These questions are multiple-choice. Pick out the best options for each; some have a few correct answers. Feel free to do research online or reread chapter to help answer these.

1. What is the initial letter in ‘nanolaser’?

(a)  N.
(b)  A.
(c)  L.
(d) Na.

Answer: (a). The initial letter or the first letter in the word is ‘n’ or ‘N’.

2. What might ‘CLS’ stand for?

(a) The constrained least-squares estimator in statistics.
(b) The Common Language Specification for computer languages.
(c) Canadian Light Source, a synchrotron light-source facility in Canada.
(d) Capillary leak syndrome, a rare medical condition.

Answer: All of these. The initials could mean anything until they are defined.

3. What kind of abbreviation is ‘CLS’:

(a) Acronym
(b) Portmanteau
(c) Contraction
(d) Initialism

Answer: (d). It’s an initialism.

4. What is the default place to define an acronym or initialism?

(a) At the first mention of the term.
(b) At the first mention of the term in the abstract.
(c) At the first mention of the term in the main text of the paper.
(d) When the writer gets tired of using the full term.
In the title of the paper.

Answer: (b) and (c) are correct. An acronym or initialism should be defined at the first use of the full term in each independent body of text.

5. Where else might an acronym or initialism be defined?

(a) In the Conclusion.
(b) In each chapter of a thesis or book.
(c) With a formal definition or explanation of the concept.
(d) At some point later in the document.

Answer: (a), (b), and (c) are correct. An acronym or initialism may be defined again but only if necessary for reader understanding.

6. When isn’t an acronym or initialism required?

(a) The full term or its initials will not be used again in the document.
(b) The full term or its initials will be used only rarely.
(a) The initials might be mistaken for something else.
(d) The full term is already very short.

Answer: (a) is correct, but you may consider not using an acronym or initialism in the other cases.

7. When don’t you need to define an acronym or initialism?

(a) The reader can probably work it out from the text.
(b) The acronym or initialism has become a standard word or is well known outside the field.
(c) The acronym or initialism is very well known in the field.
(d) The acronym or initialism appears on a journal’s list of accepted abbreviations.

Answer: (b), (c), and (d) are correct, though you may still consider defining it in each of these cases to ensure reader understanding.

8. Which is the best way to define an initialism for the vortex fluidic device?

(a) “The VFD (vortex fluidic device) is used to create nanoparticles and refold proteins.”
(b) “The vortex fluidic device (vfd) is used to create nanoparticles and refold proteins.”
(c) “The vortex fluidic device (VFD) is used to create nanoparticles and refold proteins.”
(d) “The vortex fluidic device (VoFlD) is used to create nanoparticles and refold proteins.”

Answer: (c) is the best way. The modern default style is to put capitalized initial letters in round brackets after the term.

9. For the Shell Questacon Science Circus (an organization for science education), which is the best way to define the initialism ‘SQSC’?

(a) “The Shell Questacon Science Circus [SQSC] tours regional and remote areas of Australia to inspire and engage the public in science.”
(b) “The Shell Questacon Science Circus (SQSC) tours regional and remote areas of Australia to inspire and engage the public in science.”
(c) “The SQSC (Shell Questacon Science Circus) tours regional and remote areas of Australia to inspire and engage the public in science.”
(d) “The Shell Questacon Science Circus (sqsc) tours regional and remote areas of Australia to inspire and engage the public in science.”

Answer: (b) is the best way. This uses the standard round brackets. The proper name is used first, with the abbreviation introduced in brackets. As the proper name is capitalized, capital-letter initials must be used.

10. Microelectromechanical systems, a class of micro-scale technology, are commonly called simply ‘MEMS’. Which of these is an appropriate way to define this meaning?

(a) “MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) are often used as sensors within nanotechnology systems.”
(b) “Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are often used as sensors within nanotechnology systems.”
(c) “Microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, are often used as sensors within nanotechnology systems.”
(d) “MEMS, short for microelectromechanical systems, are often used as sensors within nanotechnology systems.”

Answer: All are correct. ‘MEMS’ is becoming a standard name for this technology, so it may be introduced before the full term, as in (a) and (d). In (c) and (d), writing the definition out adds emphasis to MEMS being an alternate name. Lastly, (b) is the standard style.

11. Which is the clearest way to introduce acronyms or initialisms in the following sentence: “Some useful approaches to determine if the limit of the integral of a sequence of functions is equal to the integral of the limit of the sequence of functions are the bounded convergence theorem, the monotone convergence theorem, and the dominated convergence theorem.”

(a) “…the bounded convergence theorem, the monotone convergence theorem, and the dominated convergence theorem (BCT, MCT, DCT).”
(b) “…the Bounded Convergence Theorem (BCT), the Monotone Convergence Theorem (MCT), and the Dominated Convergence Theorem (DCT).”
(c) “…the bounded convergence theorem (BCT), the monotone convergence theorem (MCT), and the dominated convergence theorem (DCT).”
(d) “…the bounded (BCT), monotone (MCT), and dominated convergence theorems (DCT).”

Answer: (c) is the clearest way. This uses the modern standard style. Answer (b) uses capitals that may be mistaken for proper or commercial names. Answers (a) and (d) are much shorter, but not as clear.

12. Which is the correct definition of this initialism?

(a) This was solved numerically using perfectly matched layers (PMLs).
(b) This was solved numerically using perfectly matched layers (PML).
(c) This was solved numerically using perfectly matched layers (PMLS).
(d) This was solved numerically using perfectly matched layers (PML’s).

Answer: (a) and (b) are correct. In (a), adding an ‘s’ is common, but in (b), leaving it out shows only the selected initials. As perfectly matched layers always come in pairs, there will always be a plural ‘s’ anyway.

13. Which is the clearest use of the plural form here:

(a) “MEMSs are often used as sensors within nanotechnology systems.”
(b) “MEMSes are often used as sensors within nanotechnology systems.”
(c) “MEMS’s are often used as sensors within nanotechnology systems.”
(d) “MEMS are often used as sensors within nanotechnology systems.”

Answer: (d). Answer (a) is the modern, simple way and (b) is accepted but unnecessary. Answer (c) is an older, ambiguous style that is no longer used. However, ‘MEMS’ is defined from a plural term and is always used in the plural form, so (d) is the clearest way.

14. Which are the grammatically correct sentences here?

(a) A finite-element method (FEM) is used to verify the theoretical model.
(b) A FEM is used to verify the theoretical model.
(c) An FEM is used to verify the theoretical model.
(d) An finite-element method (FEM) is used to verify the theoretical model.

Answer: (a) and (c) are correct. The indefinite article ‘a’ is used before a consonant sound (‘f’ in finite) and ‘an’ is used before a vowel sound (the letter ‘F’).

15. Which are the grammatically correct sentences here?

(a) “The surface acoustic wave’s speed is 2700 m/s.”
(b) “The surface acoustic wave (SAW)’s speed is 2700 m/s.”
(c) “The SAW’s speed is 2700 m/s.”
(d) “The surface acoustic wave (SAW) has a speed of 2700 m/s.”

Answer: All are technically correct, but (b) looks very strange with the possessive apostrophe-s after the bracket, so (d) rephrases it more clearly.

16. Which is the most appropriate style for this initialism?

(a) “The QWP will be used to model the wave-packet.”
(b) “The Q.W.P. will be used to model the wave-packet.”
(c)“The qwp will be used to model the wave-packet.”
(d)“The QuWP will be used to model the wave-packet.”

Answer: (a) is the modern and simplest style. The others are for older or special cases.

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