**Table of Contents**hide

## Introduction

When you are writing an academic paper or essay, there is a very high probability that you would need to use numbers in your text. For example, having to report numerical information about the demographics of participants or the results of the statistical analysis carried out in the course of the research.

Furthermore, writing a non-empirical paper might also attract numbers as you may need to display the percentage of a population that is having the issues you are looking into and so on. Hence, it is essential to have guidelines for the use of numbers in academic papers. Plus, authors must be ready to follow the guidelines to ensure the readability of their paper.

Like most writing styles, APA style has guidelines for the use of numbers. Plus, it recommends that words should be used to express numbers that are below ten and using numerals to express numbers that are ten and above. This is the golden rule of the use of numbers in APA format. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, and these exceptions are what we would be looking at in this article.

## Numbers to Be Written in Numerals

There are times where numbers other than those that are ten and above are expressed in numerals. They are:

**Numbers in the abstract, table or figure**

When the numbers are mentioned in the abstract, a table, or a figure, it should be written in numerals to ensure brevity.

For example

In this study, seven tests were carried out

**Measurements**

When a unit of measurement succeeds a number, the number must be written in numerals

For example

672 cm

45 gal

**Ratios and decimals**

Ratios should be expressed with numerals and should have a colon between them

For example

A ratio of 2:5 or a 2:5 ratio

Decimals should be expressed with numerals

For example

5.23

145.45

**Percentages and percentiles**

Numbers that represent percentages should be expressed in numerals

For example

25% of the participant

50% of the male contestant

Percentiles should be written in figures

For example

The 5^{th} percentile

5oth percentile

**Time and date**

You are expected to use numerals to express numbers that represent time except for the approximation of time where you write them in words

For example

She has not been to check the test for three weeks

The time is 7:30 am

You are to use numerals to express dates following the consistent order of information

For example

30 March 2012

March 30, 2012

**Ages, scores, and point on a scale**

Ages should be expressed in numerals

For example

50-years-old

2-years-old

Scores and point of scale should also be written in numerals

For example

He had a perfect 8 in the test

An 8-point scale

**Chapter in a book, specific place in a numbered series, tables and figures**

The chapters in a book or specific places in a numbered series should be expressed in numerals.

For example

Chapter 4

When refereeing to a table or figure the number should be written in numerals

For example

Table 2

Figure 3

**Mathematical function and money**

Numbers in a mathematical function should be written in numerals

For example

Multiplied by 5

Currency should be written in numerals

For example

$472

## Numbers To Be Written in Words

**The beginning of a sentence**

When a number begins a sentence, a chapter or a heading, it should be spelled out

For example

Three of the students that came……….

Five Samples

**Common fractions**

Fractions should be spelled out with a hyphen in between the numbers

For example

Two-third of the majority

One-fifth of the participants

**Universally accepted phrases**

Popular phrases that include numbers should be spelled out

For example

The five pillars of Islam

The Twelve Apostles

## Additional Tips in Using Numbers in APA Format

- Place a zero before a decimal fraction that is less than one. However, if the statistic cannot exceed one, then you do not need a zero
- If you are using two number modifiers against a noun, then you should use a combination of both numerals and words

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