An index usually contains the titles or descriptions of first-level titles (chapters of longer works) and often includes second-level titles (sections or Title A) within chapters and occasionally third-level titles (subsections) or Title B) within sections. The level of detail in the tables of contents depends on the length of the work, with longer works showing a smaller number. Formal reports (ten or more pages and too long to be written in a memo or letter) also contain an index. In an English-language book, the table of contents usually appears after the title page, copyright notices, and in journals after the abstract and before lists of tables or figures, the preface and preface.

The printed indexes indicate the page numbers where each part begins, while digital links are provided for each part. The format and position of the page numbers are a matter of style for the publisher. When page numbers are displayed after the header text, they may be preceded by characters known as guidelines, usually dots or full stops beginning with the chapter or section headings on the opposite page, or the page numbers may be kept closer to the titles. In some cases, the page number is displayed before the text.

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