Correct use of bulleted lists

The purpose of bulleted lists

Bulleted lists are a great way of communicating large chunks of information in a manner that is easy to read and understand. Essays, theses, reports, study notes, and other written material often include information that would most efficiently be communicated in the form of a bulleted lists. However, many authors and editors have found themselves wondering how to use punctuation in bulleted lists, whether to use capital letters, or how to structure the list altogether.

Academic institutions and publishers often have a style guide stipulating how punctuation and grammatical matters should be approached. However, you as an individual might not have a need for your own style guide yet. Either way, the basic English language rules apply and should be considered when creating a style guide.

The importance of concord

With any type of bulleted list, it is crucial to remain consistent with how each listed item is phrased. Each listed item should make sense in relation to the initial statement, in the same manner that the items before it did. This is referred to as concord.

The image below explains the correct use of bulleted lists as advised by the current industry standards:

Correct use of bulleted lists

Author: M. Brand

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