What are the correct abbreviation of words "section" and "sections" in a scientific writing?

Sec. and Secs.


Sect. and Sects.


  • 1
    There is the section sign '§', but obviously it is not appropriate here. – Lordology Feb 16 '19 at 11:34
  • abbreviations.com gives everything from 'sec' to 'sxn'. abbreviations.com/abbreviation/Section – Lordology Feb 16 '19 at 11:36
  • I know people who would not hesitate to use § in the middle of a sentence for "section", and §§ for "sections". – Mr Lister Feb 16 '19 at 12:41
  • 1
    What kind of scientific writing? Please give an example sentence. I have never encountered the problem in my field. – David Feb 16 '19 at 12:56
  • This cannot be answered in any particular way unless you provide a specific context. Some fields of study use a symbol, some a specific abbreviation, and others no abbreviation at all. – Jason Bassford Feb 16 '19 at 17:20

In my experience you should avoid abbreviating it (in papers, textbooks and theses). Some style guides avoid abbreviating "figure", "equation" etc. even though those are much more common. On the rare occasions an abbreviation is used, it's never "sect." but "sec." (and in a few old texts, just "s."). "Sec" is an (incorrect) abbreviation for second, and "sect" is another word; neither is likely to lead to actual misunderstandings but can mean a sentence is unintuitive at first glance.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.