I am finalising a paper that is around 85 pages long. It consists of six main sections with a bunch of subsections. Should every subsection start on a new page? What is the convention concerning this? And should a subject also start on a new page after an introductory paragraph of its parent section? For instance:

3. Balloons are funny

In this section I will first present reasons why balloons should not be used on occasions that are depressing. For instance, bringing balloons to a funeral will not cheer people up. Secondly I will discuss different colours that can lead to different reactions. As an example one should not bring red balloons to a bull pen. Lastly I will make clear why clowns should always have balloons with them as to not come across evil.

<-- PAGE BREAK? -->

3.1 Balloons are not a go-to cheer up tool

When confronted with a sad or depression situation, a first reaction might be to try and cheer everybody up. One should be careful with the methods he uses though. Do not tell a joke about cancer patients if someone just deceased after months of chemo. Do not bring balloons to a funeral.

Hopefully this ad lib writing makes my question clear. (If it is any help, my institution uses APA as a style guide.)

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    just follow the publisher's style guide. – 410 gone Jul 23 '14 at 17:34
  • If you are self publishing, do what you need to increase clarity while avoiding the impression of gratuitous padding. I would not do it if the page count bumped up by 30% in doing so, because I would not want to spend that much extra paper printing it out. I might tolerate a 10% increase, but this is a personal judgment. – Not Quite An Outsider Jul 23 '14 at 17:39
  • This appears to be a question about a paper in the sense of an (extended) undergraduate essay, rather than about a paper in the sense of a work for submission to a journal. Undergraduate matters are off-topic, here. – David Richerby Jul 23 '14 at 19:56
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    @DavidRicherby Sort of. It's my thesis to gain the degree of bachelor. Much more than an essay. I'd be surprised if bachelor papers are off topic on Academia. That would make Academia quite the elitist get-together, won't it? – Bram Vanroy Jul 24 '14 at 8:03
  • @BramVanroy See What topics can I ask about here?: "This site is for academics of all levels—from aspiring graduate and professional students to senior researchers—as well as anyone in or interested in research-related or research-adjacent fields." – David Richerby Jul 24 '14 at 8:12

Depending on the length and complexity of the work, you choose the top level sectioning.

  • For short works -- scientific paper, lecture notes < 80 pages, etc., you in general use only sections and lower.

  • For longer works -- thesis, long lecture notes, books, etc., you in general use chapters, sections and lower.

  • If your long work has multiple sort-of separated parts, you can add parts -- notice, however, that usually, part numbering is independent. Therefore for instance Part I contains chapters 1, 2, 3 with some sections, and Part II contains chapers starting from 4, ...

Now, the standard way to go is to start parts and chapters on a new page, and leave sections running through the pages.

Needed to say, most standard publications (articles, conference abstracts, theses, books by standard publishers, ...) have to comply with some guidelines provided by the publisher, and these guidelines are usually very restrictive.

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