# "Something's wrong - perhaps a missing \item" after second instance of centering section

I have been receiving this error on multiple documents recently. The first and third section headers render correctly, but the second produces an error.

\documentclass{report}

\begin{document}

\begin{center}
\section*{\normalsize{SECTION ONE}}
\end{center}

\begin{center}
\section*{\normalsize{SECTION TWO}}
\end{center}

\begin{center}
\section*{\normalsize{SECTION THREE}}
\end{center}

\end{document}


To easily change the formatting for sectional units, use the titlesec package:

\documentclass{report}
\usepackage[explicit]{titlesec}
\usepackage{lipsum}% just to generate text for the example

\titleformat{\section}
{\normalfont\normalsize\bfseries\centering}{}{0em}{\MakeUppercase{#1}}

\begin{document}

\section{Section one}
\lipsum[4]
\section{Section two}
\lipsum[4]
\section{Section three}
\lipsum[4]

\end{document}


I assumed you wanted your \sections to be unnumbered; let me know if this is not the case, the definition would look like this:

\documentclass{report}
\usepackage[explicit]{titlesec}
\usepackage{lipsum}% just to generate text for the example

\titleformat{\section}
{\normalfont\normalsize\bfseries\centering}{\thesection}{1em}{\MakeUppercase{#1}}

\begin{document}

\section*{Section one}
\lipsum[4]
\section*{Section two}
\lipsum[4]
\section*{Section three}
\lipsum[4]

\end{document}


Without packages, you could redefine the \section command as defined in report.cls:

\documentclass{report}
\usepackage{lipsum}% just to generate text for the example

\makeatletter
\renewcommand\section{\@startsection {section}{1}{\z@}%
{-3.5ex \@plus -1ex \@minus -.2ex}%
{2.3ex \@plus.2ex}%
{\normalfont\normalsize\bfseries\centering\MakeUppercase}}
\makeatother

\begin{document}

\section*{Section one}
\lipsum[4]
\section*{Section two}
\lipsum[4]
\section*{Section three}
\lipsum[4]

\end{document}

• Perfect. This solved my problem and also helped make some other formatting a little easier. Thank you! Jan 22, 2014 at 1:47
• @AmishHacker You're welcome! Glad I could help. Don't forget that, after a sensible wait, you can mark answers that best solved your problems by clicking the checkmark to the left of the answer. Jan 22, 2014 at 2:13