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List of Abbreviations for Dissertation

Published by at August 11th, 2021 , Revised On August 22, 2023

What are Abbreviations?

“Oxford English Dictionary defines an abbreviation as ‘a short form of a word’. For example, UN is the short form – an abbreviation – for United Nations.” Abbreviations are commonly used in every form of writing, including academic writing. Abbreviations in dissertations generally have to do with names of organisations, institutions, theoretical models and the like. 

If your dissertation includes many abbreviations, it will make sense to define all these abbreviations in an alphabetically-organised list. 

This can really help your readers understand the jargon and specific terms they might not be familiar with. Here is all you need to know about the list of abbreviations for the dissertation.

Placement of a List of Abbreviations 

Abbreviations’ list should be placed at the start of the dissertation and right after the table of contents. The list of abbreviations should also be a part of the table of contents. If you aren’t using many abbreviations, there isn’t a need to include a whole list. Underneath, we will guide you on how to define abbreviations within the text.

Abbreviation Full Form
Assoc. Association
Corp. Corporation
Ltd. Limited
BKPR Bookkeeper
Dr Doctor
E.g. For Example

Abbreviations don’t need to be numbered in the list.

Acronyms and Abbreviations

There are various ways of placing acronyms and abbreviations in a dissertation. While using acronyms formed by combining the first letter of each word from a phrase, you should write that phrase in its full form and then write the abbreviation in parenthesis right after that. You can then make use of that acronym for the rest of the dissertation.

Acronyms Example in a dissertation

 I met the regional sales manager (RSM) of 5 different multi-national companies (MNC). I conducted in-depth interviews with the RSM, through which I came to know that every MNC  has a different strategy for its product marketing.

Some exceptions don’t apply to this rule, such as when acronyms like AI, URL, FIFA, etc. are involved You can still write the full acronym if unsure.

Point to remember: In research, it is not considered right to create your own abbreviations and/or acronyms. You can only abbreviate terms that have officially been abbreviated in books, journals and other published materials. For instance, you cannot abbreviate ‘women leaders in private sectors’ to ‘WLiPS’. Unless such an abbreviation actually exists, this would be unethical in the context of research.

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APA Style of Abbreviations

If you are working with APA referencing style, there are additional and specific requirements for creating a list of abbreviations for the dissertation.

Other Types of Lists in a Dissertation

In addition to the list of abbreviations, there are other lists that you can include in your dissertation paper, including:

Point to note: You might come across some types of research or theses where the abbreviations’ column is placed in front of an ‘explanation’ column. The latter is simply another way of ‘defining’ the acronyms/abbreviations or rather, giving their full forms. Here is an example of such a list of abbreviations from a thesis:


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Frequently Asked Questions

A list of abbreviations is a compilation of shortened forms used in a document, often found at the beginning or end. It explains the meanings of acronyms, initialisms, or shortened terms to help readers comprehend the text more easily.

About Owen Ingram

Avatar for Owen IngramIngram is a dissertation specialist. He has a master's degree in data sciences. His research work aims to compare the various types of research methods used among academicians and researchers.