Sequential References

Margie Wakeman Wells Numbers 4 Comments

A sequential reference is a number that is part of a series of numbers, which usually follows the word that designates what the number is referring to. We consider a number
to be “sequential” when it is in a series. If you live in Apartment 5, there is an assumption that there are Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4. This is a sequential reference.

…It was Check 304 in the amount of $100.
…The office is in Building 5.
…We will mark this as Exhibit 38.

The word that designates what the number refers to is capped with the
exception of the words page, line, paragraph, verse, and size.

…She can now wear a size 12.
…It appears at the bottom of page 5.
…I am reading from paragraph 14.

…How did he get the chance to appear on Channel 5?
…Please refer to Chapter 12.
…It was Section 3.

Use figures for all sequential references.

Even without the descriptive word, a sequential number is in figures.

…It is 4515 on the top of the page.
…I believe it is in 19, the chapter on contracts.
…She lived in 105, if I am not mistaken.

If the word number is used before the figure, “No.” is used except at the beginning of the sentence, where the word is written out. “Nos.” is used for the plural.

…It is Figure No. 150.
…She showed us No. 15451.
…Number 15 has been marked.

Happy punctuating!



Comments 4

    1. Post
  1. Hi, Margie.
    I know the answer to this, but I need a rule to show a reporter I proofread for and can’t find anything specific. When it’s plural, it’s still capped; right? For instance, Exhibits A, B, and C; Sections 1 and 2; Buildings 3 and 4, etc. Thanks!

    1. Post

      Yes. Those words are still capped. She is probably confusing it with the rule that words like that are not capped when they come after.

      …at the intersection of Palm and Jones avenues…

      Hope this helps.


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