In general, it’s better not to use abbreviations, but sometimes it is necessary in writing to avoid redundancy.
- Use standard abbreviation for titles immediately before and after proper names
Before proper names After proper names Mr. Rafael Zabala Thomas Hines Jr. Dr. Margaret Simmons Anita Lor, PhD The Rev. John Stone Robert Simkowski, MD Prof. James Russo Polly Stein, DDS
Note: Do not abbreviate a title if it isn’t used with a proper name.
Incorrect: My history prof is an expert on race relations in South Africa.
Correct: My history professor is an expert on race relations in South Africa.
- Use abbreviations only when sure the reader will understand them. Ex: CIA, FBI, IOU, NAACP
- Use BC, ADm a.m., p.m., No., and $ only with specific dates, times, numbers, and amounts
40 BC (or 40 BCE) 4:00 a.m. (or AM) No. 12 (or no. 12) AD 44 (or 44 CE) 6:00 p.m. (or PM) $150
- Be sparing in using Latin abbreviations like e.g., et al, etc.
*In formal writing, it’s best to use the appropriate English phrases
- Avoid inappropriate abbreviations
Right Wrong Names Charles Chas. Measurement pound lb. Days Monday Mon. Holidays Christmas Xmas Months February Feb. Courses of study Political Science PolySci Divisions of written works Chapter Chap. States and Countries Massachusetts Mass. or MA Parts of business name Adams Lighting Company Adams Lighting Co.