Our Blog

IV. Making use of APA Style in Academic Writing: Abbreviations and Acronyms

Often the writing of the article or dissertation appears to be the sum of the tiny alternatives about sentence structure, syntax, and formatting: Commas or semicolons? Figures or numerals? Abbreviations or spelled-out terms? In this post we’ll look at the past of those dilemmas: whenever and exactly how to abbreviate terms in your educational writing.

First, a definition that is quick of. An abbreviation is a shortened as a type of a title or term ( ag e.g., postop for postoperative, kg for kg). An acronym can be an abbreviation created through the initial letters of a phrase ( e.g., FBI for Federal Bureau of research). All acronyms are abbreviations, although not all abbreviations are acronyms. Considering that the century that is mid-20th acronyms have actually generally speaking formed pronounceable terms ( ag e.g., laser, from light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation); nonetheless, the rage for acronyms has outstripped the bounds of pronunciation, and also this isn’t any longer a requirement.

Whenever to Abbreviate

Always utilize abbreviations for devices of dimension which can be associated with numeric values (except week, month, year) day. The APA Publication handbook contains a summary of typical abbreviations for dimensions (Table 4.4), however these aren’t the only abbreviations permitted in APA Style.

The goal of maximizing clarity should be kept in view when abbreviations are considered as always in academic writing. Preserving room is certainly not a enough explanation to abbreviate; the abbreviation also needs to help the reader to understand your point. Here are a few concerns that will help you select whether a specific term should be abbreviated in your writing.

  • Does with the abbreviation offer a plus over staying away from it? Abbreviating complex or lengthy, usually duplicated terms can speed reading comprehension. For example, overview of a test tool (age.g., the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) might include many recommendations to your name; which consists of abbreviation (WAIS) will be expected to assist the audience. Nevertheless, a variety of unknown abbreviations can lessen versus improve the quality of one’s writing. A good reader that is quite intelligent have difficulty deciphering “limited value as a result of SSS” and like the concept become expressed as “small test size” instead. Generally speaking, it is better to restrict making use of abbreviations to instances when the abbreviation is familiar to your audience and saves time and space.
  • exactly just How times that are many the expression appear? In APA Style, a term really should not be abbreviated unless it seems three or higher times following its very first mention in a paper (APA Publication Manual, 4.22, p. 107); when a term is abbreviated, the abbreviation is employed regularly thereafter. Note additionally there is no guideline needing one to abbreviate a term that seems three or maybe more times.
  • Does the abbreviation carry an unintended meaning? In a single article that is memorable subjects whom took part in the follow-up study were designated “the FU team.” This kind of abbreviation never ever managed to get into printing, by way of an alert content editor. Nevertheless, the Wisconsin Tourism Foundation wasn’t therefore lucky; it needed to alter its title and logo design whenever it became conscious of the popular meaning of WTF. Moral: it can’t be interpreted in a way that would detract from your meaning before you create an abbreviation, look twice (or three times) to make sure.

Utilization of Abbreviations in Text

When you’ve determined that an abbreviation is called for, discover the very first utilization of the term within the text and give an explanation for abbreviation here.

The study that is present meta-analysis norms of this Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale—Revised (WAIS–R; Wechsler, 1981) along with its posted quota norms. We examined 12 experimental studies for the WAIS–R. . . . The step that is first to create meta-analysis norms for the WAIS–R and examine them for recruitment bias.

Make sure to utilize the abbreviation regularly thereafter. Strictly talking, APA Style will not enable the abbreviation become reintroduced in subsequent parts of a paper or article. Nonetheless, the APA Publication handbook had been created primarily with journals articles at heart. In much longer works which can be broken into chapters (such as for example publications and dissertations), it really is reasonable to reintroduce abbreviations in later on chapters if this will be described as a convenience towards the reader. Consult your dissertation editor or advisor(as appropriate) to make sure that there are not any objections to doing so.

Group or authors that are institutional have actually lengthy names that benefit from abbreviation in text citations. Utilize the name at the initial citation, aided by the abbreviation; thereafter, make use of the abbreviation alone.

  • very First usage: (United states Psychological Association APA, 2009) or United states Psychological Association (APA; 2009)
  • Subsequent usage: (APA, 2009)

The corresponding reference list entry should retain the author’s complete name, perhaps perhaps not the abbreviation.

  • Correct: United States Emotional Association. (2009).
  • Wrong: American Emotional Association (APA). (2009).
  • Wrong: APA. 2009.

Prevent the utilization of abbreviations into the name of the paper. It’s fine to make use of them in headings if they’ve been already introduced, but don’t introduce them when it comes to time that is first. As a whole, abbreviations must also be prevented at the start of a phrase, unless this might create a embarrassing construction.

Finally, maybe maybe not precisely what appears like an abbreviation ought to be addressed as you. Some terms ( ag e.g., AIDS, IQ, laser, radar) that started life as abbreviations are now actually accepted by themselves merit. In APA Style, any abbreviation that’s not labeled abbr. in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary can be used without description.

It’s also advisable to be tuned in to the presence of appropriate nouns that appear to be acronyms. This will be especially frequent among corporations which have withstood much reorganization, leading to appropriate names top essay writers consists of capital letters that not any longer stand for such a thing (sometimes referred to as “orphan acronyms”). For instance, the title of this Blue that is“Big business is IBM, perhaps perhaps not International Business Machines, and therefore extra-crispy chicken originated in KFC.

Likewise, scores of 20th-century school that is high took the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). In 1990, nonetheless, the title ended up being changed to your Scholastic Assessment Test, as well as in 1993 its name that is official became “the SAT.” in case you spell out of the title for the test instrument on very first use within your paper? That may rely on which incarnation regarding the test you’re researching. Show your readers the worthiness of one’s research by having to pay attention that is close the most suitable type of proper nouns.


So, what do you think ?