Abbreviations (general)


An abbreviation is a term that has a short form and a long form, where the short form is used in writing (to make reading simpler) and the long form appears in a special list. 



  1. Use the long form the first time in a document (with the short form in brackets), then the short form can be used thereafter. Example: Peter Jones presented at the United Nations (UN) assembly in New York (NY). Peter's comments to the UN were received with enthusiasm.
  2. In some styles (e.g., APA), all abbreviations must have a full stop to indicate that it is an abbreviation; for example, Dr. 
  3. Typically, an abbreviation is when a word is shortened; for example: Vic. = Victoria. Note that a full stop is used to indicate that letters are missing.
  4. An acronym is a type of abbreviation when capital letters get expressed as a word with special meaning (e.g., QANTAS=Queensland and Northern Territory Air Service, UN=United Nations, USA=United States of America).
  5. A salutation is a type of abbreviation that is used as a prefix before a person's name. Examples include: Mr = Mister, Mrs = Misses, Prof. = Professor, Dr = Doctor. Note that a full stop is used when the last letter of the full word is missing (also see point 2).
  6. An initialism is a type of abbreviation and includes the first initial of each word from a phrase; for example: Ph.D. = Doctor of Philosophy, F.A.Q. = frequently asked questions. Note that a full stop is used when the last letter of the full word is missing. Some style guides do not use full stops for common initialisms. Common initialisms are, generally speaking, not included in the List of Abbreviations. 
  7. A contraction is a type of abbreviation and is a shortened form of a word. For example: can't = can not, shan't = shall not, won't = will not, don't = do not, 'n' = and. Note that a single apostrophe is used to indicate that there is/are a missing letter(s). Contractions do not appear in a list of abbreviations.
When you use abbreviations in a document a List of Abbreviations should appear after the Table of Contents.
List of Abbreviations
Dr. Doctor
F.A.Q. (or FAQ) Frequently Asked Questions
NY New York
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
QANTAS Queensland and Northern Territory Air Service
UN United Nation
Vic. Victoria, Australia
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