Public Services and Procurement Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional Links


Important notice

Writing Tips has been archived and won’t be updated before it is permanently deleted.

For the most up-to-date content, please consult Writing Tips Plus, which combines content from Writing Tips and The Canadian Style. And don’t forget to update your bookmarks!

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

indexes: cross-references

Cross-references are required to guide readers from a given heading to a related heading that will lead them to the information required or to additional information on the same subject. The cross-reference is printed in italics, except when the subject heading referred to is itself normally presented in italics:

  • Archaisms. See Relic forms; Historical forms
  • Ryan, Claude, 234–65. See also Devoir, Le

There are five ways of indicating cross-references: See, See also, See under, See also under and q.v.


See immediately follows the heading. No page numbers are given in the entry. A semicolon is used to separate headings if more than one entry is referred to:

  • Reference matter. See Bibliographies; Endnotes; Footnotes; Indexes

It is sometimes impractical to list a whole series of cross-references, however. If so, make a non-specific reference. For example,

  • Education, Department of. See under government of appropriate province

is a more succinct entry than one including the names of all the provinces.

The See cross-reference is appropriate in the following situations:

  • When there is an acceptable synonym for the heading chosen:

War of 1812–1814. See Invasion of Canada

  • When an entry is listed under a different letter from the one the reader might expect:

La Mare, Walter de. See de la Mare, Walter

  • When a person is known by a title or pseudonym as well as by a first name and surname:

Beaverbrook, Lord. See Aitken, Max

  • To refer the reader to an antonym of the entry:

Peace movement. See War, nuclear

  • To refer the reader to a modern or popular term for the same concept:

Ceylon. See Sri Lanka
Latter-day Saints. See Mormons

  • To refer the reader from a specific to a more general heading required by the nature of the subject field treated in the work. For example, in a chemistry text, an entry under Algebra might be too specific, and a cross-reference

Algebra. See Mathematics

would be used. Conversely, in a work dealing primarily with mathematics, there would be a separate entry for algebra, but chemistry headings would be more general, e.g.:

Organic compounds. See Chemical compounds

See also

See also is used when at least one page number is not common to the two entries concerned. It guides the reader to additional information on a subject and is placed after the page numbers:

  • Coinages, Canadian, 68, 153. See also Slang

See under

See under is used to direct the reader to a subentry:

  • Mandatory supervision. See under National Parole Board

See also under

See also under is used in the same way as See also, except that it refers the reader to a subentry:

  • New Brunswick, 8, 14, 162, 170. See also under Maritimes


The abbreviation q.v. (for latin quod vide, “which see”) applies to a particular word or expression within a heading or subheading, indicating that it can be turned to as a separate heading in the same index:

  • Acadians
    settlement of Port-Royal (now Annapolis Royal, q.v.), 116–27, 244–47