Numbers can be written as words (for example, one hundred) or as numerals (e.g., 100). In this paper, we adhere to the requirements of APA Style, one of the most widely used style guides in academic writing. In general, words should be used for numbers 0 through 9, while numerals should be used for numbers 10 and up. However, these guidelines are not absolute, so you should use your best judgment when deciding how to write numbers.
According to the AP style standard, you should write out the whole word for any number less than ten, such as "nine" and "seven." Other sources advise spelling out any number that is only one word long and does not include dashes, such as "eleven" or "thirty." Use a numeric such as "45" or "22" for everything else.
In general, use words instead of numbers for clarity. For example, instead of saying, "I like green eggs and ham," say "I like eating green eggs and ham." Instead of saying, "Take home a book for everyone in the family," say "Let each person take home a book." Numbers are easier to understand when read from left to right. So, the sentence "You have three options: jump, climb, or dive" makes more sense if they're written out as "Jump, climb, or dive."
Finally, avoid using numbers 1-9 as word parts. While these words may be clear enough when read aloud, they can be confusing when written down because readers cannot tell which part of speech each number belongs to.
The usual guideline is that if the number is one or two words, write it out as words rather than using numerals. This implies you should write out the digits 0 through 100.
However, there are times when writing out a whole number is difficult or impossible. For example, if you're counting something that is not necessarily a complete unit (such as pieces of an artichoke), or if you need to write a number in scientific notation. In these cases, it's okay to use numerals instead of words.
Numbers go up into the thousands, millions, billions, and so on. These large numbers are usually written with words because there aren't that many characters available. The only exception is if you can make your number fit inside the space provided by using fewer characters. For example, here are ways you can write 1000 with just three characters: 3,000, 30,000, 3 million, and so on.
There are also times when it's helpful to view a number in binary form. Binary numbers consist of just two symbols, 0 and 1. They are used to represent digital information, but they can be used as a base-10 numeral too. For example, 1010 = 8.
In general, APA style suggests using words to convey numbers less than 10, and numerals to describe numbers more than 10. For example, the word "one" or "1" should be used instead of the number "11". However, if you must use digits, then there is no rule against writing 11.
If you have a number less than 10, it's best to write it out fully instead of using symbols or abbreviations. This makes it easier for readers to follow your text.
However, if you are presenting data in tables or graphs, then using numbers as subscripts or superscripts is acceptable in APA style. These labels serve two purposes: first, they identify which number is which within the table or graph; second, they indicate where to place the label in relation to the number.
For example, in an article about baseball statistics, you might present batting averages with one number per player listed in order from lowest to highest. You would write "Joe Mauer has the highest average among all batters this season at.462." Using subscripts, this statement would look like this: "Mauer's.462 average this season is higher than anyone else's.410 or better."
In nontechnical writing, it is often better to write numbers from 0 to 100. The dominant technique in scientific and technical writing is to write out numbers less than 10. While there are exceptions to these guidelines, your primary focus should be consistently expressing numbers.
When writing numbers from 101 to 200, it is acceptable to use digits from a single set of ten, for example, 12345 or 88888. However, for numbers from 201 to 1000, it is recommended to use digits from at least two sets of ten, for example, 123671 or 7654321. There are no hard and fast rules about how many sets of ten should be used, but the more sets that can be used the better. Numbers above 1000 may also include thousands, such as 16777216.
It is very common in mathematics and science to need to write large numbers. When doing so, it is helpful to use multiple methods to express the number. For example, if one has a calculator then it is not necessary to write out the number in full before calculating with it. One can simply enter the number into the calculator and it will do the multiplication for you.
Writing large numbers on paper can be difficult. There are several techniques used by mathematicians and scientists when dealing with these numbers.
For example, a reference might say "the rate of error was 0.5%. " This refers to a statistical table with the percentage listed under "Error."
If you are using statistics in your essay or report, it is important to include all relevant data points. Omitting any numbers could leave your reader wondering what number they should use in place of the missing value. For example, if there is no information about an athlete's height, then it would be best not to mention that fact in your paper. A reader knows nothing about the athlete and thus has no way of estimating his or her size.
It is also acceptable to write out numbers from 101 to 200 as long as you also write out numbers from 0 to 100. For example, if you were referencing a table that showed how many people like each of two candidates, you could list these numbers out too. It does not matter which candidate gets more attention in the paper as long as both get equal representation. In this case, it is helpful to identify some common traits or attributes of each person so readers can understand why they deserve equal time on the page.