Spell out numbers under 10 (one through nine).

  • Example: Students were divided into four groups of nine.

Use figures for numbers 10 and up.

  • Example: There was one group of 10 students.

Spell out a numeral at the beginning of a sentence.

  • Examples: Nine students earned an A on the exam. Twenty-five faculty members retired this year.

Do not spell out numerals that identify a calendar year.


Decimals should not exceed two places in textual references, except for in special circumstances.

Be consistent with the number of decimal places used—if one number has two decimal places, all numbers should have two decimal places (2.25, 2.50, etc.).

Millions and Billions

Use figures with million or billion in all uses.

  • Example: More than 1 million people access the Internet every day.


Always use numerals when referencing percentages.

  • Example: Close to 9 percent of students are from foreign countries.

Spell out percent unless it is included on a quick-reference list.