After you've established an initialism or acronym in your paper, you must consistently use the short form in place of the words.
Always clarify in your own mind the exact definition of each acronym you use.
Here's an example: A New World Order (NWO) came into effect after 9/11.
Readers will then be aware that any future reference to the "NWO" in your document really refers to the New World Order.
Some abbreviations may not be in the dictionary but appear frequently in the journal for which you are writing.
Although probably well understood by many readers, these abbreviations should still be explained when first used.To maximize clarity, APA prefers that authors use abbreviations sparingly.Although abbreviations are sometimes useful for long, technical terms in scientific writing, communication is usually garbled rather than clarified if, for example, an abbreviation is unfamiliar to the reader.Remember that many initialisms or acronyms still require articles (i.e., "a," "an," or "the").Let's use the New World Order again: Incorrect: NWO has emerged in the 21st century. Remember that NWO stands for a noun "New World Order," and nouns require articles before them.When in doubt, submit your work to our business editors for a fast, professional opinion.Full Stops: A How-To Guide If you’re North American, you may be wondering what exactly full stops are—here’s a hint, there is one at the end of this sentence.An acronym is a word formed from the initial letters of a name or phrase. Examples of common acronyms include "SARS" (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and "UNICEF" (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund)—imagine having to write that out each time in a 10-page document on the organization's initiative to improve educational opportunities for young girls in Africa!Short forms aren't always the best way to avoid redundancies.While "N" is a consonant, it makes the sound (i.e., a vowel sound) when you say it. It's also important to remember that while you can sometimes make up initialisms or acronyms, there are many words/phrases that require abbreviating that are already established and universal.There are a number of online dictionaries you can use to search for commonly used initialisms and acronyms.