Writing numbers for academic reports

Numbers can be written as figures (e.g. 1, 3, 17) or as words (e.g., one, three, seventeen). Which form you need to apply depends on the citation style you are using. This article, drawn from a paper from the University of Wisconsin, gives a basic overview which form to use for every occasion.

Using figures

Numbers are written as figures for:

  • Numbers 10 and above;

  • All numbers if representing a unit of measurement;

  • All numbers if used for comparison;

  • Numbers representing times, dates, and age. 

Using words

Numbers are written as words for:

  • Numbers below 10 when they do not represent a unit of measurement;

  • Numbers beginning a sentence, title, or heading;

  • Common fractions. 

This article does not give a complete overview of all cases. For more in-depth information on when to apply which form of writing numbers download the article in the upper right corner!