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Index: The Complete Guide to Your Project

Indexing Done By Hand, No Software Used, Reliable,

Indexes should be a comprehensive map of your project. The more detailed and accurate the index, the easier and more useful the publication is to use. Many publishers require an author to submit their own index; book buyers also look to the index before purchasing a book. An accurate and thorough index is vital to the success of your project.

Researchers, students, and other readers often refer to an index for a quick guide to relevant information. Through the index, a reader has access to a full analysis of the book. A researcher often doesn’t read a book from cover to cover; a thorough index allows them to quickly and accurately locate the section in the book that is relevant to their work. The more complete the index, the more useful the index and, therefore, the publication.

There are software programs that will automatically index a document; however, these software packages are often unsubstantial, not thorough, and miss key words that should be indexed. An automatically produced index will contain the verbs and nouns found in the text, but it won’t offer general categories (such as “author’s works”) or the ability to create a cross referencing index (a way to create multiple locating entries for the same topic or concept). A computer program cannot read between the lines and draw parallels to separate concepts. It is also more difficult to tailor an index to a particular project’s needs using a computer software generated program. The best index is an index that has been done by hand by an indexer with experience.

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