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When to Spell Out Numbers This somewhat frustrating fact is especially true when it comes to spelling out numbers. Should you write them out in words or leave them as numerals?
To write numbers properly, you will have to identify potential differences between major style guides such as MLAAPAand Chicagoto name a few because these guides often outline different rules for using numbers in writing.
To make it easier, let's use an example. Say you're working on a paper evaluating the importance of the local public library in your community. The document will make use of small numbers, large numbers, decades, and statistics.
Thankfully, when using numbers in writing, you can count on a few conventions that apply to most situations; just be sure to consult your specific style guide if one has been assigned.
Small and Large Numbers A simple rule for using numbers in writing is that small numbers ranging from one to ten or one to nine, depending on the style guide should generally be spelled out. Writing out large numbers would not only waste space but could also be a major distraction to your readers.
Beginning a Sentence Here is a rule that you can truly rely on: Fifteen new fiction novels were on display. If the number is large and you want to avoid writing it all out, rearrange the sentence so that the number no longer comes first. There were 15 new fiction novels on display. Decimals Another important factor to consider is whether you are working with a whole number or a decimal.
Decimals are always written as numerals for clarity and accuracy. To revisit our library example, perhaps circulation statistics improved in If a number falls in the range of one to ten and is not a whole number, it should be written as a numeral.
The circulation of library materials increased by four point five percent in The circulation of library materials increased by 4. Paired Numbers When two numbers come next to each other in a sentence, be sure to spell out one of these numbers. The main purpose of this rule is to avoid confusing the reader.
There were 12 4-year-old children waiting for the librarian to begin story time. There were twelve 4-year-old children waiting for the librarian to begin story time. There were 12 four-year-old children waiting for the librarian to begin story time.
Decades and Centuries Decades or centuries are usually spelled out, especially if the writing is formal. The library was built in the '50s. The library was built in the fifties. If you are referring to a specific year e. Consistency Always strive for consistency, even if it overrides a previous rule.
For example, if your document uses numbers frequently, it is more appropriate for all numbers to remain as numerals to ensure that usage is uniform throughout. Similarly, if a single sentence combines small and large numbers, make sure that all the numbers are either spelled out or written as numerals.
The library acquired five new mystery novels, 12 new desktop computers, and 17 new periodicals. The library acquired 5 new mystery novels, 12 new desktop computers, and 17 new periodicals. Style Guides Let's complicate things a bit, shall we?
If your work must follow the rules of a specific style guide, understand that they all have rules for spelling out numbers that may differ slightly from the rules listed above.
For example, MLA style indicates that writers may spell out numbers if they are not used too frequently in the document and can be represented with one or two words e. APA style advises that common fractions e.by Nina Amir. Most of us are busy. Although you might realize the benefit to your business of writing and publishing an ebook, you may feel you simply don’t have the time to write a book, especially if you are already producing a lot of content, for instance on a blog or in a newsletter.
I can think of seven types of books you can write fast—especially by blogging them—and turn them into. What Is “Academic” Writing? by L. Lennie Irvin This essay is a chapter in Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, Volume 1, a peer-reviewed open textbook series for the writing classroom, and is published through Parlor Press.
APA Style refers to the standards of written communication described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological barnweddingvt.com APA style guide is comprised of a set of rules and guidelines created for publishers and writers to make sure that written material is presented clearly and consistently.
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Ebooks are, well, books. But in a format where they can be delivered or downloaded online. You can write them yourself, employ writers, use public domain . It can be tough to decide when to spell out numbers in writing. This helpful guide outlines the rules for using numbers in writing.