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List of Abbreviations For Dissertation – Examples & Meanings

  • 14 Sep
  • 2022

If you are a student who is pursuing a PhD degree and working on his dissertation, you should know that maintaining the structure of the dissertation is important. Your dissertation must look like a professional one, with all the elements in it. The list of abbreviations in a dissertation is one of those elements that you have to take care of. This list makes your document more professional and gives it a scholarly touch.

However, many students just do not pay proper attention to this list and fail to grab good grades in their dissertations. Today’s guide is for those students, in which I will explain how you should list the abbreviations in your dissertation along with examples. So, let’s start today’s discussion by defining the abbreviation first, and after that, we will move on to the creation of a list of abbreviations in a dissertation.

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What is an Abbreviation? Also Explain the List of Abbreviations in a Dissertation.

An abbreviation is a very easy-to-define thing. It is a shortened version of a term or a phrase which often assists academic writers a lot as they cannot use it again and again in their dissertations. For example, the word doctor is mostly abbreviated as Dr. and the word kilogram as kg. Sometimes, a word repeats itself many times in a dissertation. Instead of spelling it, again and again, the writer uses its standard abbreviation, which is also an easy task.

On the other hand, the list of abbreviations in a dissertation is the list that contains information about all the abbreviations that you have used in your document. This is an alphabetical list of abbreviations that you add to your PhD thesis. The inclusion of this list is not necessary. However, it becomes inevitable if you have used multiple abbreviations in your dissertation. This list appears at the start of your dissertation after the table of content and contains a definition of all the abbreviations used.

What Are Examples of Abbreviations List?

What Are Examples of Abbreviations List

As you have got a good idea of the abbreviations and list of abbreviations by reading the information above, let’s now look at some of its examples. Before that, it is important to mention that you must refrain from using abbreviations which are not standard and are only used in informal conversations. For example, you cannot NP for no problem. It is unscholarly and can hurt your dissertation a lot. So, some examples of abbreviations are as follows:

  • MSE for Mean Squared Error
  • ANOVA for Analysis of Variance
  • for Corporation
  • for Association

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Can You Use Abbreviations in a Dissertation?

Abbreviations in dissertations are common, and you can use them. However, their usage is subject to some important things. You can only use an abbreviation:

  • If it is commonly used in academic writing
  • If it poses no risk to the clarity of the ideas in your dissertation
  • If it does not hinder the flow of information

Using unscientific abbreviations that are not standard and common in academic writing is strictly prohibited. For example, you cannot use a shortened version of the word between (b/w) in academic writing. The reason is that it is not standard and common in such kind of writing. You can use it in informal writing but not in a dissertation. Hence, the use of an abbreviation and its inclusion in the list of abbreviations depends on its commonality and standardisation.

How Do You List Abbreviations in a Dissertation?

After reading the information above, you now have a considerably good idea about abbreviations and their use in a dissertation. However, you still do not know how to list the abbreviation in a dissertation and the rules to remember when creating them. Therefore, let’s discuss the rules first and then move on to the listing of abbreviations in a dissertation. The main rules of abbreviations are as follows:

  1. In academic writing, it is not considered good practice to create your own abbreviation or acronym (acronyms are also abbreviations). You can only abbreviate terms and phrases that have officially been abbreviated by top scientific bodies and organisations. It is totally unethical to create your own abbreviation.
  2. Acronyms are formed by joining the first letters of a word or the name of an organisation. For example, FBR stands for Federal Board of Revenue. The rule is that when you use an acronym for the first time in a dissertation, use its full form. After that, you can go with the abbreviation throughout the dissertation.
  3. In the case of shortened words, i.e., abbreviations, the rules are the same as for acronyms. It is necessary to use the full form of the word once in the dissertation. After that, you can use the shortened form in the whole dissertation.
  4. If, as a researcher, you are using very common abbreviations in your dissertation, you do not need to explain to them even when used for the first time. Terms like USA, UK, NASA etc. are so common that they need no explanation, even in the list of abbreviations.
  5. Another rule is that there is no need to include very common abbreviations in the list.

Hence, these are some of the rules that need to be kept in mind when creating abbreviations and a list of abbreviations in a dissertation. If you still face difficulty in creating this list, you can contact cheap dissertation writing UK. Regarding the listing of abbreviations, the researchers normally use a table to list down all the abbreviations and their definitions. An example table is as follows;

List of Abbreviations
Abbreviation Explanation
BALANCE Baltic Sea Management – Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development
BSHM Broad-Scale Seabed Habitat Map
GIS Geographic Information System
EUNIS European Nature Information System


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Conclusively, abbreviations in a dissertation may or may not be necessary. It totally depends on the requirements of your dissertation. However, if you are required to give a list of abbreviations in your dissertation, do not forget the rules mentioned above. Also, take a look at the example table presented above and try to follow this format.

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