1. Rayo
    Offline

    Rayo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0

    MA or M.A.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Rayo, Mar 14, 2012.

    I've seen both M.A. and MA used on the web. A friend of mine proofread my paper and she changed my M.A. to MA, so that got me wondering if it matters at all. This is for an application that I am submitting by the way. On to my point...

    I need admissions to know that I am a degree seeking student, but after perfecting my piece I do not have any room to write it as such. I have room to say something like this (made up for now): I plan to obtain an MA.

    I want to know if there are any rules against writing MA or M.A. by itself without specifically writing MA in Writing or M.A. in writing. I also want to know if MA by itself stands, or does it look confusing and needs dots in between. Thanks so much. I know I didn't do the best job explaining.
     
  2. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    it's easy to find this out by simply googling: 'MA vs M.A.'

    that will give you citations from reliable sources much quicker than waiting for conflicting opinions to appear here...
     
  3. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    There don't appear to be completely fixed rules about this. Both styles are used. It isn't even a US/UK thing, either. Although UK English tends to drop full stops in abbreviations while US English keeps them, e.g. UK = Mr Brown US = Mr. Brown, many US universities use MA instead of M.A., and some British universities use M.A.
     
  4. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    There's a fashion to drop full stops in abbreviations, because it looks simpler on the page. If you want to be fashionable then write MA. If you want to be traditional write M.A. There isn't a "right" and "wrong", there are just stylistic preferences.
     
  5. Rayo
    Offline

    Rayo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for your replies, Mammamaia, digitig, and madhoca. Did a Google search before asking, Mammamaia, but I just wanted to be certain because of the varying results I had found. Got to make sure there are no errors :)
     
  6. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    I should add that there are house styles, and what they say is right for the relevant institution. If you're writing for somebody with a house style then that might make the decision for you.
     
  7. cerb123
    Offline

    cerb123 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    San Francisco
    And some people wonder why English one of the most difficult languages to learn hehe.
     
  8. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Heh. I've been trying to learn Chinese, and they can't even decide which direction to write in. Left to right, right to left and top to bottom are all used. Which when the characters fit into an exact square grid can be more than a little confusing!
     
  9. Rayo
    Offline

    Rayo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, digitig. And yes, Chinese is difficult. I wouldn't know from experience, but I have an American-born friend who traveled to the country and married a Chinese man in the process. She now speaks Chinese, fluently.

    And cerb123, I agree. There is so much that goes into the English language. It has been ages since I have taken an English class, and because I enjoy writing I know I'm going to have to brush up on those areas where I need work.

    On that note, somebody please correct my first sentence. After I wrote, "She now speaks Chinese..." is a comma needed before fluently.
     
  10. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
     
  11. Rayo
    Offline

    Rayo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the mini grammar lesson, digitig. Appreciate it! I mistakenly posted this somewhere else, twice. Sorry to whoever was affected.
     
  12. Rennie1989
    Offline

    Rennie1989 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Kent
    There is no rule regarding MA vs M.A. BUT it has to be consistant through the work, which ever you use.
     
  13. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    That would be a rule, then :)

    (I agree, though.)
     
  14. SeverinR
    Offline

    SeverinR Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    New Madison Ohio
    I am in the medical career, many people have an alphabet after their name, most people don't add a period after each.

    RN, BSN, MSN, APN, For brevity it would seem to be easier to leave them off. much faster and easier then R.N., B.S.N., M.S.N., A.P.N. Try typing a period after every letter if you have five or more titles to include. Both read the same, so unless working on special rules, do the quick/easy.

    My title is easy; El Peon.(no period) :)
     

Share This Page