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I'm trying to use LaTeX to produce my homework assignments. They're in the form of answering a question sheet, so the answers are formatted in a similar way to the questions, i.e.

  1. (a) foo
    (b) foo
    (c) foo
  2. foo

I've been answering my questions using enumerative lists. Each \item has a fair number of paragraphs. My problem is that the paragraphs aren't indenting in the usual way by separating them with a blank line. They end up looking like:

Foobar.
Foobar.
Foobar.

I ideally want the first paragraph to have no indentation at the beginning but the subsequent paragraphs to have the first line indented by a standard width. Is there a way to do what I want? If not, is there an easier method for doing my assignments where my answers match the format that the questions are laid out in?

Thanks :-)

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I wonder whether your goal would be better served by messing with the sectioning commands, rather than itemize commands... –  Seamus Nov 25 '10 at 17:58
    
Should "My problem is that the paragraphs aren't indenting in the usual way by separating them with a blank line." read "The paragraphs are not marked by indentation, but by separating them with some vertical space" or did you redefine something? –  Caramdir Nov 25 '10 at 18:00
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1 Answer

The enumerate environment removes the paragraph indentation, but you may restore that. Afterwards the paragraphs within enumerate would be indented, but not the first one, like desired. For example, create a myenumerate environment and use this instead:

\newenvironment{myenumerate}{%
  \edef\backupindent{\the\parindent}%
  \enumerate%
  \setlength{\parindent}{\backupindent}%
}{\endenumerate}

It could be done even easier using the enumitem package:

\usepackage{enumitem}
\setenumerate{listparindent=\parindent}

For your convenience, here's a complete example. It uses the first redefiniton, but the two enumitem lines (and the enumerate environment) would give the same result:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage{blindtext}
%
\newenvironment{myenumerate}{%
  \edef\backupindent{\the\parindent}%
  \enumerate%
  \setlength{\parindent}{\backupindent}%
}{\endenumerate}

%
\begin{document}
\begin{myenumerate}
\item
  \begin{myenumerate}
    \item \blindtext

         \blindtext
    \item \blindtext
  \end{myenumerate}
\end{myenumerate}
\end{document}

alt text

I recommend to use the enumitem package, it offers many further features for customizing lists.

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