List of abbreviations in the dissertation

Date published by Date updated: March 24, 2017

In the list of abbreviations, also called the explanation of acronyms, you provide alphabetical abbreviations of important terms in your dissertation. By looking at this alphabetized list, the reader can easily locate defined abbreviations.

When do you use a list of abbreviations?

If you use a lot of technical abbreviations in your dissertation, then it is advisable to provide a list of abbreviations. Not every reader of your dissertation will be familiar with these abbreviations, and many will find them difficult. The readability of your document is improved with a list of abbreviations.

Where do you put the list of abbreviations in your dissertation?

You place the list of abbreviations at the beginning of the document, just after the table of contents. The readers of your dissertation can then find any abbreviations unknown to them in this specific place.

You add the list of abbreviations header to your table of contents, so that is it clear to the reader that an explanation of abbreviations has been added to your dissertation.

It may be that you only have a few abbreviations that require explanation. You can provide these explanations in a footnote. Then the reader doesn’t have to pause to backtrack for those few abbreviations.

Example list of abbreviations

 

list of abbreviations dissertation

Example: List of abbrevations

Using abbreviations (acronyms) in your text

There are many rules with regard to using abbreviations in a dissertation. In short, when you use an abbreviation, or more specifically an acronym, in your dissertation for a particular word or phrase, you write the first occurrence of the word or phrase in full. Immediately thereafter, you place in parentheses the abbreviation that you will use in the rest of the document.

Example: Write the abbreviation in full at first mention
In this study, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) at Vroom & Dreesman (V&D) is examined. At V&D, CRM has been used for many years to ensure that the focus is on customer contact and that this contact is increasingly improved.

Abbreviations according to the APA style

Do you use the APA style? The APA style sets additional specific requirements for the use of abbreviations in your dissertation.

Additional lists in your dissertation

In addition to the list of abbreviations, you can also use a list of tables and figures and a glossary. When doing so, make use of the following order:

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Article by Michelle Mertens

Michelle is responsible for the support at Scribbr. Day in day out she receives many questions about thesis proofreading, how to write a thesis and how to prevent plagiarism. She loves to write clear and easy to understand articles about these topics to help students out.

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