What are abbreviations?
Abbreviations are shortened forms of words or phrases. Some common abbreviations in writing are:
- e.g., used instead of for example and originating from the Latin exempli gratia
- i.e. , derived from the Latin id est and more commonly replaced with that is or in other words
- etc., an abbreviation for the Latin et cetera and literally meaning and the rest
Why should you avoid using abbreviations in academic writing?
Abbreviations and acronyms are not the full-form and, therefore, may cause confusion to those who do not know the sense of the abbreviation. You may ask who does not know e.g. but ask yourself are you sure of the difference between e.g. and i.e.?
The use of etc. is also potentially problematic as the reader may be left wondering what the others are and how they may be relevant.
How can you avoid abbreviations?
Use the full forms, and, at the end of a list, instead of etc. use and before your final item.