Writing Numbers In A Paper

This article covers guidelines on scientific number style as recommended by the two predominant style guides in life sciences and medicine: In actual application of these guidelines, however, when common sense or editorial judgment says a guideline is a poor choice for a specific document, follow sense or judgment.In a scientific text, Arabic numerals should be used in preference to words when the number designates anything that can be counted or measured.

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In addition, numerals have greater visual distinctiveness than words; it increases the profile of quantities in running text.You can refer to Part 1 and Part 2 in this series, for a quick recap.In this post, we will provide a simple rule of thumb and some exceptions for our biomedical authors.In fact, it is all really a matter of personal preference.That being said, however, there are a few ‘habits’ that the majority of those who write in English have adopted, they are: As a general rule of thumb, the majority of people choose to spell out numbers phonetically if they can be expressed in two or less words and will write the number out using numerals for numbers that are longer than three words.The Chicago Manual of Style, on the other hand, suggests that writers spell out number zero through one hundred and use numerals after that point – the exception being whenever whole numbers in combination with hundred, thousand, hundred thousand, million, billion etc. Here are a few examples: seven thousand, eight hundred, thirty million or 801, 2,507 and 32,456,098.The topic of writing numbers in English can be a complex one, and as we discussed early, there are multiple view points on what is correct and what is ‘passable’, there are several exceptions and really no consistency amongst written work found in blogs, books, newspapers, and magazines.When it comes to deciding whether or not to write numerical numbers or to write numbers in words, there are a few schools of thought, although none are considered to be concrete or ‘written in stone.’ For example, the APA stylebook recommends the numbers zero through nine be spelled out and that all numbers after nine be written numerically from ten through one million.Here are a few examples of how you might write out numbers exceeding 999,999: 2 million, 25 million, 30,123,321 or 3.8 billion.Take the APA Style Diagnostic Quiz to test your knowledge.This week my 11-year-old daughter had an assignment on writing numbers.


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