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How to Write Measurements in a Formal Paper

Stephen Lilley

When you're writing a formal paper for school or work, you need to format measurements in the text using a specific method. The method of formatting measurements should fit with the formal content of the rest of the paper. Write measurements in a formal paper using the specific rules set forth in the AP style guide.

Step 1

Use numerals for all measurements of weight and distance, regardless of the value of the number. If you write the number "7" in a formal paper, spell out "seven" because the number is less than 10. However, when "7" is a measurement, use the numeral and not the spelled-out word.

Step 2

Type a space followed by the unit of measure. For example, if you are writing a paper about the height of a chair, write, "The chair was 4 feet in height."

Step 3

Place a hyphen in between the number and unit of measure if the measurement is modifying an object. For example, if your sentence is formatted, "The [measurement] [object]...", write "The 4-foot chair..." with a hyphen.