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Other APA 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 went out to dinner last night
  • 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
    Chapter 4 was considered required reading.
  • numbers that represent scores or points on a scale
    The student scored a perfect 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
    You owe me $5.

Knowledge Check: Numbers