Abbreviations can be tricky, so it\u2019s important to use them correctly. That\u2019s why we\u2019ve created this list of top tips about using abbreviations in your written work!\n\n1. When to Abbreviate\nYou don\u2019t need to abbreviate every long word. It\u2019s best to save abbreviations for terms you use repeatedly, especially long words or complicated phrases. Keep in mind that using too many abbreviations can make a document hard to read. This is known as \u2018alphabet soup\u2019.\n\n\n[caption id="attachment_3216" align="aligncenter" width="322"] My alphabet soup just says "ooooooooooo..."[\/caption]\n2. Acronyms and Initialisms\nWe\u2019ve discussed acronyms and initialisms previously elsewhere, but here\u2019s a quick reminder:\n\n\n \tAcronyms and initialisms are abbreviations made up of the first letters in a phrase (e.g., CIA = Central Intelligence Agency; NBC = National Broadcasting Company)\n \tAll acronyms and initialisms should be defined on their first use by giving the full terminology followed by the abbreviated version in brackets\n \tOnce defined, the shortened version should be used in place of the full term\n\nStick to these basic rules and you should be fine!\n\n3. Contractions\nContractions are created by combining two words. This usually involves omitting some letters, as indicated by an apostrophe:\nWho will \u2192 Who\u2019ll\nCannot \u2192 Can\u2019t\nI am \u2192 I\u2019m\nThese words are common in many types of writing, but you shouldn\u2019t use them in formal documents.\n\n4. Latin Abbreviations\nQuite a few common abbreviations are based on Latin terms. The most famous are:\nE.g. (exempli gratia) = Used when giving an example\nI.e. (id est) = Used when explaining something\nEtc. (et cetera) = Used to show that a list is incomplete\nYou\u2019ll find even more Latin abbreviations in academic writing, especially when referencing sources.\n\n5. Punctuation\nWhen shortening a word, we usually add a period afterwards:\nMister \u2192 Mr.\nDoctor \u2192 Dr.\nSeptember \u2192 Sept.\nThe main exceptions here are measurements, which are written without extra punctuation (e.g., \u201ccm\u201d for centimeter). The exception to this exception, however, is \u201cin.,\u201d which is short for \u201cinches.\u201d We add the extra period in this case so that the abbreviation isn\u2019t confused for the word \u201cin\u201d.\nWith acronyms and initialisms, meanwhile, there\u2019s usually no need to add periods between each letter. However, some people prefer to include periods, especially with \u201cU.S.\u201d and \u201cU.S.A.\u201d\n\n\n[caption id="attachment_3218" align="aligncenter" width="297"] It's patriotic either way.[\/caption]\n6. Create a List of Abbreviations\nFinally, you may want to create a list of abbreviations at the start of your document. You can use this to define any abbreviations you use, giving the reader an easy point of reference. A good tip is to make a list as you go, as then you don\u2019t miss anything.