The Society of Indexers

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Practical indexing assignment

To demonstrate that you are ready to work in the commercial world, after passing the four formal tests (A - D) you are required to complete a practical indexing assignment, an index to a complete book or document of your choice. Your practical indexing assignment is designed to give you practice in indexing a complete text; perfection is not expected at this stage.

Our Practical Indexing Assignment Advisers are experienced indexers in a variety of subject areas. One of our Advisers will study your index carefully and write detailed comments, indicating areas for improvement and giving constructive advice. Your index will not be 'marked' in the sense of 'pass' or 'fail'.

You are asked to compile an index to a book that has no index or an inadequate one (for example, very brief, or with proper names only, or with long strings of locators). Alternatively, you may submit an index you have completed for a publisher; this should normally have been completed within the six-month period prior to your application, and if you wish to submit pdfs rather than a copy of the published book you must obtain the publisher's permission for this. If you are unable to find anything suitable to index it may be possible to supply you with a text: contact the Practical Indexing Assignment Co-ordinator at

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The text should be between about 150 and 200 pages long. It should be on a subject that allows the indexing of concepts, ideas and overall themes. A shorter text is acceptable if it is of sufficient complexity to call for analytical indexing. Please ensure that the content of your text is not too specialized; if you are unsure about this, please consult the Practical Indexing Assignment Co-ordinator.  Please note that you must send the text you have indexed to your adviser in hard copy form but that the index must be sent by email. You are requested to have your index substantially prepared before submitting your PIA application.

You may choose any suitable style: e.g. set-out or run-on; with or without commas before the locators; locators elided or full.

It should be submitted exactly as you would send it to an editor: i.e. single column, pages numbered and without multiple and uncorrected errors. You must submit your index by email in .RTF format.

Application instructions (2017)

Please pay for your PIA using the Paypal form below then email

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with the following information:

Your name:
Course reference number:
Paypal transaction ID (PayPal will provide you with this in its emailed receipt)
Title of text:
Subject of text (if not apparent from the title)

If you have any queries please contact the Practical Indexing Assignment Co-ordinator on

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  Price: £106.75


Last updated: 29 December 2016 | Maintained by Webmaster | Page ID: 373
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