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More APA Style Guidelines: Numbers

Basics of Numbers

Per APA 7, Section 6.32, use numerals to express numbers 10 or above (e.g., 11, 23, 256). Per Section 6.33, write out numbers as words to express numbers up to nine (e.g., three, seven, eight).

Take the APA Style Diagnostic Quiz to test your knowledge.

Numbers Expressed as Words

Use words to express numbers in these situations:

  • numbers at the beginning of a sentence, title, or heading
    • Seventeen computer programmers participated in semistructured interviews.
  • numbers expressing a common fraction
    • The principal presented awards to three fourths of the student body.
  • the numbers zero through nine used in the abstract
    • (This is a new rule in APA 7. APA 6 recommended using numerals in the abstract.)

Numbers Expressed as Numerals

Use numerals to express numbers in these situations:

  • numbers that represent time
    • She had been a nurse for 3 years.
    • [Exception: spell out the numeral for approximations of time: about four days ago]
  • numbers that suggest a specific place in a series
    • I discuss the results in Chapter 4.
  • numbers that represent scores or points on a scale
    • Participants rated their responses on a scale from 1 to 7.
  • numbers that precede units of measurement
    • Each post was roughly 2.45 ft apart.
  • numbers that represent a part of a mathematical expression
    • Teachers gave students ice cream if they scored in the top 5%.
  • numbers that represent exact sums of money
    • I gave each participant a $5 gift card.