Poll: Do you indent the first line of a paragraph?

Do you indent the first line of a paragraph?


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This Poll:

  • Votes: 2,463
  • Comments: 21
  • Added: February 2004



I would indent if I were hnd-writing a letter but generally not when using a word processor. The conventions are different for the two forms.


Yes, my teacher makes me.


I agree with lcb


yes you always indent at the start of each paragraph, except when you are typing some forms of business letters. I'm a freshman in high school and our teacher has always made us indent.

no one special

you dont indent the 1st paragraph its common sense............. well for all who voted yes, prehaps not....


You should indent at the begining of your first paragraph, but not the rest of your paragraphs


Duhh... of course u indent the first line of a paragraph, its common sense.


i think it is s dum tou do not indent if you are spacing you paragraphs. you only indent if you are putting the paragraphs together.


pretty sure you indent


well you have to indent because if you don't it won't be correct.



In reference to the last comment:
Bob, although I agree with your vote--that an indent is not used for the first line of a paragraph--I think it's ironic that you used a semi-colon in the wrong context; that really should have been a regular comma, wherein my use of it would be acceptable, for future reference.

On another note, I think it's a tad pretentious of those who referenced "common sense" in their comments, especially because I do believe indents were used in common practice not too long ago, at least in Britain; however, it is now few and far between. I understand that education is lacking for certain, but I also feel common sense should encompass humanitarian knowledge over that of grammatical. Nonetheless, I agree to do your own research and "think for yourself" before following another's opinion.

torn between two lovers

so... should i indent or not?


The intent is to differentiate paragraphs. Use either "indent" or "slightly more vertical space". Not both. Like Bob says, it would be an overkill. And of course, the first paragraph need not be indented.

Tech. Writer

In technical writing, block style paragraphs are used (i.e. do not indent).




When I use MS Word or any word processing software, I dont indent. I prefer to set the spaces between papraghs.


Its only people who are not smart enough to understand the importance of indentation for the reader. In microsoft word it just as simple as pressing tab. Spaces between paragraphs are more useful for giving a very definitive seperation between topics. The only time you don't indent is in the first paragraph after a space between paragraphs or the very first one. The only reason it was stopped is because there is so many lazy people in this world who have no clue on how to use a word processor correctly. Hand writing should have indentations too.

<3 U! (know what tht mns?

Sorry Chris you're so wrong--Bob did put his colon in the right spot! Here's a little piece of advice--don't contradict until you know you're absolutely right! Anyways this is coming from an pro english teacher--You indent in friendly letters but you don't indent in business letters. so there, sucker!


Bob's right in that it's either a vertical space or a first-line indent, and that the first paragraph after a heading doesn't need an indent. But Chris was also right that it should've been a comma and not a semi-colon. (I personally think it was just a typo 'cause it's really obvious)

Norman Geddes

I have always indented for a new paragraph but now people are telling me it's old fashioned. Well, I'm old fashioned too and I intend to keep indenting!

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