To begin its not a LaTeX query but related to writing a report.

What is the best way to refer a Section in another Chapter in the report ?

I am using something like this,

As explained in Section 3 of Chapter 4 ?

On a related note, how do we refer a section in a journal or a book ?

Here, I am using something like this,

As stated in [2, 3.1.4]

Is this convention correct ?

  • Why don't you use packages like hyperref or cleveref. Oct 2, 2011 at 11:37
  • I use hyperref package, however I was not clear on reference type that I need to put in the document Oct 2, 2011 at 11:42
  • 1
    But you can modify the output of the reference. It's much easier. ;-) Oct 2, 2011 at 11:45
  • Ya, I would change the reference, since I am clear on type of reference I need to use. I use Lyx, and it gives a number of possibilities for cross-referencing, so I was confused. Thanks to you and Tex.SE :) Oct 2, 2011 at 12:01

2 Answers 2


For cross-referencing another section of the work at hand, I suggest

As explained in Section 4.3 ...

For citing a source, there are a lot of possible styles. However, the reader should always be able to tell apart source number and page/section numbers within the source. For the numeric style, I suggest

As stated in [2, p. 99] as well as in [2, section 3.1.4] ...

EDIT: Just in case it is not obvious: Cross-referencing should be done using commands like \label and \ref. The cleveref package is able to automatically detect the label type and write "section 4.3" instead of "4.3".

  • Thank you so much, I will have to rephrase every reference in my report now :) Oct 2, 2011 at 11:35
  • Your second example shows to possibilities, right?
    – doncherry
    Oct 2, 2011 at 11:41
  • Right. I normally prefer page numbers.
    – lockstep
    Oct 2, 2011 at 11:43

I agree with the suggestion of lockstep, but I would like to make it more general, as follows: use whatever numbering appears in your document.

Most often your section will be numbered "4.3" so use exactly this form when you reference it -- this way your reader won't have to think twice when trying to locate it. If, for some reason, sections are numbered without the chapter number, then use the form "section 3 in chapter 4", possibly accompanied by the page number to help the reader locate it -- in this case "section 4.3" won't remind anything to the reader.

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