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Q&A

singular or plural for index entries

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I am in the final stages of writing a book and currently I am preparing the index. Are there any rules whether index entries should be listed in singular or plural? Currently I have

Markov chains, 20, 30-40, 50
    with discrete state space, 33
    with continuous state space, 38

Should I change this to "Markov chain"?

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This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/q/7441. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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I would say it depends on how the item is discussed in the body of the book.

If a Markov chain is something referred to as a single entity, then index it as a single item. If you discuss several of them at once, or generalize (like saying "black holes have thus-and-such properties"), I'd use the plural.

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