# When to use trailing backslashes

I am learning to use the puthesis document class. I have the following code:

\documentclass[iupuiece,thesis]{puthesis}

\begin{document}
\title{The Theory of Everything}
\campus{West Lafayette}
\author{Kit}
\maketitle

Hello World!

\end{document}

Take note of the \author line. That won't work. Out of the blue, I tried this one, and it works:

\author{Kit}\

The documentation here does not say anything about the trailing \. Is this some consistency issue with LaTeX syntax?

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Did you put a space after the trailing \\? –  Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson Sep 12 '10 at 14:10
“Won’t work” is a very vague description: There should be no need for a backslash in this place. A concept “trailing backslash” doesn’t exist at all in LaTeX. –  Konrad Rudolph Sep 12 '10 at 14:17

A look in puthesis.cls shows that \author expects 2 arguments in this class:

\renewcommand*{\author}[2]{%
\renewcommand*{\@@TitleAuthor}{#1}%
\renewcommand*{\@@AbstractAuthor}{#2}%
}

So naturally everything explodes if this second argument is \maketitle.

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Two arguments to \author is just a bad UI design. I wish all class writers would listen to Boris Veytsman –  Aditya Sep 15 '10 at 4:47
$bad\ way\ to\ put\ text\ in\ math\ mode$