Manuscript Preparation, Copyediting, and Proofreading
Q. I am currently editing a manual of laws for a government agency. The format follows a legislative bill, but the formats I find online are not consistent. Headings/subheadings are as follows:
1. Main heading is ARTICLE
2. Several subheadings / run in text are SECTION #
3. Some subheadings have vertical lists
Do I flush-left the “SECTION # subheading? Do the lists that follow start with an arabic numeral, a letter in parentheses, or Section #.# (e.g., 1.1, 1.2, 1.3)? Or does context have a play here? I’m in a quandary.
A. Since there seems to be no set style, devise your own system by making the best sense of the hierarchy you can, and then edit according to your plan. Where the current format makes it hard for you to understand the hierarchy, take care to query rather than misrepresent the content by assigning a level yourself.