Term Paper Abbreviation

Although abbreviations are sometimes useful for long, technical terms in scientific writing, communication is usually garbled rather than clarified if, for example, an abbreviation is unfamiliar to the reader.Some abbreviations may not be in the dictionary but appear frequently in the journal for which you are writing.To pick something that is not field-dependant, nobody would expect an author to spell out LASER or RADAR.

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However, I've been told in the past that certain things in a paper should be written in such a way that 'it stands on its own'.

One such thing would include the abstract of the paper.

Also, I've been told by some that tables and figures should be able to 'stand on their own'.

So, if the abbreviation for and then define an abbreviation for it right then and there, even if I have already done so earlier on in the text of the paper.

In my opinion the general rule is that abbreviations should be used exactly when they make reading easier; in particular, in some circumstances it will be easier to understand a sentence when a long term is abbreviated (provided the abbreviation has been defined of course).

The same rule should apply in abstract and captions, except that the cost (in term of reading comfort) of having to look for the meaning of the abbreviation is usually greater.

The abstract needs to stand on its own, and the introduction should also make sense to somebody who hasn't just read the abstract.

Additionally, as some have said, in some fields there may be abbreviations that are so generally accepted that there is no need to expand them.

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange As we all know, you typically abbreviate something the first time that particular term shows up in a paper.


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