After reading why the first paragraph after a headline is typically not indented [1][2], I started to wonder if a paragraph indent after a list or enumeration is appropriate.

I can see two possible argumentations:

  • After a headline, there is always a new paragraph starting. Because this is implicit, you don't have to additionally indent the first paragraph. However, a list does not necessarily denote the start of a new paragraph. Thus, if (and only if) a new paragraph starts right after the list, it has to be indented.

  • After a headline, there is some vertical space. This means the first paragraph is already separated from the previous text. It is an error to use an additional indent. Therefore, if a list is separated from its surrounding text with a vertical space, the next paragraph must not be indented.

Are there typographic rules for this special case? Is this a matter of personal taste?

LaTeX does put a paragraph indent after lists, but not after headlines. But it looks odd to me, and I typically suppress it manually.


As explained in the posts you linked, “the point of indenting the first line of paragraphs is to help the reader distinguish adjacent paragraphs when reading or skimming the text.”

So when you have an element (like a list) that clearly separates the paragraphs already, an indentation could easily become unnecessary or even a bad choice. But it would depend on the specific design whether there is a clear separation or not. I wouldn’t wanna set a blanket rule just based on “there is a list and then a paragraph”.

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