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Presenting Acronyms and Abbreviations

Guidelines are available for introducing acronyms and abbreviations for the first time, as well as for presenting acronyms and abbreviations subsequent times in your reports. In this section, we will discuss those guidelines and demonstrate how to correctly use both acronyms and abbreviations in a variety of situations.

First-time Usage

The first time you use an acronym or an abbreviation in a specific report or document, place it in parentheses immediately following the complete term. The following sentence demonstrates this rule for acronyms:

Acronym: Other real estate owned (OREO) was listed in the audit document.

Note: Some Reserve banks use quotation marks around acronyms and some do not. You will need to check with your report writing instructor or report reviewer for the style that your Reserve bank follows. For example, if your bank uses quotes around acronyms, the previous example would be written as follows:

Acronym: Other real estate owned ("OREO") was listed in the audit document.

The next sentence demonstrates the first-time usage rule for an abbreviation:

Abbreviation: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) did not submit a report to the bank.

Note: While some Reserve banks use quotation marks around acronyms, no Reserve bank uses quotes around abbreviations.

Second or Subsequent Usage

The next time you use an established acronym or an abbreviation within a particular document, you only need to use the abbreviation or acronym. You do not need to reference the full phrase again or put the abbreviation or acronym in parentheses. The exception to this is if you have a long document and/or a number of acronym and abbreviations grouped together. You can help the reader by occasionally repeating the full name or title for unfamiliar terms, particularly at the start of a new section. The following demonstrates this rule for acronyms:

Acronym: OREO was listed in the audit document.

Note: Regardless if you used quotation marks to introduce the acronym, you do not need to continue using quotation marks with the acronym for subsequent usage.

Abbreviation: The FDIC did not submit a report to the bank.

If you would like to take a look at this information in a different format, select the View Decision Table Link below. We will build on this table as we go through the decisions or steps that need to be taken when writing acronyms and abbreviations. Later, you may print the entire table for reference or to help answer practice questions in the module.

If you do not feel like you need the extra review that this table provides, click Next to continue.



Before moving on, take note: When introducing abbreviations and acronyms write the full phrase and follow that with the abbreviation or acronym in parentheses. Also, some Reserve banks may use quotations when introducing acronyms. Your report writing instructor or report reviewer will be able to tell you what format to follow.

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