The introduction of reference modification in standard COBOL allows COBOL programming students to bypass much of the tedium that plagues the process of report planning and programming. It is possible to avoid the drudgery of coding each heading line, detail line, subtotal line and total line in WORKING-STORAGE SECTION. Although the student will program more in the PROCEDURE DIVISION, the end result is a source program that is shorter and an object program that is smaller.
"Simplifying Batch Outputting in COBOL,"
Journal of Information Systems Education: Vol. 13
Available at: https://aisel.aisnet.org/jise/vol13/iss4/1