Guide to writing history essays



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3. Numbers and Dates
3.1 Numbers less than 100 should be written out in full (e.g. twenty-five; fifty-sixth anniversary). Numbers over 100 should be given in figures, except for round numbers (e.g. 276; five thousand). Use figures with a succession of numbers or a series of statistics (e.g. ‘There were 16 representatives, 5 union officials, and 102 members’).
3.2 Dates are best written in the form ‘day, month, year’ (e.g. 11 November 1918; 30 January 2007). However, whatever style you adopt for dates, what is important is that you use it consistently throughout your essay.
3.3 For decades, write them out without an apostrophe (e.g. 1870s, 1930s). For centuries, it is best practice to write them out in full (e.g. ‘nineteenth century’), though the brief numerical form is acceptable (e.g. ‘19th century’). Never use the shorthand form (e.g. ‘C19’).


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