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Particularly in students papers, I often see the that they start a paragraph, which may be quite lengthy, with a specific term followed by a colon.

I believe this is just very comfortable for the writer to introduce a few terms or similar; however, to some degree, it enables the writer to not really think about the connection between paragraphs on the one hand and to just throw everything in the paragraph rather than making a concise list on the other hand.

Do you have an oppinion on this matter or can you point me to a styleguide (from any discipline) that explicitly addresses this aspect?

Example:

Term 1: Now follows a lengthy discussion of term containing several sentences, making up an entire paragraph that spans over several lines.

Term 2: Now follows a lengthy discussion of term 2 containing several sentences, making up an entire paragraph that spans over several lines.

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Do you have an oppinion on this matter ...

This is very opinion based, and I guess anything works to some degree, but in my opinion I much rather prefer a title → subtitle → paragraph structure, versus introducing paragraphs with a title followed by ":".

That "term" in most cases is an actual subtitle, under a larger topic opened with a main title.

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