What are Abbreviations and Acronyms?
The abbreviation is simply a reduced form of a term. In a thesis, abbreviations are handy as the researcher needs to embrace loads of writing in a small space. Researchers can also utilise them in places where there are awkward or long phrases for your document to be much easier to read. For example Corp. for Corporation, or Govt. for Government.
Figure 1: List of Abbreviations
While, when talking about acronyms, it consists of the initial letters of a phrase which generally form another term. These new combinations of words form another term which then becomes a part of our daily life. E.g. RADAR for Radio Detection and Ranging, or SMART for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely.
Figure 2 List of Acronyms
List of Abbreviations in a Thesis or Dissertation
If a dissertation comprises several abbreviations, then there is a definite need to provide all the abbreviations in an alphabetical list along with their meanings or definitions. This is a good step to enable and be aware of the unfamiliar abbreviations that you might read in the dissertation. Hence, it improves your readability and insights about the document.
Making a list of abbreviations does not only make you have a better insight into the document, but it also improves the course of your designation, as it frequently and repeatedly avoids explaining the abbreviations in your main writing or text.
Where Does a List of Abbreviations Go?
Whenever you are placing the list of abbreviations in your dissertation, introduce them close to the start of your dissertation just after the table of contents. Just to be sure and clear that your dissertation comprises an abbreviated list, you can also add another heading to your designations’ table of content.
Note that the page numbers of your abbreviated list need to be continuous from the number of pages that ensues it, and it is needless to recommence it for this segment.
Where do you put the List of Abbreviations?
In any case, if you have used only a few abbreviations, then there is no need to add a separate list to your designation. You can just follow the directions given below to have a better idea of how to explain the abbreviations in between a text.
Figure 3 List of Abbreviations in Between Text
Another example is given below;
Figure 4 List of Abbreviations in Between Text
Rules for Using Acronyms and Abbreviations
When using acronyms and abbreviations certain rules need to be kept in mind. When you are using acronyms or abbreviations first time in your designation, it is considered a good and healthy practice to write a full phrase or terminology along with the acronym or abbreviation (within parentheses). After that, there is no longer a need to use the full terminology again, you can then use the acronym or abbreviation in the whole dissertation. E.g.:
‘It would create a countless range of opportunities for the local developers of Information Communication Technology (ICT) if they utilise the ICT in the agriculture sector.’
However, there are some exceptions to this rule which are very common acronyms that substitute the terms that you use in your daily life, such as NASA, IT, UK, etc. But, it is better to use the full form of phrase to clear out any doubt.
Example of Abbreviated List for a Dissertation or Thesis
The following table deliberates the importance of numerous acronyms and abbreviations utilised throughout the dissertation. The page number is also given in which the acronym or abbreviation is firstly used or defined.
Figure 5 List of Abbreviations and Acronyms in a Dissertation
Abbreviations in APA
Whenever you are using American Psychological Association (APA), some common practices are necessary to follow. Whenever you are abbreviating a phrase, you should write the full terminology when you use it the first time, and it should be followed instantly by the abbreviation within the parentheses (as discussed above).
Following are some dos and don’ts that can further guide you in using the abbreviations in your dissertation;
Table 1: Do’s and Don’ts in APA Abbreviations
- Heading of “LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS” should all be in capital letters and you should center it 1” underneath the top of the page.
- You should include a double-spaced line between the first entry and the heading.
- You should alphabetically arrange the abbreviations.
- Your abbreviations need to be aligned with the left margin of the dissertation or should be indented using consistent tabs to the right side of the left margin.
- If any entry or abbreviation takes the space of more than one line, then you need to add a single- space between two lines.
- Between each entry, you need to add a double-spaced line.
- The page(s) of LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS needs to be numbered with consecutive Roman figures (lower case) and centered with a margin ½” above from bottom edge.