TOC article in INTERCOM -- things that made me go "HUH??"

Subject: TOC article in INTERCOM -- things that made me go "HUH??"
From: "David Downing" <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2002 11:37:34 -0500

I just read the article "Designing a Table of Contents" in the November
2002 INTERCOM, and discovered a few things that gave me pause.

But first, let me say the article did have one good point. You should
construct your TOC as you're working on your document, not at the very
end, so that your TOC can serve as a guide to organizing your document
in the most useful, logical way, and creating the most useful, logical,
and consistent section headings.

The two points that made me go "HUH??" were

* A *recommendation* that I thought was an actual
*requirement* of a TOC by definition -- that the entries in the TOC
match, word-for-word, the section headings in the document. I always
took it as given that they *had* to match, except maybe for lengthy
headings that you want to truncate.

* A recommendation that seems to *contradict* a
requirement -- that you omit some headings at the chosen hierarchical
level from the TOC. I was always taught that you included all headings
at whatever level you chose. The only exception is maybe if the section
is short enough that they'd all be on one or two pages, or if there is
only one heading under a given heading at the next level up.

So what's going on here. Are my ideas about the TIC somewhat parochial
or what?

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