Textbook and Reference Book Indexes

What are their key features?

Frequently Asked Questions

Exam prep guides. History. Mathematics. Medical coding. Natural sciences. Nature guides. Social sciences.

Textbook users don’t often approach the material in a textbook in sequential order. People use reference books to find information fast. They have questions. And they need answers, quickly and on demand.

To help both textbook and reference ebook users, a good index is essential.

But what constitutes a quality textbook or reference book index?

Three key elements:

  1. Multiple access points for the same information
  2. Intuitive, straightforward structure
  3. Text reflexivity

Margie Towery succinctly explained in her book Ten Characteristics of Quality Indexes, “The index translates the complexity of the text into an alphabetical arrangement that is useable and clear…”

usable, clear index–perfect for accessing information in seconds.

Need help with an index? Let’s talk!


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