time the acronym is written, its meaning has to be explained. For example: APA (American Psychological Association).

-          If an acronym is popular and used widely in written communication, it may not need explanation (for example, FBI).

-          If abbreviations are to be used in the plural form, an “s” should be added to it, without any apostrophes (Eds, IQs).

 
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-          For U.S. states and provinces in Canada, two-letter postal codes should be used as a reference only. Do not use this type of acronyms in the main text!



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