Answered By: Katie Hutchison Last Updated: Oct 10, 2016 Views: 235153
Use numerals to express:
a. numbers 10 and above
examples: 12 years old, the 57th trial, 12 cm wide
b. numbers that precede a unit of measurement
examples: 5-mg dose, 36.3 mm
c. numbers that represent statistical or mathematical functions, fractional or decimal quantities, percentages, and ratios
examples: multipled by 5, .33 of the..., more than 5% of the sample..., a ratio of 15:1
d. numbers that represent time, dates, ages, scores, points on a scale, exact sums of money and numerals
examples: 1 hr 34 min., at 3:45 am, 2-year olds, score 5 on a 12 point scale
Use numbers expressed as words:
a. when the number begins a sentence, title, or heading
examples: Forty-eight percent of the sample..., Twelve students improved...
b. common fractions
examples: one fifth of the class..., two-thirds majority
c. universally accepted language
examples: the Twelve Apostles, Five Pillars of Islam
For more information, see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. You might also find help using the APA Style blog.
- Also I believe that you write out numbers if numbers are already written in the sentence. So if you start a sentence with a number and you have another number you would write them out to keep the sentence flowing.
Wrong: Fourteen lucky women received 12 bracelets and 2 airline tickets when they celebrated their anniversaries today.
Right: Fourteen lucky women received twelve bracelets and two airline tickets when they celebrated their anniversaries today.
This is what I was taught. Am I correct?
- Yes, sounds good! Thanks for the comment.
- I used this sentence in a thesis paper, and my professor commented;"Use professional writing and underlined the 7,000 in the second sentence. Any idea what I did wrong?
Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals. Of those 7,000 chemicals, 69 of them are known to cause cancer.
- Chris, that can be frustrating because you do seem to have followed the APA guidelines. However, your instructor may be using a different style as a guide or has different preferences. When you are writing for a course and something like this comes up it's best to ask the instructor directly for clarification and guidelines.
- Yes, the professor is saying don't use the 7,000 again. It is redundant. Of the 7,000 chemical found in cigarette smoke, 69 are known to cause cancer.
- Question 1:
If i am referring to a chapter number, how do I write it correctly in apa? i.e. Referring back to chapter 3 (three)...
If I am referring to a grade level in education, do I say Grade 2 or Grade Two? Capitalized?
Thank you so much for the help
To answer your questions...
1. For numbers less than tn you write out the number. For your example, you would write, "In chapter three, ..."
2. Same answer for question two. You will write out the number. For example, "By Grade Two, children should..."
- I know this is probably too late to help the original poster, but for anyone who might be looking for help with this in the future...
"Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals; of these, 69 of them are known to cause cancer."
Would be better sentence structure. Learning how to use semicolons correctly is a great thing, because VARIED sentence structure and lengths are something a proffessor looks for in a report
- good articles you're so awesome
- I know that you express a percentage in words when it starts a sentence, for example: "Forty-eight percent of the workforce works is employed outside of the county." However, do you express the same percentage in words if the sentence begins with an introductory phrase? For example: "Because of the lack of industry in the county, forty-eight percent of the workforce is employed outside of the county."
- For more information on writing numbers in a paper, see what the Purdue OWL has to say: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/593/01/
- Hopefully someone is still paying attention to this thread. If I am referring to questions in a study (e.g., questions of a survey), do I refer to the question written out, or numerically?
"Question two in the questionnaire asked participants..."
"Question 2 in the questionnaire asked participants..."
Also, will this change as I start talk about questions 11-32 because these numbers are higher than 10. My thought is I would need to keep it consistent throughout the research. Thank you in advance for any input!
- @Rachel - this seems to be answered in the FAQ already.
It is reiterated by other sources including the Purdue OWL (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/593/01/) and on this academic coaching website (https://www.academiccoachingandwriting.org/academic-writing/academic-writing-blog/ii-using-apa-style-in-academic-writing-words-or-numerals)
- I am starting out a paragraph using the scientific name of a chemical compound that starts with two numbers. Is this acceptable APA style or do I need to restructure my paragraph and bring the chemical name in later?
- @Matt - so your paper will read something like, "C2H5OH can be used for....". That is not problematic to start a sentence like that. You are fine. If you have further questions, stop by the Walsh U Library.
- If a number is an identifier, as in Participant 3, should it be spelled out for APA?
- @Pat - I would assume it should not be spelled out. "Participant 3" is more like a name in that scenario.