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Small nitpick: first-line indents

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Hello everyone

A small nitpick for those who love typography and typesetting and such.

In my thesis, I indent the first line of all paragraphs but the first ones. However, I'm wondering whether I should indent the first line of new paragraphs starting under tables or figures, when the table/figure is aligned at the top of the page? It looks a bit silly when indented, but it might indeed denote the separation of this paragraph from the former one on the previous page, and might therefore be obligatory (as far as we can call something obligatory in typography).

What would be your personal preferences?

Thanks!

Baccalaureus functionellus

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I'm wondering whether I should indent the first line of new paragraphs starting under tables or figures, when the table/figure is aligned at the top of the page?

Why would you bother?? Shouldn't the journal have software for that?? For instance

div table:first-child + p{text-indent:50px;}

Is so much simpler than wrecking loads of people's heads trying to remember should they put indents in or not. 

  • Downvote 1

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Personally I hate indenting (first lines of paragraphs) and just stick a blank link (or depending on line spacing used, half a line) between paragraphs.

Does your institution/supervisor have a style guide? I recall pages and pages of instruction on citation formatting, do they say nothing about the text itself?

 

Edited by pzkpfw

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It's for my thesis. Not for a journal article

Same difference though. They don't need to wreck your head worrying about this stuff they are just being lazy or too cheap to get the software to do this. I wrote a simple html file to do this in like 10 minutes.

<style>
    body {
        width: 100%;
        height: 100%;
        margin: 0;
        padding: 0;
        background-color: #FAFAFA;
        font: 12pt "Tahoma";
		counter-reset: page;
    }
    * {
        box-sizing: border-box;
        -moz-box-sizing: border-box;
    }
    .page {
        width: 210mm;
        min-height: 297mm;
        padding: 10mm;
        margin: 10mm auto;
        border: 1px #D3D3D3 solid;
        border-radius: 5px;
        background: white;
        box-shadow: 0 0 5px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.1);
    }
    .subpage, .tableOfContents {
        padding: 1cm;
        border: 5px white solid;
        height: 277mm;
        outline: 1cm white solid;
		text-align:justify;
		//line-height 2em is line-spacing double in word
		line-height:2em;
    }
	.references:before{
		content: "References";
		margin-bottom:10px;
	}
    .references li{
		margin-bottom:2em;
	}
	.subpage:before {
		counter-increment: page;
		content: "Page " counter(page);
		position:relative;
		top:260mm;
		left:150mm;
	}
    @page {
        size: A4;
        margin: 0;

    }
    @media print {
        html, body {
            width: 210mm;
            height: 297mm;        
        }
        .page {
            margin: 0;
            border: initial;
            border-radius: initial;
            width: initial;
            min-height: initial;
            box-shadow: initial;
            background: initial;
            page-break-after: always;
        }
		.subpage{
			border:none;
		}
    }
	
	.titlePage{
		text-align:center;
	}
	.title {
		font-weight:bold;
	}
	.author,.dissertationGoals,.title,.qualificationDetails{
		margin-bottom:160px;
	}
	.tableOfContents:before{
		content: "Table Of Contents";
		margin-bottom:10px;
	}
	.tableOfContents{
		line-height:1.5em;
	}
	.subpage .abstract{
		width:90%;
		margin:auto;
	}
	.subpage .abstract:before{
		content:"Abstract";
		display:block;
		text-align:left;
		font-weight:bold;
		margin-bottom:10px;
	}
	.two-column{
		column-count:2;
		display:block;
		margin-top:10px;
	}
	.two-column p{
		margin-top:0px;
	}
	.two-column h4 + p:first-letter {
		color: #903;
		  float: left;
		  font-family: Georgia;
		  font-size: 75px;
		  line-height: 60px;
		  padding-top: 4px;
		  padding-right: 8px;
		  padding-left: 3px;
	}
	.two-column img{
		width:310px;
	}
	.two-column figure{
		margin:0px;
	}
	.two-column figcaption{
		text-align:center
		
	}
</style>
<div class="book">
    <div class="page">
        <div class="titlePage">
			<div class="title">Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt 
			   ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.</div>
			<div>By</div>
			<div class="author">Lorem ipsum</div>
			<div class="dissertationGoals">A dissertation submitted to the faculty of
				<div class="uniName">The university of Lorem ipsum</div>
				in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of
			</div>
			<div class="qualificationDetails">Doctor of Lorem Ipsum
				<div>in</div>
				<div class="qualificationName">Lorem Ipsum Jipsum</div>
			</div>
			<div class="publicationDetails">
				School of Lorem Ipsum
				<div class="uniName">The university of Lorem ipsum</div>
				<div class="date">May 2001</div>
			</div>
		</div>    
    </div>
	<div class="page">
        <div class="tableOfContents">
			<ol class="contents">
			   <li>
					Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit
					<ol class="contents">
					   <li>
							This is a subcategory
						</li>
					   <li>
							Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit
						</li>
					   <li>
							Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit
						</li>
					</ol>
				</li>
			   <li>
					Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit
				</li>
			   <li>
					Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit
				</li>
			</ol>
		</div>    
    </div>
    <div class="page">
        <div class="subpage">
			<div class="abstract">
			   Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt 
			   ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco
 			   laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate
			   velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident,
			   sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
			</div>
			<div class="two-column">
				<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt 
				   ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco
				   laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate
				   velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident,
				   sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
				</p>
				<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt 
				   ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco
				   laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate
				   velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident,
				   sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
				</p>
				<h4>My Heading Lorem ipsum</h4>
				<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt 
				   ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco
				   laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate
				   velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident,
				   sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
				</p>
				<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt 
				   ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco
				   laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate
				   velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident,
				   sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
				</p>	
				<figure>
					<img src="graph.png" />
					<figcaption>Fig1. - A graph of Lorem </figcaption>
				</figure> 
				<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt 
				   ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco
				   laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate
				   velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident,
				   sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
				</p>
				<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt 
				   ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco
				   laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate
				   velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident,
				   sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do.
				</p>
			</div>
		</div>    
    </div>
	<div class="page">
        <div class="subpage">
			<ol class="references">
			   <li>
					Cassius Dio, 50:5; quoted from Cassius Dio: The 
					Roman History: The Age of Augustus, (trans.) (<time datetime='1987'>
					1987</time>) Scott-Kilvert I.; reprinted in <cite>AA100 Assignment 
					Booklet</cite> (<time datetime='2010-10'>October 2010</time>), 
					Milton Keynes, The Open University, p.18.
				</li>
			   <li>
					Cassius Dio, 50:5; quoted from Cassius Dio: The 
					Roman History: The Age of Augustus, (trans.) (<time datetime='1987'>
					1987</time>) Scott-Kilvert I.; reprinted in <cite>AA100 Assignment 
					Booklet</cite> (<time datetime='2010-10'>October 2010</time>), 
					Milton Keynes, The Open University, p.18.
				</li>
			   <li>
					Cassius Dio, 50:5; quoted from Cassius Dio: The 
					Roman History: The Age of Augustus, (trans.) (<time datetime='1987'>
					1987</time>) Scott-Kilvert I.; reprinted in <cite>AA100 Assignment 
					Booklet</cite> (<time datetime='2010-10'>October 2010</time>), 
					Milton Keynes, The Open University, p.18.
				</li>
			</ol>
		</div>    
    </div>
</div>

I have also included the A4 pdf that google chrome generates from the above.

example.pdf

  • Downvote 1

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I may be wrong, but I am guessing the thesis is not written in HTML.

Personally, I would go with spaces between paragraphs as indenting can look rather old-fashioned. But it might be appropriate in an academic text. Especially if you are using a serif font. If I did use indents, I would indent every paragraph.

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