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