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Abbreviations, acronyms and symbols

Contemporary usage means that full stops are no longer necessary after abbreviations, contractions or acronyms. Do not use @ in place of 'at' unless it refers to a unit price or within an electronic address. Avoid using ampersands (&) in body text (unless it is within a specific title name). Use 'and' instead.


An abbreviation is a shortened version of a word. Abbreviations normally end in a full stop, but this can be left out for commonly used abbreviations.

  • e.g. (in formal documents may be better spelt out as 'for example')
  • etc
  • HoS (the abbreviation is singular or plural depending on context)
  • i.e. (in formal documents may be better spelt out as 'that is')
  • pp
  • Prof (no punctuation)
  • Pty Ltd
Correct Incorrect
ACT, NSW, NT, Qld, SA, Tas, Vic, WA for the states/territories of Australia Vic. Tas.
Cwlth C'wlth
Dept Dep't
Govt Govt
Assoc Prof Ass Prof or Ass/Prof


Acronyms are formed from the initial letters of words (whether the result is pronounceable as a word or as a series of letters). Full stops are not necessary between initials.

Write the name in full first with the acronym in brackets after. The acronym can then be used in the content.

For example: Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI)

CeRDI staff were honoured with an award...


A contraction is a shortened form of one or two words (one of which is usually a verb). When two words form a contraction, an apostrophe takes the place of the missing letter or letters.

For example: Rd, Qld, don't


The use of symbols should be limited. Some browsers display symbols in unintended ways. In sentence text the full spelling should be used.

Correct Incorrect
Learning and teaching Learning & Teaching
Fun @ FedUni Fun at FedUni