Learn English – How should I refer to a number paragraph or section of a contract? Do I include the decimal after the section number

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Which is the correct sentence for referring to a section of a contract that is labeled 13?

In this regard, the relevant terms of paragraph 13 state….

OR

In this regard, the relevant terms of paragraph 13. state……

Best Answer

I don't remember ever having seen a document that included a decimal point after a paragraph or section number in running text unless that number included at least one number to the right of the decimal point as well. This holds true whether the paragraph or section number includes a single "decimal point" mark or multiple such marks.

Thus, the standard form would be

not paragraph 13. but paragraph 13

not section 13.0. but section 13.0

not section 13.1.2. but section 13.1.2

not section 13.4.1.7. but section 13.4.1.7

and so on. I can't point to an explicit rule covering this issue in any style guide because I've never seen oneā€”but that may be because very few people seem to be tempted to include the decimal point (or other endpoint) in such situations.