I am reviewing a doctoral thesis/dissertation where the author has a tendency to make statements where several different alternatives are given:
... These processes may occur in two different ways: either ... or ...
Then goes on to explain the two different alternatives within the same extensively long paragraph:
*... (1) [several long sentences going into detail]. (2) [some more fancy technical details]
I couldn't help but to react to it; it looks somehow wrong to my eyes but I can't really put it into words. I would say that you either make a list of the alternatives and explain using "first", "second" etc OR dedicate details about them with subheadings (if the explanation is very long). To clarify, my issue isn't the use of numerals in parentheses, but that itemization is done in running text rather than an explicit list.
I skimmed through the Elements of Style for numbered lists in running text, but didn't come up with something. Neither did a brief Google search reveal any insights. Maybe I am searching for the wrong keywords...
My question is, such numbered lists in running text something frowned upon? Is there a generally accepted way to write in these situations? And finally does it differ between academic writing and English in general?