# Should \paragraph be used only under \subsubsection?

Very simple question:

Is `\paragraph` supposed to be used only under `\subsubsection` or do you use it directly under `\section` or `\subsection` as well (e.g., if there are no further sub sections necessary).

I mean, because you wouldn't use `\subsubsection` directly under `\chapter` ...

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Although not much bad happens in most cases if you break the rules, you should use `\paragraph` below `\subsubsection`. Despite its rather unfortunate name `\paragraph` and `\subparagraph` are part of the section level hierarchy and unrelated to paragraphs of text.

LaTeX is designed so that you can mark up sectional units and decide separately what level of sectioning is reflected in the table of contents, and what level is numbered.

If you set the counters `secnumdepth` or `tocdepth` above 4 then you will bring in the paragraph level and the omitted subsubsection level 3 will be more obvious.

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Somehow I used `\paragraph` more because of the nice formatting :) I found the `description` environment as replacement. – user999007 Feb 6 at 21:42
You can redefine \subsubsection to use the same formatting as \paragraph (it's only a line of code in the standard classes) – David Carlisle Feb 6 at 22:10

I frequently use a structure consisting of `\chapter, \section, \subsection,` and `\paragraph.`

The only real constraint, I think, is that without special adjustments you can only number the structure above the point where you "break the hierarchy".

But then applications where you number down to 5 levels (or 6 if you add `\subparagraph`) are, I think, very specialised and somewhat unusual.

Ok, so I don't violate any best practice if I use `\paragraph` this way. Like you, I don't number paragraphs anyway. – user999007 Feb 6 at 19:43
@DavidCarlisle : Oh yes, the counters go awry, that's for sure. But my `\paragraphs` are, semantically, paragraphs, not (I think) `\subsubsections`. – Brent.Longborough Feb 6 at 20:09
well then `\paragraph` is the wrong markup as (unfortunately) it doesn't mean paragraph it means level 4 section head. – David Carlisle Feb 6 at 20:10