List of Abbreviations in the Dissertation

Abbreviations in the Dissertation

An abbreviation is the short form of a word or phrase used while writing. Such as Doctor is written as Dr. While, acronym is the abbreviation formed using the first letter of every word, also known as initialism. The newly combined letters make a new word for everyday language. Like RAM for Random Access Memory.

Rules to use Acronym in Dissertation

During the start of your thesis, you must write the full phrase or terminology of acronym with its abbreviation in parentheses, to make your reader understand it when he reads it the first time, and then start using the acronym or abbreviation throughout your dissertation. Then there will be no longer need to write the full spelling or terminology after it.

Examples of Acronym

The existing literature suggests that the symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) includes fear of dirt, need things to be in order, or unwanted and repetitive thoughts. Many people do not have knowledge to deal with OCD but treatment can be effective in it.

If you are using common terms of everyday life then there is no need to write acronyms with those. Furthermore, avoid adding common abbreviations or acronyms in the list to avoid an abundance of words in it.

List of Abbreviation in Dissertation

If you have written a lot of abbreviations in your dissertation, then it is essential to make a list of all the abbreviations in alphabetical order with their explanation and definitions. This will help to organize your research thesis and help the reader to easily look up for abbreviations and to understand it. List of abbreviations help forming the course of your thesis without explaining your abbreviations over and over again.

Where do you put the Abbreviations List?

Include the list of abbreviations at the start of your thesis, usually after the list of contents. The title should also be included in the list of contents. Give a separate heading to your abbreviation list, with the same proceeding page number like the rest of your thesis numbering.

Example of List of Abbreviations

You can either add all of the additional material in one appendix but it is favorable to break down the appendix into different sub sections giving them identification letters so that they are easily documented and found, if and when needed. It can also allow you to categorize your supplemental information. Keep a few points in your mind while forming an appendix in your dissertation.

AbbreviationsExplanation
Memo Memorandum
AM Ante Meridian
PM Post Meridian
AD Anno Domini
BC Before Christ
BCE Before Common Era
Email Electronic Mail
Etc Et cetera

Abbreviations in APA Style

According to APA, abbreviations are essential to use if it does not get in the way of comprehending the text, so it helps you to create a clear image and understanding of your research in the reader’s mind and allows clear communication. One should not overuse or underuse the abbreviations and it should be used at least three times in your research thesis, otherwise the reader can forget about it.

There are few rules to consider while writing the abbreviations in APA style, though there are always few exceptions to them.

When to Use Abbreviations?

While writing a dissertation, abbreviations should only be used if it helps the reader to grasp your work. Keep a few things in mind while using or creating your own abbreviations.

  • Familiarity with the abbreviation

If you are using a new term as an abbreviation or you think that your reader does not have any background knowledge of your topic then you can use it.

  • Using more than three times

According to APA, abbreviations are only needed to be written if you are going to use them in text more than three times, if less then you should spell the word every time. Less usage of an abbreviation does not resonate with the reader’s mind causing him to lose his interest.

  • Avoid repetition

Recurring and frequent use of words can be uninteresting for your reader, so if you think that it can impact your supervisor then use the abbreviations.

  • Not too many, not too less

There is no hard line regarding how many abbreviations to use in one dissertation. Writing and spelling out most of the words gives a flow to your writing and it can better communicate with your reader. Use the abbreviation when and if necessary.

  • Technical terminology

If you have selected a topic which has a lot of technical terms, then it is advisable to use and provide a list of abbreviations to your reader.

List of Symbols

You can also add the list of symbols with the list of abbreviations. But if you have a long list of symbols then it is advised to write them with a separate heading on a separate page.