Key Difference – Index vs Contents

Index and contents are 2 sections in a book that aid the readers to uncover the information they desire. However before, there is a distinction between index and contents. The content page is at the beginning of a book and lists out the chapters and also subchapters of the book sequentially. The index is at the finish of a book and lists out the various topics and keywords in the book alphabetically. This is the primary difference between index and also contents.

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This article looks at,

1. What is an Index? – Position, Structure and also Content 

2. What is a Materials Page? – Position, Structure and also Content 

3. Difference Between Index and Materials – Comparison of Position, Content and also Structure 


What is an Index

An index is uncovered at the finish of a book. It lists different topics discussed in the book. It deserve to contain crucial names, places, phrases, and various other keywords. It is important to note that indexes are just used in nonfiction publications.

If you should discover a certain referral in a book, all you have to perform is rotate to the index web page and also discover the pertinent page number. The entries in an index are generally listed in the alphabetical order. Then you have the right to sdeserve to that web page for the indevelopment you require.

The index may spcheck out over numerous pages; index is generally longer than a content page. Furthermore, it is much easier to discover the information you need with an index.


What is Contents

Components, also recognized as table of contents, content page, refer to a area that lists the chapters and subchapters in a book together with their web page numbers. This information is usually detailed in chronological order.

If you desire to acquire a basic idea of the content of the book, all you have to perform is to skim with the contents. You can understand also the general content of the book by looking at the contents of the book. This is why the table of contents is placed at the start of a book.

It is additionally important to note that both fiction and nonfiction publications contain a content web page. However, the content web page is generally shorter than an index considering that it just includes chapters and subchapters.


Difference Between Index and also Contents


Index is at the end of a book.

Contents are at the start of a book.

Type of Book

Index is normally uncovered in nonfiction publications.

Contents are discovered in both fiction and also nonfiction.


Index lists the different topics and keywords.

Contents list chapters and also subchapters.


Index is noted sequentially.

Contents are detailed alphabetically.


Index is typically much longer than the contents.

Contents area is shorter than an index.

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Image Courtesy: 

Image of the Index (first page) from “Postcolonial Insecurities: India, Sri Lanka, and also the Inquiry of Nationhood” by Sankaran Krishna (College of Minnesota Press) 1999.

“The typical of excellence in Exhibition Poulattempt 1865, contents page” By William Bernhard Tegetmeier (editor) – (1865). The typical of excellence in Exhibition Poultry, authorized by the Poulattempt Club. London: Poulattempt Club; immediate: (Public Domain) through Commons Wikimedia