Educational Research
APA Format for Numbers

Never use both the numeral and the word. Use the following rules for determining whether to use the numeral (5) or the word (five).

Rules

• If the number is nine or less, use the word.
• If the number is 10 or greater, then use the numeral.

However, there are two exceptions to these rules.

• The word is always used if the number is the first word of a sentence.
• Use all numerals if a number 9 or less is in the same sentence as a word 10 or higher.

Examples

• There were six girls in the sample.
• There were 36 boys in the sample.
• Twelve research assistants helped administer the questionnaire.
• There were 4 boys and 12 girls in the sample.
• One hundred twenty-three children were in the treatment group.
• As you can see in the table, 63% of the participants returned the questionnaire.
• Children read 26 books throughout the treatment.
• Seventy-three percent of the sample were under the age of 12.

Practice
For the following sentences, pick whether the word or numeral should be used.

1. This study included (seventy-two, 72) participants.
2. Because of unreadable responses, (four, 4) questionnaires were unusable.
3. There were (seventeen, 17) teachers in the control group.
4. (Fifty-four, 54) students were observed.
5. Participants included (fifteen, 15) children in JS1, (nine, 9) children in JS2, and (two, 2) children in JS3.
6. There were (three, 3) treatment groups.
7. The average score of the class was (sixty-two percent, 62%).
8. (Nineteen, 19) children were randomly selected.

Answers

1. 72 because the number is greater than nine.
2. four because the number is nine or less.
3. 17 because the number is greater than nine.
4. Fifty-four because it is the first word of the sentence.
5. 15, 9, 2 because one of the numbers is greater than nine.
6. three because the number is nine or less.
7. 62% because the number is greater than nine.
8. Nineteen because it is the first word of the sentence.

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