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I'm not sure if my question is entirely subjective or not. I'm asking because maybe there is a "standard" way of doing it. I haven't found anything about this because it's kind of difficult to search for.

In an academic paper, you have different kinds of environments, like Examples, Figures, Definitions, Theorems, etc.

I've never been sure whether you have to mention these within your text (as in "Definition 5 defines the concept of ...", which sounds strange). I know you should always mention Figures because they tend to be placed outside of the "text flow" to optimize the layout and stuff. But what about the others?

To make it more clear: Should I do this

This is some text. Definition 5 shows an important thing.

Definition 5: Something is defined

The text continues with some statements, now that Definition 5 has been applied.

Or this

This is some text.

Definition 5: Something is defined

The text continues with some statements, now that Definition 5 has been applied.

Mentioning definitions sometimes reads very strange as there are not many combinations to choose from ("Definition 5 shows", "Definition 5 states", ...)

Thank you!

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Usually - this is how it's done at my university - you write a definition of a term before applying it in a context. In that manner you make sure that the reader understands your view of the terminology and you can show that the definition has been scientifically researched and compared to its various interpretations.

"Rap is commonly known as... Mayer (1976), whereas Stevens (2002) thinks that rap is... In the following when using the terminology of "rap" I agree with Mayer (1976)."

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