Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

bullet-pointsA common question I field not only from writing students but also from people creating presentations is: how should I format bullets? In developing a document or creating a presentation, it is important to format and use bullets correctly.

There are many options, so, which is the right one to use?

I-love-bullet-pointsI recommend you pick one format for your bulleted information and stick with it throughout that piece. Parallelism and consistency is key when formatting information. You want to be consistent in your wording and writing, and especially in business materials. When expressing ideas of equal weight in writing, parallel and consistent structures offer a writing style that uses balance and rhythm to help deliver your meaning.

To introduce bulleted information, you can use a complete sentence and a colon.

Bulleted information needs to be formatted correctly:

  • Begin each bullet with a capital letter.
  • Make each bullet a complete sentence.
  • Finish each bullet with a period.

Or

Bulleted information needs to be formatted correctly:

  • Begin the first bullet with a capital letter;
  • make each bullet a complete sentence;
  • finish the final bullet with a period.

Or

To introduce phrases or single words, use a sentence that each bullet could complete.

Bulleted information can be

  • cryptic,
  • conversational, and
  • lower case.

Use numbers instead of bullets if you have introduced the concept in terms of numbers.

There are three requirements for the scholarship:

  1. The student must show financial need.
  2. The student must maintain a full-time course load.
  3. The student must maintain a 3.5 g.p.a.

Or

The three qualifications for the scholarship are—

  1. financial need,
  2. full-time status,
  3. g.p.a. of 3.5.

It will help to remember to keep bulleted information parallel. Choose one format and stick to it throughout your piece.