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

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

Sometimes the writing of a article or dissertation appears to be the sum of the little alternatives about grammar, syntax, and formatting: Commas or semicolons? Figures or numerals? Abbreviations or spelled-out terms? In this post we’ll look at the very last among these problems: whenever and just how to abbreviate terms in your scholastic writing.

First, a definition that is quick of. An abbreviation is really a shortened as a type of a title or term ( ag 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, although 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); nevertheless, the rage for acronyms has outstripped the bounds of pronunciation, and also this is no longer a requirement.

Whenever to Abbreviate

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

The goal of maximizing clarity should be kept in view when abbreviations are considered as always in academic writing. Saving room just isn’t a enough explanation to abbreviate; the abbreviation also needs to assist the audience to grasp your point. Check out questions which will help you select whether a term that is particular be abbreviated in your writing.

  • Does with the abbreviation offer an edge over staying away from it? Abbreviating lengthy or complex, often duplicated terms can speed reading comprehension. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) might involve numerous references to the name; using its abbreviation (WAIS) would be likely to help the reader for example, a review of a test instrument ( e.g. Nonetheless, a variety of unfamiliar abbreviations can lessen as opposed to boost the quality of the writing. A good reader that is quite intelligent have difficulty deciphering “limited value because of SSS” and like the concept to be expressed as “small sample size” instead. As a whole, it is better to restrict the usage abbreviations to instances when the abbreviation is familiar towards the audience and saves room and time.
  • just How often times does the word appear? In APA Style, a phrase shouldn’t be abbreviated unless it seems three or maybe more times as a result of its very first mention in a paper (APA Publication handbook, 4.22, p. 107); as soon as a phrase is abbreviated, the abbreviation is employed regularly thereafter. Note additionally that there surely is no guideline needing one to abbreviate a term that seems three or even more times.
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  • Does the abbreviation carry an unintended meaning? In one single article that is memorable topics whom took part in the follow-up research were designated “the FU group.” This specific abbreviation never ever caused it to be into printing, compliment of a copy editor that is alert. Nevertheless, the Wisconsin Tourism Foundation had not been therefore lucky; it had to alter its name and logo design whenever it became conscious of the meaning that is popular of. 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 necesary, get the very first utilization of the term in the text and give an explanation for abbreviation here.

The present research contrasts 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 regarding the WAIS–R. . . . The step that is first 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 speaking, APA Style will not permit the abbreviation to be reintroduced in subsequent parts of a paper or article. But, the APA Publication handbook ended up being created mainly with journals articles at heart. In much longer works which are broken into chapters (such as for instance publications and dissertations), it really is reasonable to reintroduce abbreviations in later on chapters if this could be described as a convenience to your audience. Consult with your dissertation editor or advisor(as appropriate) to ensure there aren’t any objections to doing so.

Group or authors that are institutional have actually long names that benefit from abbreviation in text citations. Utilize the name that is full the very first citation, aided by the abbreviation; thereafter, make use of the abbreviation alone.

  • Very very 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 support the author’s complete name, maybe perhaps not the abbreviation.

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

Prevent the utilization of abbreviations within the name of one’s paper. It’s fine to make use of them in headings if they’ve recently been introduced, but don’t introduce them for the very first time there. Generally speaking, abbreviations also needs to be prevented at the start of a phrase, unless this might create a construction that is awkward.

Finally, perhaps perhaps maybe not precisely what seems like an abbreviation ought to be addressed 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.

Its also wise to be aware of the presence of appropriate nouns that appear to be acronyms. This really is especially frequent among corporations which have encountered much reorganization, leading to legal names consists of money letters that no more stand for such a thing (often referred to as “orphan acronyms”). As an example, the title regarding the “Big Blue” computer business is IBM, maybe not International Business Machines, and that extra-crispy chicken originated from KFC.

Likewise, an incredible number 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 the name out for the test tool on very first use within your paper? Which will rely on which incarnation for the test you’re researching. Show your visitors the worthiness of the research by spending attention that is close the appropriate kind of appropriate nouns.