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Using Numbers in an Essay
- Numbers that can be expressed in either one or two words should be written out.
- one million
- one hundred
- fifteen hundred
- Numbers that are longer than two words or are similar to the following examples should be typed numerically.
- 2 ½
- 3 kilograms
- 4.5 million
- Always spell out the number in sentences that begin with a number.
Example: Two thousand sixteen was an election year in the United States.
When Should I Use Numerals?
If you are writing an essay about a scientific subject or any essay that includes frequent use of numbers, like statistical findings, always use numerals.
- Numerals should also be used in front of units of measurements.
Example: 5 millimeters
- Always use numerals with abbreviations such as 6 lbs., 4:20 p.m., $9, 2”, 4%.
- With dates: Example: April 1, 2014
- With decimals or fractions: Example: 9.2
- For large numbers, you may use a combination of numerals and words.
Example: 4.5 million
- In general use numerals with % signs, however, you may spell out percentages or amounts of money if you can do so in three words or less.
Example: five dollars, forty-five percent, sixty-eight cents.