IV. Utilizing APA Style in Academic Writing: Abbreviations and Acronyms

IV. Utilizing APA Style in Academic Writing: Abbreviations and Acronyms

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

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

When to Abbreviate

Always utilize abbreviations for devices of dimension which can be followed by numeric values (except day, week, thirty days, 12 months). The APA Publication handbook contains a summary of typical abbreviations for dimensions (Table 4.4), however these aren’t the only abbreviations allowed in APA Style.

As constantly in educational writing, the purpose of making the most of clarity must certanly be held in view whenever abbreviations are believed. Preserving room is certainly not a reason that is sufficient abbreviate; the abbreviation additionally needs to assist the audience to grasp your point. Check out concerns which will help you choose whether a particular term should be abbreviated in your writing.

  • Does utilizing the abbreviation offer a plus over maybe not making use of it? Abbreviating complex or lengthy, usually repeated terms can speed reading comprehension. As an example, overview of a test tool (age.g., the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) might include many recommendations into the title; having its abbreviation (WAIS) will be more likely to assist the audience. But, a variety of unknown abbreviations can lessen versus boost the quality of the writing. A good quite smart audience might have difficulty deciphering “limited value as a result of SSS” and choose the concept become expressed as “small test size” instead. Generally speaking, it’s better to restrict the usage of abbreviations to instances when the abbreviation is familiar to your audience and saves time and space.
  • Just exactly just How times that are many the expression appear? In APA Style, a term shouldn’t be abbreviated unless it seems three or higher times following its very first mention in a paper (APA Publication handbook, 4.22, p. 107); when a term is abbreviated, the abbreviation is employed regularly thereafter. Note additionally there is no guideline needing you to definitely abbreviate a term that appears three or maybe more times.
  • Does the abbreviation carry a meaning that is unintended? In a single unforgettable article, topics whom took part in the follow-up study were designated “the FU team.” This specific abbreviation never ever caused it to be into printing, by way of an alert content editor. Nonetheless, the Wisconsin Tourism Foundation had not been therefore lucky; it had to alter its title and logo design whenever it became alert to 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.

Usage of Abbreviations in Text

When you’ve determined that an abbreviation is necesary, 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 regarding the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale—Revised (WAIS–R; Wechsler, 1981) along with its posted quota norms. We examined 12 experimental studies associated with WAIS–R. . . . The first faltering step ended up being to make meta-analysis norms for the WAIS–R and examine them for recruitment bias.

Don’t forget 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. Nevertheless, the APA Publication handbook ended up being created primarily with journals articles in your mind. In much longer works which are broken into chapters (such as for instance books and dissertations), it really is reasonable to reintroduce abbreviations in later on chapters if this will be described as a convenience to your audience. Consult your dissertation consultant or editor (as appropriate) to make sure that there aren’t any objections to doing this.

Group or authors that are institutional have long names that benefit from abbreviation in text citations. Utilize the name that is full the initial citation, with all the abbreviation; thereafter, utilize the abbreviation alone.

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

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

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

Steer clear of the utilization of abbreviations when you look at the name of one’s paper. It’s fine to make use of them in headings if they’ve been already introduced, but don’t introduce them for the very first time here. Generally speaking, abbreviations must also be prevented at the start of a phrase, unless this could create a embarrassing construction.

Finally, maybe not exactly what appears like an abbreviation should really be treated as you. Some terms ( ag e.g., AIDS, IQ, laser, radar) that started life as abbreviations are actually accepted by themselves merit. Any abbreviation that is not labeled abbr. in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary may be used without explanation in APA Style.

It’s also advisable to be aware of the presence of appropriate nouns that seem like acronyms. This can be specially common amongst corporations which have withstood reorganization that is much leading to appropriate names made up of money letters that no more stand for any such thing (often referred to as “orphan acronyms”). As an example, the title of this “Big Blue” computer business is IBM, maybe not International ninjaessays 20% off Business Machines, and therefore extra-crispy chicken originated from KFC.

Likewise, an incredible number of 20th-century highschool pupils took the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). In 1990, nonetheless, the title had been changed towards the Scholastic Assessment Test, plus in 1993 its name that is official became “the SAT.” In case you spell the name out associated with the test tool on very first used in your paper? That may depend on which incarnation for the test you’re researching. Show your visitors the worthiness of the research if you are paying close awareness of the proper kind of appropriate nouns.