Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Consistence of a Bullet

When making a bulleted or numbered list, many writers lose sight of consistency in their attempts to organize. If you create such a list, take care to use the same composition for each item. When you use a word, phrase, or sentence fragment for the first, keep that format throughout the list. If the first item contains a complete sentence, then include a sentence for each point in the list.

It may help to use punctuation at the end of each item in the list, as well. A semi-colon or comma links the items into a long sentence that readers can easily understand. Just remember to check for matching punctuation at the end of each point and for the conjunction on the second-to-last item. The rules of punctuation and grammar still apply, after all, no matter how complex the sentence.

Your readers will have an easier time following your points if each takes the same form. Help make your meaning clear the first time through by removing stumbling blocks, such as inconsistent formatting, from the path.