A paragraph header names a paragraph in the Identification, Environment, and Procedure Divisions. In the Identification and Environment Division, a paragraph header is a reserved word followed by a period. These are detailed in the appropriate syntax charts.
In the Procedure Division, a paragraph header is a user-defined word followed by a period. A paragraph header can be placed in Area A or Area B. When a paragraph header is placed in Area B, the Compiler produces the following warning message, unless the -w compile switch is specified:
Warning: Paragraph Name found in Area B
An initial paragraph header, immediately following the Procedure Division header, is not required. If no initial paragraph header is present, the Compiler creates a dummy header named ACU-MAIN.
The first entry or sentence of a paragraph begins on either the same line as the paragraph header or in Area B of succeeding lines. Subsequent entries or sentences must be in Area B.