# % or percent?

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Anonymous:
Hello people,

I am writing an academic paper and present many results in percentages.

Is there any difference between writing it out as "percent" and just using the symbol for it?

For instance, shall write "60 percent of the population retire" or shall I write "60% of the population retire"?

When reading, I encountered that some authors write it out explicity at some places.

Apperantly I am missing a rule here.

Can you help?
Hi,
I don't think there is a rule, it's a matter of style, in my opinion.
I'd write either 60% or sixty percent, I don't like 60 percentvery much. That's how I would write it, but I think you can write it the way you want, according to "your style".
Veteran Member5,652
KooyeenI don't think there is a rule, it's a matter of style, in my opinion.

Bingo! I know the AP style more than academic writing.

Generally, I write numbers under ten and use numerals over ten. Generally, I write out percent in text and use % in charts. So "five percent" in your paragraph, but 5% in your chart or table. But that's just GENERALLY.

You can ask your teacher for style guidance, or you can pick your own, but the most important rule of any style you use is to be consistent. Don't say "ten percent" in one paragraph, and 15% in the next" and "fifteen percent" in the following, etc.
Veteran Member27,495
Anonymous:
Quote: "So "five percent" in your paragraph, but 5% in your chart or table."

Question: Further to your explanation, how would you write it if the number was say 50 and in text not a table. Would you write it out as fifty percent or 50 percent?
50 percent.

I just took the AP Stylebook from my shelf. It says to use figures for all percents, even those below 10.

1 percent of the population
115 percent increase
0.4 percent decrease
Anonymous:
According to APA 5th Edition, the symbol for percent can be used when it is preceded by a numeral. The example given is:

"found that 18% of the rats"
Anonymous:
AP style guide dictates the use of the word "percent" instead of the symbol, %. I'm not positive, but I think MLA does, too. If you're looking for which one looks best and more professional, I would definitely write out the word. I've written a number of academic papers and that is how I've done. I think it looks more proper that way, regardless of the style guide you are following. In the end, though, write your results whichever way you think looks best. Hope that helped!
Anonymous:
According to the Associated Press Stylebook, it should be written as 60 percent. Numbers less than ten should be spelled out, 10 and above should be numerals unless they occur at the beginning of a sentence.

Academic writing generally follows the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines which are: "In nontechnical contexts, the word percent is generally used; in scientific
and statistical copy, the symbol % is more common." Numbers up to and including one hundred are spelled out, 101 and above are listed as numerals.

So, the type of writing and audience dictate which style you would follow. Clear as sixty-three percent moist soil?
Anonymous:
Ah, but there is a rule. Only write out percent if alone or if the number that precedes it is the first word in a sentence (which means it will need to be written out, too). Because percentages will always be figures, you'll most often use the symbol for percent.

And please, for the love of all that's good, please don't use per cent (two words).