As the title.

When writing to a report, should I refer to a section of the report located later by writing "As explained in Section 2" or "As will be explained in Section 2"?


3 Answers 3


Explained, Detailed or Described are all commonly used verbs in this context. The best answer depends on what a 'Section' is and how it will appear in print. If a section is a sidebar or other floating block, it may be difficult to determine how it will appear in sequence with the text of your note.

If you know that your note will PRECEDE Section 2, it may be helpful to write:

which will be explained in Section 2.

Otherwise simply:

explained in Section 2

covers wherever Section 2 may appear without confusion.


This is a matter of style. This means two things:

  1. Your field or subfield may have a preference one way or the other. Consult your peers, faculty members, or just your supervisor. Failing that, look at other papers in your particular field before deciding anything definitively.
  2. If there is no clear pattern to make out, you can use whatever you want — for as long as you are consistent. Look at the surrounding text, pick one tense and stick to it throughout.

It should definitely be "As explained in Section 2", if you are referring to section two instead of saying the same thing twice.

On the other hand, saying "As will be explained in Section 2" doesn't sound proper in logical matter, rather "That will be explained in Section 2" or "Which will be explained in Section 2".

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