Re: Pros and Cons of Section Numbering (Short) (#738387)

Subject: Re: Pros and Cons of Section Numbering (Short) (#738387)
From: Bill Burns <wburns -at- MICRON -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 08:28:05 MDT

12-SEP-1996 08:05:25.56

>I haven't checked this, but I doubt that you can get through any college
>cirriculum without using a large number of textbooks with numbered sections.
>Thus, if your readership is college-educated, books with numbered
>sections should be a complete non-issue as far as "intimidating the
>reader" goes.

This point probably applies more to technical fields than liberal arts field.
Even in my science classes, the only section numbering I saw was on the
chapters. However, all of the reference guides for citation styles (all that
I've seen, at least) employ some form of section numbering. These guides often
prove the most difficult for students to learn to use. Like many conventions,
numbering systems require some previous experience or education to understand.
Once students build the concept behind section numbering, their transfer of
knowledge should lessen the intimidation factor.

The big assumption, then, is that the readership will be college-educated. If
the likelihood is high, the assumption probably won't undermine your
documentation goal.

Another case in which we should *remember the dictum*--know your audience.

Bill Burns
Assembly Documentation Supervisor
wburns -at- micron -dot- com
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