Of late I noticed that recent books or long articles tend to make a short summary before every set of paragraphs. For example, we might have:

1. Introduction

We so and so ...

Therefore, so and so ....

What is so and so: Let us consider ...

Properties of so and so: We notice that ...

where every boldfaced phrases is followed by a set of paragraphs. For a real example: http://modular.math.washington.edu/edu/2011/581g/misc/Darmon-Diamond-Taylor-Fermats_Last_Theorem.pdf

My questions are:

1) Is this style of writing really a trend?

2) Is it still a good idea if we are writing an article of moderate length such as a statement of purpose or a short report?

In my opinion, such style seems much more intelligible.

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    Can you post an example of this style? Maybe link to an article on arXiv? – Bill Barth Aug 25 '14 at 15:04
  • @Bill Barth: Right, sure. Please see my edit. – Megadeth Aug 25 '14 at 15:05
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    Some people might prefer to use LaTeX's \subsubsection instead of \paragraph. The former has the benefit that it will be numberered, making it easier for a reader to refer to it. – Nate Eldredge Aug 25 '14 at 15:26
  • The use of a colon (":") in paragraph headings is non-standard. Stick to a full stop ("."). – Jukka Suomela Aug 26 '14 at 19:56

Ah, it's just LateX's \paragraph{} command.

It's not the most widespread style, but I think it's clearer, too, and I suggest you to go on using it.

What problems could there be? I can only foresee issues with journal articles, if you encounter overzealous copy-editors. A good card to play is "if your house style contains \paragraph{}, I am using it".

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It's probably not a trend, but if you like the style, your are free to mimic it. There are millions of scientific articles written every year. Tracking or finding trends in style in these articles is probably not worth it. It almost certainly varies among scientific communities and among what journals and conferences prefer.

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  • Thank you for your prompt reply. Do you have any opinion on question 2)? – Megadeth Aug 25 '14 at 15:15
  • Not really. Try it. If you don't like it, remove it. – Bill Barth Aug 25 '14 at 15:25
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    @Brian: Similarly, if your journal's editor doesn't like it, remove it. :) – Nate Eldredge Aug 25 '14 at 15:50

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