A division (or more carefully, a structural division) is a structured component of a book or article that would be recognized by most any reader. They are essential to the organization of a PreTeXt project. Notice that we use the generic term division, since a
<section> is just one example of a division.
<paragraphs>. Their use is fairly intuitive, though there are some restrictions, so please read on.
<book> must contain at least one
<part> or at least one
<chapter>, which may contain
<part> simply contains a sequence of
<chapter> and functions in two user-selectable ways: structural (e.g. numbering will reset), or decorative (merely inserting a decorative page between two chapters and sectioning the Table of Contents).
<article> is simpler and shorter than a book. It might be really simple and have no divisions at all, or it may have
<section>s. It cannot have
<chapter>s, as that would be a
<book>. Within a
<subsubsection>s may follow.
Divisions must nest properly and may not be skipped. So a
<section> cannot contain a
<chapter> and a
<subsection> may not be contained in a
<chapter> without an intervening
A division must contain a
<title>, and may contain one or more index entries (see Section 6.15), which should appear before anything else. Any division may be unstructured, with just a sequence of top-level content such as paragraphs, figures, lists, theorems, etc. Or a division may be structured, and in this case it must follow a prescribed pattern. There may be a single, optional
<introduction>, filled with top-level content, followed by a sequence of at least one of the appropriate divisions, ending with a single, optional
<conclusion>, filled with top-level content. It is an error to begin with a run of top-level content inside a division and then begin to use divisions. (The solution is to make the initial content an
<introduction> and/or one or several divisions.)
There are exceptions to the above. For one,
<paragraphs> is an anomalous division, as a sort of lightweight sectioning command. It may appear in any division, at any location within a division, it may not be divided further (it is a leaf of the document tree), it never gets a number, and its title is formatted in a subsidiary way. I especially like to use this in a two- or three-page
<article> that has no other divisions at all. Typical presentation has the title in bold, without much change in font size (if at all), inline with the first paragraph, and perhaps a bit of vertical space as it begins and ends. Despite the name, it may contain more than just paragaphs, so may contain any top-level-content that would go in any other division.
Two other anomalous divisions are
<references>. These can be placed as a final component of any division from
<chapter> on down. So for example, an
<exercises> could be a peer of several
<section>s, contained within a structured
<chapter>, and in this case would behave similar to the other
<section>s. Or an unstructured
<chapter> may have a sequence of paragraphs, figures, examples, and the like, and conclude with a single
<exercises>. Detail on allowed content and behavior are in Section 6.2 and Section 6.3, respectively.