Abbreviations used in theses

Published on May 12, 2015 Laura. Date updated: January 21, 2019

Abbreviations are a great way to cut your text and save time. However, it is important that you use it correctly.

abbreviations should be whether in bachelor theses, master’s theses or dissertations, sparingly as possible custom written essay and only be used if they do not impair clarity and readability in scientific work. Your aspired readers should immediately understand what is meant or can look it in a prefixed abbreviations.


What is a shortcut?

An abbreviation is short for a single word or a multiple word expression which is usually caused by the reduction of certain letters. In the following sentence is by all that was underlined by an abbreviation:

The apartment costs 600 plus. Charges of 150 . On my PC I u. a. some Photos of the living room. The apartment has a floor area of ca. 80 cm2 . We can use the apartment visit, for example. tomorrow with Ms Dr. stone.

Not all of these abbreviations were used in this example are formed in the same way.

Dr. , plus. u. a. , eg., approx. is common abbreviations in and cm2 to abbreviations of currencies and units in Photo to an acronym and PC to an acronym. Short words and acronyms are subcategories of abbreviations. But how do they differ?

General abbreviations

well-known abbreviations such as z. B. , u. a. or i. d. R. you need to put a full stop and a space after each individual word, an exception is etc. Here you can a non-breaking space is best to use, so that the shortcut is not spread over two lines .


Abbreviations in full text spoken you write with a point z. As Mag. for Master , c. for century and v. Chr. for BC .

If the end of the shortcut to the end of a sentence together, you put only one point, but with a question mark or exclamation point set and character.? Is he really already Mag

Well-known abbreviations Abbreviated presentation of a word or a phrase
z. B. as
u. a. among other
i. d. R. usually
for example. example
etc. and so on
plus. plus
ca. about
Dr. doctor

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For a short word is an abbreviation of a word that is not only written abbreviated, but also spoken abbreviated.

acronyms abbreviation of a word
Lok locomotive
auto automotive
bus bus
moped engine pedal car
Photo Photo

The acronyms listed in the above list are now as German nouns treated and declined accordingly.

acronyms are composed of the initial letters of the words. When read, some are pronounced like ordinary words (for example, NATO ); be other than read individual letters (for example, USA ).

acronyms are usually written without a dot. You are not declined in general, with the exception of the plural-s at WC or ECG.

acronyms initial letters of the words
WM world Championship
PC personal computer
USA / USA United States of America
IT Electronic data processing
trucks / lorries lorries
NATO / NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization

As you can seen from the above table

There are several spellings for some acronyms, such as Truck or Trucks , NATO or NATO , USA or USA . It is important that you opt for a variant and these are using in your entire work.


Abbreviations for specified units, the compass and chemical elements such as m ( m ), g ( g ), s ( seconds ), nO ( Northeast ) or Na ( sodium ) are written without point.

Currencies also be written without a full stop, here again you have several options, such as 300 EUR or 300 € each space between abbreviation and number .

Make sure that you consistently in your entire working either , EUR or are using. It is the same with , USD and dollars .

signs and symbols

Shortcuts can also be represented by characters or symbols. Between the sign and the number you should always put a space ( 3 + 4 = 7 5% ).

signs and symbols
less than, greater
+ – plus, minus
% percentage
per mil
approximately equal
= same

numbers and abbreviations

Before sign, abbreviations of dimensions, weights, money places, etc. you should write in numbers the number, for example, 2 km ; 8.4 kg ; 5 EUR or 10% .

You use but no shortcuts, you can either write out or expressed in numbers the numerals, for example, two / 2 km , five / 5 € .

How are abbreviations used?

Abbreviations should make things easier both for you and for your readers. The following tips will help you to achieve this goal:

  • that abbreviations are normally ends with a period, acronyms and short words are not.
  • plural of abbreviations is formed by attaching an “s” and no apostrophe.

The current PC the US manufacturer are geared for the new operating system.

GDP (GDP) is the sum of all generated in a particular country in a given period performance. The GDP is calculated in Germany by the Federal Statistical Office.

Which abbreviations are the abbreviations?

Common abbreviations like z. B. , see. , etc. , etc. can be used without explanation, all other abbreviations should be listed in the List of Abbreviations because abbreviations are often ambiguous. Thus, MS for example motor vessel , Multiple Sclerosis , spectrometry , lactic acid or Microsoft are.

It is important when using shortcuts: If you decide in favor of using one or more abbreviations in your bachelor or master thesis, you should abbreviations uniform and use in your entire work!

Well-known abbreviations (such. As, etc., u. A.), You do not explain (neither in the first nor in naming abbreviations). Abbreviations that are not understandable to any reader, you should explain, however.