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5.6. Divisions of the text

The text of a work must be presented in such a way that a reader finds it easy to follow. In order to present a well-structured work that is not crammed and confusing, the text can be broken down into divisions and subdivisions. These should not exceed seven levels. The headings and subheadings should be followed by amounts of text appropriate to their respective levels.

Complex numbering system

The text can be broken down into parts, titles, chapters, sections, paragraphs, points, etc. by using figures, letters, hyphens and bullets. This numbering system is usually displayed in the following descending order:

Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV, etc.),
capital letters (A, B, C, D, etc.),
Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.),
lower-case letters in brackets (a), (b), (c), (d), etc.,
lower-case Roman numerals in brackets (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), etc.,
dashes (—),
bullets in bold (•).
NB:
Lower-case Roman numerals are used mainly in the Official Journal (for subdivisions of points (a), (b), etc.) Bold bullet points should be avoided when editing acts. For rules applying to the Official Journal, see Part I, Section 2.7 and ‘Summary tables’.
Roman numerals and capital letters should be separated from the text of the title by an em rule (dash); Arabic numerals should be followed by a full point; lower-case letters and lower-case Roman numerals should be enclosed by two brackets: never omit the opening bracket in English texts.

Traditionally, a work is subdivided as follows.

Part One THE WORK OF THE UNION

Chapter I DEVELOPMENT OF THE UNION

Section I – General political situation

A – Budgetary powers

1. Main developments
(a) Directives adopted

Non-numbered system

Another way of indicating the subdivisions of a text is to use different typeface values to give an exact value to each heading and subheading, without breaking down the text into sections, chapters, etc.

THE WORK OF THE UNION

DEVELOPMENT OF THE UNION

General political situation

Budgetary powers

Main developments
Directives adopted

Decimal numbering system

A decimal numbering system can also be used:

Part I – THE WORK OF THE UNION
Chapter I – DEVELOPMENT OF THE UNION
1. General political situation
1.1. Budgetary powers
1.1.1. Main developments

It is advisable to limit the levels of subheadings.

Continuous numbering system

When a publication has many references to other parts of the same publication, it is often more practical to number the paragraphs continuously, as the references can then be inserted before the final pagination is known.

Continuous numbering can be combined with one of the other numbering systems.

Last updated: 29.8.2019
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