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  • Dr. V

Write Percentages Right!

Most academic documents include numerical data, especially quantitative focused works. The numerical information is often represented in the form of percentages. When writing percentages, grammar handbooks require that the number be written in numerical form while the percentage can be spelled out or written as a symbol. See the sentences below for an illustration.


Sentence: The latest report confirms that THIRTY THREE PERCENT of mid-career faculty members report depressive symptoms, and FIFTEEN PERCENT meet the criteria for clinical depression.


Edited Sentence: The latest report confirms that 33% of mid-career faculty members report depressive symptoms, and 15% meet the criteria for clinical depression.


OR


Edited Sentence: The latest report confirms that 33 percent of mid-career faculty members report depressive symptoms, and 15 percent meet the criteria for clinical depression.


Though both edited sentences are considered correct for writing percentages, a writer must be sure to commit to one way of writing percentages throughout an entire document rather than using both or switching back and forth.


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