MLA 8th Edition: Abbreviations

Abbreviations are regularly used in the works cited list and in the in-text citations but rarely in the text of academic writing.

When using abbreviations always use accepted forms. The MLA Handbook 8th edition contains a handy list of acceptable abbreviations, found in pages 95-101.

Do not use periods after, or spaces between, letters when abbreviations are predominantly capital letters UNLESS the abbreviation is the initials of a person’s name, then a period and a space follow each initial.

Should the entire name be reduced to initials, neither periods or spaces are used.

Most abbreviations that end in lowercase letters are followed by periods.

However, if each letter in the abbreviation represents a word, a period and no spaces follow each letter.

In the works-cited list, business words like Company, Corporation, and Incorporated are omitted from publisher names.

In the names of academic presses, University Press is replaced with UP.

Sometimes we need to use a works title in the In-text citation. In this case, shorten the title to its initial noun phrase.

A list of well-established abbreviations for the titles of often cited books, such as the Bible or the works of Shakespeare can be found in the MLA Handbook.

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