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Decimals are always written as numerals for clarity and accuracy.To revisit our library example, perhaps circulation statistics improved in 2015.The document will make use of small numbers, large numbers, decades, and statistics.
If a number falls in the range of one to ten and is not a whole number, it should be written as a numeral.
Incorrect: The circulation of library materials increased by four point five percent in 2015.
Correct: The library acquired 5 new mystery novels, 12 new desktop computers, and 17 new periodicals. If your work must follow the rules of a specific style guide, understand that they all have rules for spelling out numbers that may differ slightly from the rules listed above.
For example, MLA style indicates that writers may spell out numbers if they are not used too frequently in the document and can be represented with one or two words (e.g., ) be expressed as words.
In print or online, for charts and graphs, use numerals.
See the The students collected 114 books for the sale, 12 of which were first editions. —Use either a figure or a word—not both: five rooms, not five (5) rooms.
The main purpose of this rule is to avoid confusing the reader.
Incorrect: There were 12 4-year-old children waiting for the librarian to begin story time.
Here is a rule that you can truly rely on: spell out numbers when they begin a sentence, no matter how large or small they may be. Correct: Fifteen new fiction novels were on display.
If the number is large and you want to avoid writing it all out, rearrange the sentence so that the number no longer comes first.