Simple AP Style Percent Format Guide

AP style % formatting refers to the correct way in order to type out and format percentages in writing that follows AP style. Using percentages AP style is fairly simple and straightforward: the basic rule of thumb would be to place the percent sign immediately after the number. However , due to changes in the rules over the years, it can be difficult to find good information about formatting your percentages correctly. This helpful guide will fill a person in on everything you need to know relating to this important AP style guideline.

Using statistics is a great way to add more details to an article and round out your info. If you are a freelance writer, then incorporating statistics plus formatting your percentages correctly is something that clients will most likely appreciate. Keep reading below meant for easy tips about using AP style percent formatting in a of your content.

What is AP Style?

AP style is the English grammar, spelling, punctuation, and use guide of the Associated Press. All of the rules and guidelines for AP style, including how to format percentages, are normally found in The Linked Press Stylebook , that is currently in its 55th model. AP style is the standard for anyone who functions in print journalism , and it has also become the leading research for most types of public business communication. It is used by publications, newspapers, online publications, as well as for writing press releases . The main features of AP design are clarity, consistency, brevity, and accuracy.

AP Style Percent Formatting Guidelines

According to the current edition of The Associated Press Stylebook , partnering a percent sign using a numeral is acceptable—and, in fact , preferable—in most situations. This rule was introduced in March of 2019 . Before this statement, the rule was to publish out the full word “ percent” after the numeral. For instance , where now you would write “ 10%, ” you will have previously written “ 10 percent. ” Replacing the term with the percent sign helps with readability and brevity.

4 Tips for Writing Proportions AP Style

As the general rule of thumb for creating percentage AP style is simple to remember, here are four extra tips that will help ensure you get it right every time.

1 . Formatting the Percent Indication Properly

When composing out a percentage, the percent sign should go after the quantity, without a space between the 2. Using the percent symbol can apply in most situations.


  • There is a 40% chance of rain this evening.
  • The standard grade on the test was 65%.

2 . Writing Percentages That Aren’ t Whole Amounts

When working with a percentage that isn’ t a whole amount, AP style recommends making use of decimal points rather than fractions. Decimals are easier compared to fractions to read.


  • The mortgage rate of interest is 4. 2%.
  • He scored 6. 5% higher on the test.

3. Writing Percentages Smaller Than 1%

If you need to write a percentage which is less than 1%, then precede the decimal with a zero. A zero on the still left of the decimal point increases visual clarity by making the decimal easier to see.


  • The cost of residing rose 0. 4% this past year.
  • Interest rates are expected to drop by 0. 5%.

4. Whenever to Write Out the Word “ Percent”

When speaking casually rather than referencing specific figures, AP style % formatting recommends writing out there the full word “ percent” rather than using the percent symbol. You should write out the full quantity as well.


  • It happens about 50 percent of the time.
  • He has a zero percent chance of losing.

Common Questions About Writing Percentages AP Style

While the four tips above will cover you when writing percentages AP style, you may still have a few of the following questions regarding where, when, and how to use them throughout the content creation process.

one What is the Difference Between Percent and Percentage?

Percent means “ per 100. ” The word itself or the percent symbol follows the numerals in the figure. Percent is used when they know particularly what the figure is. In these instances, do not use the word percentage. Instead, use the % sign.

For example , you might say:   The item is on sale for 25%.

In case you don’ t know the precise figure being referred to, then use the word percentage rather.  

For example , you would say:   A substantial proportion of people prefer their coffee black.

Rather than:   A substantial percent of individuals prefer their coffee dark.

2 . Are Percentages Paired with Novel or Plural Verbs?

Figuring out whether to use a unique or a plural verb can be tricky, but all you have to do is look at the noun the particular percentage refers to. Use singular verbs for singular nouns and plural verbs designed for plural nouns.

Singular verb example:   45% of the student body is involved in sports.

Plural verb example:   45% of students are involved in sports activities.

3. How can you Write Percentages in a Series or Range?

When writing percentages in a collection or list, make sure you are the percent sign after each number.

For example:   You might win 10%, 25%, or 50% off the complete price.

If you want to explain a range from one percentage to a different, you also need to include both percent signs. To indicate a range, use one of three formats.

  • 30%-40%
  • 30% to 40%
  • Between 30% plus 40%

four. Is It Correct to Write Percent or Per Cent?

Both “ percent” and “ per cent” are appropriate according to AP style. American, Canadian, and British British all use “ percent, ” while “ for each cent” is found more commonly in British and Canadian magazines. It is a stylistic choice among writers, editors, and marketers.

5. What is the Right Way to Write Percentage Points?

Sometimes, you may need to refer to percentage points. Percentage points are calculated by subtracting a final value from a primary value, and they are always composed as numerals.

For example:   His approval rating fell 5 percentage factors.

6. So how exactly does Percentage Differ from Percentage Points?

The difference between percent and proportion points is essential to note. Percent represents the ratio between two quantities, while percent change symbolizes an increase or decrease over time.

For example , if a politician’ ersus approval rating fell from 55% to 50%, it is correct to say that this rating fell 5 portion points. However , the % change is 9. 1%.

To calculate a % decrease, subtract the new number from the original number, then divide by the original amount and multiply by a hundred.

To calculate the % increase, subtract the original number from the new number, after that divide by the original amount and multiply by 100.

7. How Do You Compose Numbers That Aren’ capital t Percentages?

Creating regular numbers AP design is different than composing percentages AP style. When you always write the percentage numeral, you should spell out the numbers one through nine for other figures. Numbers above 10 can be created as numerals unless they are at the start of a sentence.


  • The 4 of us went out to lunch time.
  • There were 15 people in the event.
  • Fifteen people attended the event.

Staying on Top of AP Design Changes

AP style changes slightly with each new edition. In fact , exactly the same year that the AP design percentage rule was changed, its editors made greater than 200 other updates to The Associated Push Stylebook . It can help a person stay on top of your game as a writer to check out any major changes with every new edition. Most modifications are small and probably won’ t impact your writing much, but some are very important to be aware of. For example , in 2017, it became acceptable to make use of the singular “ they” when referring to one person.

Learning Different Style Guides

While many of your potential clients are likely to use the AP style guide , it isn’ t the only one they might choose. Some may prefer MLA Style , the Chicago Manual of Style , or even APA Style .

What’ s more, it’ s not uncommon for clients to get their own  content creation style guide   that includes information on preferred grammar usage, preferred spelling, brand name attributes, target SEO key phrases, and more. When working as a professional writer, it is important to follow the client’ s specified style guide and other instructions. Doing so will ensure that all of the content material they publish is consistent.

Put Your Creating Skills to Use at Continuous Content

From learning AP style percent formatting to becoming familiar with different style guides, ways to improve as a freelance writer abound—and it’ s always in your favor to improve, too. Writers who take the time to hone their craft have an easier time obtaining and keeping clients they enjoy working with.

Whether you’ re just starting out or you curently have a lot of experience under your belt, you can find many exciting tasks and great clients to work alongside at  Constant Content material . Find clients seeking SEO copywriting, articles, how-to guides, blog posts, product descriptions, technical writing, and more. Sign up for an account today and start using your skills and know-how to impress and create lasting associations.

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Demonstrating Professionalism as a Freelance Writer

Writer Details: Kerry Kubilus is Constant Content’s enthusiastic head editor. Interested and inquisitive, she enjoys that her job entails helping writers’ work sparkle while simultaneously learning about a multitude of topics. In her time off, she enjoys first-hand research about travel, lifestyle, and food, preferably in a short time.

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