In my manuscript I generally do not indent the first paragraph following a chapter heading. This generally looks good and reads well with the exception of starting a chapter with quoted dialogue. See examples below.

Example 01:

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Example 02:

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The second option just looks wrong to me. Are there any official guidelines or best practices for this case?

1 Answer 1


Keep it consistent. If you are using indented paragraphs with the first paragraph of a chapter not indented, maintain this regardless of the content. Starting with quoted speech isn’t a reason to break consistency.

This formatting style is very common, and chapters that start with quoted text are always formatted the same as regular text: with no indent.

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