I am looking for a singular word that categorizes this set of words: {forewords, preface, prologue, chapter, author's note, etc}

The best I can come up with right now is Section Heading which is obviously not one word.

  • In most publications, the main text itself is contained within chapters (containing paragraphs, containing words, containing letters). So that category is different to all your other ones (which I would probably call "supplementary text", though my link just distinguishes [main] text from notes, appendixes, headings, illustrations, etc.) Nov 30, 2013 at 3:08
  • The perspective of "supplementary text" is one that tries to describe the effects of text within these sections on the book overall. I'm primarily concerned about the categorical name of these words as a collective that describe the section of the book. Nov 30, 2013 at 3:15
  • And what exactly is the "real-world problem" you face for lack of such a term? The only one I can think of is you want a name to use in a programming context. In which case there probably isn't an established term, but "textual elements" might come close. Nov 30, 2013 at 3:28
  • What a guess, you are exactly right. I'm making a website that is formatted in the book-like style. I want the author of each section of the book to be able to change the title, section, and content of the post. This is important because all of the 3 pieces are styled difference. Nov 30, 2013 at 3:33
  • This is usually lumped together as "Front Matter" on a dissertation. For instance, when I put my 1973 dissertation on the web around 2004 or so, that's what I called that part. Nov 30, 2013 at 4:57

2 Answers 2


My copy of Butcher's Copy-editing simply refers to these as parts.


The Chicago Manual of Style (16/e) also refers to them as book parts or divisions.

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