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Abbreviations and Acronyms

DO abbreviate:

  • "Page" to p. and "pages" to pp. in footnotes or bibliographical material. Spell out "page" when used in text material.
  • Eastern Daylight Time as EDT, without periods.
  • "And" to an ampersand (&) only in corporate names or if space demands it.
  • Complimentary titles, such as Mr., Mrs., and Dr., but do not use them in combination with any other title or with abbreviations indicating scholastic or academic degrees.

Example: John Smith, Ph.D., not Dr. John Smith, Ph.D.
Example: Susie Jones, M.D., or Mark Williams, D.V.M., not Dr. Susie Jones, M.D., or Mr. Mark Williams, D.V.M.

  • Degrees: Bachelor of Science (BS), Master of Science (MS), Master of Arts (MA), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (BAIS), Associate in Science (AS). Except for Ph.D. and similar compound abbreviations, all degree abbreviations should be without periods.
  • GPA in caps without periods.
  • Official course codes (e.g., MAT 100) only when it is necessary to identify a specific course.
  • Names of universities, government agencies, or other organizations that are abbreviated as acronyms (first letter of each word), using full caps with no periods.

Example: UNCG (not U.N.C.G.), ROTC, MIT

  • a.m. and p.m. with periods and lowercase letters. In tabular matter, the periods can be omitted to save space.
  • U.S. in text only as an adjective. Spell out "United States" as a noun.

Example: He is a member of the U.S. Senate.
Example: She is a resident of the United States.

  • The following months when used with a specific date: January, February, August, September, October, November, December.

DO NOT abbreviate:

  • Names of countries other than the United States.
  • Given names, such as George, William, or Charles.
  • States using postal abbreviations except in addresses. In lists or bibliographies, use traditional abbreviations, not postal abbreviations, e.g., Boston, Mass., not Boston, MA. In other text, abbreviate the name of the state when it is used with a city, except Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Utah. Spell out the state's name when it is used alone.
  • Association, avenue, boulevard, department, institute, street, etc.
  • March, April, May, June, and July in all references.
  • Christmas in the form of Xmas.
  • The name of an organization the first time it is used; spell out the organization name and put the acronym in parentheses. If the term appears only once, do not add the acronym. Subsequent uses only require the acronym. (URL is exception to acronym rule.)
  • The word "percent;" spell it completely except in scientific, technical, or statistical copy when the symbol (%) is necessary.
  • Parts of geographic names, except Saint in St. Louis, St. Paul, etc.
  • "Assistant" and "associate" when used in a title.
  • Names of buildings in text material.

NOTE: Abbreviations may be used more freely in tables and other tabular matter.