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  1. #1
    monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    Question RE: Opening Sentence Of New Paragraph Spacing (help?)

    Hi folks,

    Throughout many of the books I have read, the opening sentence of each new paragraph is given a specific spacing.

    For example, each first word (of the new paragraph) will be (say) three or four spaces along from (left) margin:

    _ _ _ Mack's eyes followed the elderly Reverend as he made his way past the make-shift altar and exited by way of the Deputy Superintendent’s cloakroom.

    _ _ _ Mack thought about how he had served fifteen lousy years for a crime he did not commit. He hated prison life, and vowed revenge upon anyone who dared to step in his way. “I came in here one helluva mean b######, and I’m leavin' an even meaner one,” he often quietly joked during the run up to his release.

    _ _ _ A conscientious young guard swiftly appeared and whisked away the draping white cloth and cheap plastic crucifix which had dressed the Warden’s dining-room table. From above, the fluorescent overheads glared harshly upon him.

    I have used '_ _ _' to notate the indentations because the settings within this forum are deleting my spaces.

    Are these spaces something which one should incorporate into their script from the very inception, or is it something which is applied at the publishing end, please? I ask because I find this format quite attractive and easy-on-the-eye (in the reading sense). Is there a setting in Microsoft Word which can be configured to automatically produce such a end result, please?

    Thanks very much indeed.

    Paul
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 28-Aug-2017 at 16:29. Reason: spelling
    Mature student of GCSE English, GCSE Maths, and Level One BSL.

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  2. #2
    Skrej's Avatar
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    Re: Opening Sentence Of New Paragraph Spacing (help?)

    I was taught to indent 5 spaces. I'm one of the lazy people who just use the tab key when using a word processor. You can adjust both your tab settings, or set Word to automatically indent a specified number of units. If doing that, I believe they say 1/2 inch.

    Consult the internet for your version of Word on how to set either of those.

    Consult style manuals if you feel the need to conform more precisely. Some style manuals suggest not indenting if you use spacing between paragraphs.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  3. #3
    monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    Question Re: Opening Sentence Of New Paragraph Spacing (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    I was taught to indent 5 spaces. I'm one of the lazy people who just use the tab key when using a word processor. You can adjust both your tab settings, or set Word to automatically indent a specified number of units. If doing that, I believe they say 1/2 inch.

    Consult the internet for your version of Word on how to set either of those.

    Consult style manuals if you feel the need to conform more precisely. Some style manuals suggest not indenting if you use spacing between paragraphs.
    Thanks very much indeed Skrej.

    I seem to remember being taught at school to use your 'thumb' as a measuring tool for the indent. So, the width of your thumb (ie. as in how you would provide a thumbprint for the police) would equal the correct amount of spacing.

    I am using MS Word 2007. So would it be the 'tab' setting, please? I have never used it before.

    Is a 'style' manual different from a 'manufacturers' manual, please?

    Cheers,

    Paul
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 28-Aug-2017 at 18:44. Reason: spelling
    Mature student of GCSE English, GCSE Maths, and Level One BSL.

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  4. #4
    Skrej's Avatar
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    Re: Opening Sentence Of New Paragraph Spacing (help?)

    Style manuals refer to the various guides for writing and layout of documents. There are many, and which you use mostly depends on the writing you do. Some of the more common ones in the US are the Chicago Manual of Style and the APA , but that first Wikipedia link mentions ones in the UK.

    Perhaps others members from other parts of the world can offer their opinions as to which they use.

    I lose track of the various versions and what features were added when - perhaps the auto indent feature was added in a later version, but here's one such guide. for manually setting tabs and indents for Word 2007.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  5. #5
    monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    Re: Opening Sentence Of New Paragraph Spacing (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    Style manuals refer to the various guides for writing and layout of documents. There are many, and which you use mostly depends on the writing you do. Some of the more common ones in the US are the Chicago Manual of Style and the APA , but that first Wikipedia link mentions ones in the UK.

    I lose track of the various versions and what features were added when - perhaps the auto indent feature was added in a later version, but here's one such guide. for manually setting tabs and indents for Word 2007.
    That's great Skrej. Thanks.

    I will check all of these out ...

    Cheers,

    Paul
    Mature student of GCSE English, GCSE Maths, and Level One BSL.

    I am not a teacher.

  6. #6
    monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    Question Re: Opening Sentence Of New Paragraph Spacing (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    I lose track of the various versions and what features were added when - perhaps the auto indent feature was added in a later version, but here's one such guide. for manually setting tabs and indents for Word 2007.
    Thanks Skrej,

    I used the: FIRST LINE ONLY setting within PARAGRAPHS. I found a You Tube video which explains how to do so:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d54D4JOmxtc

    As per my video comment:

    it looks a bit strange when you have one a single line of text in one paragraph (if you know what I mean)!

    Cheers,

    Paul
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 28-Aug-2017 at 23:47. Reason: LINK
    Mature student of GCSE English, GCSE Maths, and Level One BSL.

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  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Opening Sentence Of New Paragraph Spacing (help?)

    I was taught to put three spaces to indent a paragraph but that was way back in the days when we also put two spaces after a full stop. These days, I don't think I ever indent paragraphs. I just use double line spacing to separate paragraphs. I used to indent when we didn't put double line breaks between paragraphs.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. #8
    monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    Question Re: Opening Sentence Of New Paragraph Spacing (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I was taught to put three spaces to indent a paragraph but that was way back in the days when we also put two spaces after a full stop. These days, I don't think I ever indent paragraphs. I just use double line spacing to separate paragraphs. I used to indent when we didn't put double line breaks between paragraphs.
    Hi,

    I think I use double-spacing between paragraphs; and single between lines. But I am not 100% sure.

    I have uploaded (to Google Drive) the first couple of pages of a current text - should anyone be willing to kindly assist. I would be very interested to learn what it is I am actually doing specifically regarding the presentation on the text. It looks OK to my eyes, but then I have know idea how it might compare to the settings/presentation of other writer's works?

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...zg?usp=sharing

    The doc. is downloadable.

    Cheers,

    Paul
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 29-Aug-2017 at 00:59. Reason: spelling
    Mature student of GCSE English, GCSE Maths, and Level One BSL.

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  9. #9
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Opening Sentence Of New Paragraph Spacing (help?)

    My multiply-published novelist son just told me that he indents the first line of each paragraph and that the publishers don't care what he does. He added that he finally got over the terrible habit of using two spaces at the ends of sentences.

    Oddly enough, he never followed that practice in the technical writing he does professionally. Somehow he found he used a different typing style for novels.
    I am not a teacher.

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Opening Sentence Of New Paragraph Spacing (help?)

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    He added that he finally got over the terrible habit of using two spaces at the ends of sentences.
    I didn't realise it caused so much distress.

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