Numbers, numbers, numbers. For example, three is the number of times I wrote numbers in the previous sentence! Everyone uses numbers, but people use numbers in different ways. Numbers can be used for counting, measuring and labelling, and they be represented in many ways, including

  • Words: one, fifty-seven, one million, …
  • Numerals: 1, 3.8, ⅚, 1000, …
  • Roman numerals: I, V, XII, …
  • Symbols: π, e, µ, …
  • Letters: a, b, c, …
  • Combination: 7 billion, 2π, 3k, …

The main considerations with numbers in academic writing are 1) conformity with the relevant style guidelines and 2) consistency throughout the document. This chapter provides guidance on how to use numbers in academic writing, and gives examples of common errors and how to fix them.

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