I'm writing a report for my master thesis and I'm pretty unsure when to use italics. I have found some guidelines in the internet but I still have some questions.

I'm using abbreviations like ROC for receiver operating characteristics and AUC for area under the curve or CSV for comma separated values. These abbreviations are in common use but I'm also using my own defined abbreviations.

Should the abbreviations be given in italic?

Second, currently I make algorithm names, like RelieF, italic. Is this correct? ReliefF is the name of an algorithm presented in a paper.

closed as primarily opinion-based by tchrist, NVZ, Dan Bron, MetaEd, user180089 Jul 29 '16 at 19:08

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


Your question boils down to what style guide you should be using. That's really a question for your thesis adviser or academic adviser.

Failing that, I'll share AP style: On the first use, you write it out, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses.

Scientists from the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) announced today...

After that first use you simply use the abbreviation.

NASA has been investigating the matter since...

  • Thanks for your answer. So you would neither use italic for the abbreviation nor for the algorithm name? – machinery Jul 15 '16 at 12:24
  • 1
    No, I would not. – G. Ann - SonarSource Team Jul 15 '16 at 13:59

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