Numbers in the degree thesis: how to write them correctly?

A stylistic choice

The correct spelling of the numbers in your degree thesis depends on several factors. As in all texts, each specific case is different. If you need to report the results of statistical measurements, experiments, and yours is an experimental thesis on quantum mechanics, it goes without saying that it will be a text filled with numbers. If, on the other hand, you are analyzing this author’s novel, it is quite intuitive to understand that there must be many fewer.

However, to give you the most accurate information possible, we also relied on the very authoritative Accademia della Crusca.

Cardinal numbers

  • Arab
  • Calculations, dates, unrounded figures: 13 December 1993 – 14.70
  • Precise / scientific data: Francesca was born of 2660 gr
  • Precise hours: It was 12:32
  • Complex and long numbers: Students are 4578
  • Percentages: 15%
  • Age, when specific: I was 17 when …


Numbers from zero to ten and small / short to write: forty-one but 475 (and not four hundred and seventy-five)

hundred, thousand, tens, hundreds, thousands

General / full hours: I will arrive around eleven

Indicative values ​​and idiomatic expressions: We will have been there three or four times – Sweating seven shirts

Centuries, with a capital letter: the seventeenth century

Age, in general: In my twenty years …

NB: If two or more numbers are inserted in the same speech or in the same sentence, it is advisable to write them using the same method.

Ordinal numbers

In this case the choice depends on the style you want to adopt. However we would like to point out some precautions to be observed.


In that case it is necessary to add the letter a / o in superscript or, alternatively, the circle above (as in the example): 40 ° parallel


Strictly without apex

To be used in the names of Popes, Kings: Pius IX, Henry XVIII

When we indicate the centuries: In the fifteenth century …

To indicate volumes, tomes, parts of literary or theatrical works: Act I, scene III


For centuries: the eighteenth century (tiny)

They can be used to indicate the starting day of a month: October 1st

Car marches and school classes: the first, the fifth …

Nth / a

Attention: If you intend to write in letters (both cardinals and ordinals) and have doubts about correct spelling, the advice is to consult a good dictionary!

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