Speaking of Roman numerals, they have their place, but are not the usual way to represent numbers in academic writing.

Common error: Equation V can be calculated for our parameters.

Fixed: Equation 5 can be calculated for our parameters.

Common error: We now travel back to the XII Century.

Fixed: We now travel back to the twelfth century.

There are special cases, apart from structuring, where Roman numerals are used. When you are considering using Roman numerals in your text, consider whether they are the most common way of expressing these concepts in your field. You can check relevant articles or books to find this out.

Examples for particular fields of research writing include:

  • Epimetheus (also known as Saturn XI) was discovered in 1996 and has a volume about a billionth the size of Saturn, the planet it orbits.
  • The 1952 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II following the death of her father, King George VI, marked a new stage in Commonwealth history.
  • The results mainly fall in quadrants II and III, indicating that x is generally negative, but there is more variance in y.
  • The chord progression iii – IV – V7 leaves an unanswered question of hope before the next phrase.

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