Print Abbreviations the shortened form of a word or phrase and acronyms words formed from the initial letters of a phrase are commonly used in technical writing. In some fields, including chemistry, medicine, computer science, and geographic information systems, acronyms are used so frequently that the reader can feel lost in an alphabet soup.
Contact a customer support specialist at Date Posted: Jan 17, Written by: Jennifer The Use of Acronyms in Academic Writing Acronyms are often used in academic writing in order to avoid the repetitive use of long, cumbersome titles.
Acronyms are defined as words formed by the first letters of words in a name or title. For example, you should generally stick to acronyms that are used within the field for which you are writing rather than creating new, unused acronyms.
Also, in order to avoid confusion for your reader, you must find ways to define the acronyms that you use. This is important because acronyms can have multiple meanings. Clearly, the use of acronyms without proper definition can create confusion for your reader.
Generally speaking, two approaches are used to properly define acronyms within a text. First for longer, stand-alone works, like a text book or a thesis, a list of definitions and acronyms used throughout the text is sometimes included near the beginning of the work e.
However, in most shorter texts, a more direct method of defining acronyms is adopted. In the latter case, acronyms are usually defined at the first point of use in the text with a parenthetical reference after the full title.
For example, in a paper that discusses the operations of NATO, the first time in which the acronym is used could perhaps be a sentence defining the entity. The following example shows how the acronym should be defined in this case: Thus, in our example, North American Treaty Organization would be used only in the example sentence, and NATO would be used in every other reference to this organization.
One caveat to the parenthetical definition of acronyms is their use in abstracts. Keep in mind that since abstracts are treated as separate documents from the full manuscripts that they describe, all acronyms used in both the abstract and the manuscript must be defined in both documents.
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