Is there a word which means block of text, or section of text? I'm trying to describe how similar discontinuous parts of a paper are, in order to recommend that they be reorganized. Section doesn't work, because section would refer to the formal section that text is in (which includes the block I'm trying to reference, as well as lots of additional text--e.g. section 4.1).

To me, passage has too much of a literary connotation (or refers to something that is specifically singled out through indentation or quotes). But perhaps I'm misinformed. The text I'm referring to is part of a scientific paper. Any suggestions?

  • 2
    Block of text is itself the best choice here. – NVZ May 21 '17 at 18:46
  • Like a paragraph? – Laurel May 21 '17 at 19:09
  • @Laurel The group of sentences isn't necessarily an integer number of paragraphs. It might be a few sentences out of a paragraph, or multiple paragraphs plus a few sentences. – spacetyper May 21 '17 at 19:14
  • What's wrong with 'section'? – Mithical May 21 '17 at 19:28
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    Actually "passage" covers what you're talking about pretty well. It doesn't necessarily imply literary (or indented or quoted). – Xanne May 22 '17 at 0:08

Could selection work for you? Consider definitions 1.1 and 1.4 especially:



  1. The action or fact of carefully choosing someone or something as being the best or most suitable.
    ‘such men decided the selection of candidates’
    ‘they objected to his selection’

    1.1 A number of carefully chosen things.
    ‘the publication of a selection of his poems’

    1.4 Data highlighted on a computer screen for a particular operation.
    ‘your selection may not contain two different data types’

Your selection may be highlighted by you referring to it in your text.

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