Tips for Writing Statistics (numbers) in Scientific Writing
Numbers in the text are confusing to writers and readers. Specifically, massive statistics in the text make it difficult to read and understand. Even, readers generally ignore these sections of the documents. Fortunately, there are a few rules and tricks, which can be followed to make the numbers fit perfectly into the text. These bits of advice and rules facilitate the work of the writer and the reader.
This problem can be divided into two types. The first deals with people and things and the second deals with the measurement and result in the text.
Discussing Numbers and Things in the Text
The first thing we need to focus on is that can we write the statistics (numbers) in one or two words. For example, two (one word), twenty-five (two words) and sixty-three (two words). So, in such cases, we will write it in words instead of writing it in numbers. However, if the numbers cannot be covered in two words and take three or more words, in such a situation we will use numbers instead of words. For example, one hundred and twenty-five requires more than two words therefore, we will simply write 125 in numbers. Here are examples for both of the categories
There are 125 laptops in the shop.
About 1300 people participated in this study.
I have two cars.
There are twenty five cars at workshop
If there are massive statistics in the text then the above rule will be ignored and all of the statistics will be written in numbers. Here is an example
The average attendance of learners whose parents attended the meeting increased as 48, 58, 49, 57, 59, 64, 65, 65 and 65 respectively while the learners whose parents did not attend the meeting run as 22, 27, 16, 31, 29, 26, 27, 28 and 28 respectively.
In the example above, most statistics can be written in one or two words. However, all this is written in numbers. Think for a second, if all these numbers were written in words, no one would understand the message.
Discussing Measurements and Results in Text
When we discuss measurement or results in the text, this will need a particular unit for definition. Using units with words will confuse the readers. Therefore, in such a situation, we will use only numbers along with the unit.
By changing workload from 100 to 800 cloudlets, simulation shows that the system earned $ 70, $ 139, $ 208, $ 278, $ 347, $ 417, $ 486 and $ 550 respectively.
In the example above, a cloudlet is a unit used in a cloud simulator, so 100 to 800 cloudlets convey a meaning. Similarly, the unit of earning is a dollar. The remaining part clearly showed the dollar sign with the statistics to avoid the reader getting confused.
In case we need two units in statistics then we will use the combination of numbers and words to convey a clear message. For example,
Please, send 3 meters three pipes.
Please, send three-meter 3 pipes.
You can see that using the combination of numbers and words clears the message. Specifically, the second sentence is clearer than the previous one.