Okay, The Guru has a confession to make: I used to be afraid of hanging indents.
This, of course, is silly. Of all the things in the world there are to be afraid of — snakes, heights, public speaking, thermonuclear war, global economic meltdowns — hanging indents are pretty innocuous. But I did, until fairly recently, go through a period where I avoided doing hanging indents because I kept getting confused by them. (More on that later.)
Some of you are asking, “What is a hanging indent?” It’s a style of paragraph indentation that has the first line flush with the left margin but indents all of the subsequent lines in the paragraph, like so:
(If you had to write term papers in APA Style in college, you recognize the format.)
Now you’re asking, “So what’s so scary about a hanging indent?” and “Why should I care about ’em?” Let me explain.