Which academic English abbreviations are useful?

This is the third and final lesson about Abbreviations. To complete this course, read each lesson carefully and then unlock and complete our materials to check your understanding.   

– Review the six rules for using abbreviations academically

– Explore seven categories of useful academic abbreviation

– Provide examples to help guide the reader

Lesson 3

The final lesson on this topic is intended to provide academic students with a list of the most frequently used abbreviations in academic writing and presentations. Although we’ve provided seven categories of useful academic abbreviations to share with students below, before reading these it would be first beneficial to summarise the rules from Lessons 1 and 2 that are relevant to this context.


i) explain any obscure or unfamiliar abbreviations in full to your reader

ii) write the complete expression the first time you include an abbreviation and then abbreviate that expressions for every subsequent use

iii) consider including a list of abbreviations at the start of your work

iv) pay careful attention to the rules of pronunciation for abbreviations

v) avoid using full stops in abbreviations unless absolutely necessary

vi) pluralise an abbreviation by including an ‘s’, as you would any other word


Which abbreviations are most useful in academia?

Each of the below seven categories of abbreviation may be used within academic writing, although students should be careful to use these sparingly and accurately.


1. Latin Abbreviations

Abbreviation = AD/BC

Latin expression= Anno Domini/Ante Christum Natum

English meaning = after/before the birth of Jesus Christ.

Example = Boudicca was born in 30 AD while Julius Caesar died in 44 BC.


Abbreviation = am/pm

Latin expression= ante meridiem/post meridiem

English meaning = before/after midday

Example = The exam starts at 10am and will be finished by 1pm


Abbreviation = e.g.

Latin expression= exempli gratia

English meaning = for example

Example = Many countries were involved, e.g. Spain and France. 


Abbreviation = etc.

Latin expression= et cetera

English meaning = and other similar things

Example = The investigations were conducted on cats, dogs, hamsters, etc.


Abbreviation = ibid.

Latin expression= ibidem

English meaning = in the same place (used for repeating citations)

Example = 10% of participants failed the test (Smith, 2010). 27% of participants also scored higher than expected, with 7% achieving the highest results (ibid.).


Abbreviation = et al.

Latin expression= et alia

English meaning = and others (used when referencing four or more authors)

Example = Smith et al. (2010) conducted two initial studies.


Abbreviation = p.a. 

Latin expression= per annum

English meaning = yearly

Example = The company offered $20,000 p.a.


2. Measurements

3. Organisations

4. Places

5. Qualifications

6. Titles

7. Work

Consider next unlocking and downloading our beginner-, intermediate- advanced-level worksheets on this topic to check your understanding and progress. 

3 of 3 Lessons Completed


Once you’ve completed all three lessons about abbreviations, you might also wish to download our beginner, intermediate and advanced worksheets to test your progress or print for your students. These professional PDF worksheets can be easily accessed for only a few Academic Marks.

Our abbreviations guidance sheet (including all three lessons about this topic) can be accessed here at the click of a button.

Gain unlimited access to our abbreviations beginner worksheet, with activities and answer keys designed to check a basic understanding of this topic’s lessons.

To check a confident understanding of this topic’s lessons, click on the button below to download our abbreviations intermediate worksheet with activities and answer keys.

Our abbreviations advanced worksheet with activities and answer keys has been created to check a sophisticated understanding of this topic’s lessons. 

To save yourself 3 Marks, click on the button below to gain unlimited access to all of our abbreviations guidance and worksheets. The All-in-1 Pack includes every lesson on this topic, as well as our beginner, intermediate and advanced worksheets in one handy PDF.


There are currently no PowerPoint activities, additional teacher resources or audio and video recordings created for this topic. Please come back again next semester.


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