49 PRS Proofreading and Editing Service PhD Experts • All Academic Areas • Fast Turnaround • High Quality ‘gibberish,’ none of which the scholarly writer wants in his or her text. Such language is often the result of authors being so immersed in their respective fields of study that they are unaware that they’re failing to communicate clearly in plain English, even to many in their own fields, but sometimes I suspect it is used to create an impression of learnedness or mystique. If readers don’t understand what they’re reading, however, any impression of the author’s learning becomes frustrating instead of impressive, and while mystique certainly has its proper place, it is not in a carefully written scholarly article. If you must use jargon, keep it to a minimum and be sure to explain its meaning on first use. Numbers aren’t exactly specialised terminology, but the accurate punctuation (point/full stop, comma or neither) and formatting of numbers (as words or numerals) can be complicated, and all the more so because the rules tend to be very precise yet vary from style to style and journal to journal, so it’s essential to consult the guidelines and follow the patterns required in detail. There are, however, a few general rules that reappear frequently across styles and are consistent with the expectations of most academic and scientific journals. They are good, too, to keep in mind if you’re not following any particular style or guidelines, but formatting numbers according to your own methods. • Never start a sentence with a numeral: whatever the number is, it needs to be written out as a word. So it should be ‘One participant,’ not ‘1 participant,’ and ‘Fifty-six men,’ not ‘56 men.’ For larger numbers that would be cumbersome to write out (e.g., 14,386), it’s best to reword the sentence so it doesn’t start with the number. • Numbers directly associated with measures of any kind should be written as numerals: ‘4 mm,’ ‘23 cm,’ ‘130 mph,’ ‘8 m’ and so on. PARt II: PRePARIng, PResentIng And PolIsHIng YoUR woRk