# Fixing first paragraph indentation in custom class

I've downloaded a LaTeX dissertation template from my university that comes with its own custom .cls file. One of the first things I noticed is the paragraph indentation. Every single paragraph is indented, even those at the beginning of a section. I'm no typographer, but my understanding is that it's conventional to not indent the first paragraph after a centered heading, but to indent the first paragraph after a left-aligned heading and any subsequent paragraph.

I've gone through the custom .cls file and tried modifying the `@afterindenttrue` and `@afterindentfalse` declarations, but I was unable to get things to work consistently. In some cases, first paragraphs following centered section headings were still indented, and some paragraphs following left-aligned subsection headings were not indented.

How do I need to modify the .cls file to get consistent indentation? The thesis template is available from this stable link, and the .cls file is `Assets/isuthesis.cls`.

• There is no one convention. It depends where you are. In the US, the convention is as you describe. In the UK, the convention is to indent all paragraphs, even the first paragraph in a document and the first following a centred heading. Of course, plenty of people use a different convention, but insofar as there is a standard, that's how it is. If your university provides this template, they may require the formatting it implements. So before trying to change its behaviour, make sure that you are permitted to customise things as you wish. – cfr Feb 27 '15 at 15:07
• Hence, we have indentfirst which implements the non-default convention for standard LaTeX classes. – cfr Feb 27 '15 at 15:08

The class copies in full the content of the `indentfirst` package

``````\makeatletter
\let\@afterindentfalse\@afterindenttrue
\@afterindenttrue
``````

why on earth it has `\makeatletter` in a class file I don't know.

But that means that changing `\@afterindenttrue` to `\@afterindentfalse` will have no effect as they have the same meaning. You want to just remove the quoted lines.

Unrelated but

``````\renewcommand{\contentsname}
Is so wrong, the whole point of the `\...name` convention is that those commands just have text without formatting, to allow for easy natural language translation.
• @DanielStandage why do you want `\subsection` to indent? `\specialchapt` doesn't use any of the latex heading machinery it just does `{\centering\large\bfseries #2\par}` so it has no control over the indentation nor prevents page breaks after the heading nor anything else a heading normally does. (It gets away with no page break control after the heading as it always starts a new page, but still...) – David Carlisle Feb 27 '15 at 16:50
• The `\subsection` headings are left-aligned, so the paragraph following should be indented. The `\specialchapt` headings are centered, so the first paragraph should not be indented. – Daniel Standage Feb 27 '15 at 19:55