Abbreviations You Shouldn't Use in an Essay

Abbreviations You Shouldn't Use in an Essay
We live in a fast world! Everyone is in a hurry and everything has to be done quickly. It's all about saving time where you can. In today's age of technology, mobile phones and computers allow us this speed. Mobile phones even predict what you want to say! This introduces a whole new language to the world. It could be so tempting to allow the use of this language to creep into your academic writing. For some, this does happen as they believe this language to be correct! Worrying times.
An abbreviation is a short way of writing a word or phrase that can also be written out in full.
There are some acceptable abbreviations that can be used when writing - Dr Who as opposed to Doctor Who. Many well known organisations have familiar acronym abbreviations that are well recognised and can be used, such as ICI, RSPCA or BBC. It is advisable to write the name in full the first time you use it and then you can use the abbreviation from there on, for example, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) were believed to exist in Iraq; however, further research proved that these WMDs were non-existent. Even if an organisation or acronym is well known, don't be tempted to use it initially without first outlining its name in full.

Ideally you should not use abbreviations in your formal writing and you should never start a sentence with an abbreviation. This seems a strange rule in this day and age, but it is correct. If you do use abbreviations in your writing, you should write them out in full like for example and that is instead of e.g. and i.e. In informal writing it is fine to write e.g. and i.e.

There are a long list of do's and don'ts in relation to abbreviations and it can get very confusing! In general, if you remember that geographical names, terms of measurement, names of days, months, and holidays; volume, chapter, section, and page designations; and names of school or college courses should all be written out in full when writing, you won't go wrong.

There are some absolute no's in relation to abbreviations. Any kind of 'text speak' should never be included in academic writing unless you are using it to demonstrate a point! Therefore C should never be used for see, abt for about, b4 for before! Short message service (SMS) language does not obey or follow any standard grammar rules and usually the words used are not found in standard dictionaries or recognised by any language academies. So, if you use 'text speak' frequently, do not allow yourself to incorporate it into your academic writing as you are sure to fail if your tutor comes across c instead of see!

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