5

What is the right convention for rendering itemized-lists?

Is it like this without any paragraph break between the previous line and the list?

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
There are 10 types of people in this world:
\begin{itemize}
\item Those who understand binary.
\item Those who don't.
\end{itemize}
\end{document}

Or is it like this with a paragraph break between them?

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
There are 10 types of people in this world:

\begin{itemize}
\item Those who understand binary.
\item Those who don't.
\end{itemize}
\end{document}
1
  • Would you consider the entries to be part of the former sentence? If yes, did you ever make a paragraph break within a sentence?
    – Johannes_B
    Apr 8 '18 at 10:02
8

LaTeX explicitly tests for this case. If there is a paragraph break before the list the vertical space is adjusted (\partopsep rather than \topsep) and the text following the list starts a new paragraph.

So both are correct, and like any paragraph break it is up to the author to encode the desired meaning, is the list part of the current paragraph (or sentence) or is it standing as a displayed paragraph separate from the preceding paragraph.

5
  • 1
    in the example given it is part of the preceding sentence (: doesn't end the sentence) so there should be no paragraph break) Apr 8 '18 at 10:55
  • slippery keyboard (s/\partopdep/\partopsep)
    – user4686
    Apr 8 '18 at 10:58
  • Thank you. This answers my question. Out of curiosity, I ask: Is there any scenario in an English text where a list is not part of the preceding sentence? I thought lists are always continuation of a leading text from the preceding sentence. Ref: businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2012/01/… Apr 8 '18 at 11:04
  • @LoneLearner I'm English so you shouldn't ask me about good style in English Grammar:-) But in "normal" text it is as you say good style to make the list part of the paragraph but in display settings things may be different (in slides for example, a page may just have a title and a bullet list) Apr 8 '18 at 11:08
  • @jfbu I'll fix thanks (you do have edit rights:-) Apr 8 '18 at 11:09

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