Common Problems with Lists © 2021 Intelligent Editing LtdAll rights reserved, You can check your lists faster and more easily by using, Figure 1: Format and punctuate lists correctly, How to Find Brackets and Quotes Left Open. when you create numbered lists. General Guidelines Use similar types of lists consistently in similar text in the same document. The items can be single sentences or full paragraphs. Example of a vertical list with run-in headings. In most versions of Microsoft Word, create this format by selecting hanging indent in Format > Paragraph and specifying an indent of 0.25 inches. Use these guidelines for two-column lists: Note: The best way to create a two-column list is to use a table and hide the grid lines. In addition to expressing numbers 10 and above, the following are other instances when you would use numerals rather than words: Numbers mentioned in the abstract, a table, or a figure in the paper (this allows for brevity) Numbers that immediately precede a unit of measurement Numbers that represent statistical or mathematical functions, fractional or decimal quantities, percentages, ratios, percentiles, and quartiles numbers that represent time, dates, ages, scores and point values on a scale, exact sums of … It splits lists into. In multi-author documents, inconsistencies in bullet punctuation are a constant concern. They make documents easier to understand and enable readers to see key information. However, if lists contain typos or inconsistencies then those will jump out at readers too. The or between adds emphasis. Use simple vertical lists when the list items do not need to be emphasized and are listed vertically merely for ease of reading. Use of single parentheses on the list-item number or letter (in other words, Run-over lines not aligned with the text of list items, Lack of a strong lead-in sentence introducing list items, and lack of a colon to punctuate lead-ins, Inconsistent use of lists in similar text, Lists that have too many items and need to be subdivided or consolidated. Bulleted and numbered lists help simplify text for your reader. So, be sure to use the numbered list format only when the list format will add clarity to the text. Use a lead-in to introduce the list items and to indicate the meaning or purpose of the list (and punctuate it with a colon). The Top 10 Capitalization Inconsistencies, help readers understand key information at a glance, show that several items belong to a single category, a comma or no punctuation for lists that do not contain the main verb, a full stop after each sentence for lists that contain at least one item with multiple sentences, lower-case letters or capitals at the start of each list item. If you have sublist items in a numbered list, use lowercase letters, and indent the sublist items to the, If you have sublist items, use a less prominent symbol for a bullet (such as a dash or clear disc) or a lowercase letter for subnumbered items, and indent the sublist items to the. Use your software's list styles for these vertical lists. Guidelines for Specific Types of Lists Punctuate items in the columns only if they are complete sentences. Choose the number to start the list at. Some errors are worse than others. Use "compact" list format if you have just a few list items only a single line each. Use sentence-style capitalization for both columns. Use exactly the spacing, indentation, punctuation, and caps style shown in the following discussion and illustrations. If you have a 1 or an a, you need a 2 or a b. Specify a name for your new list style. A style guide for lists may require whole sentences (like this one) to begin with a capital letter. McMurrey Associates: Courses in Technical Writing, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. When you check your style guide, pay particular attention to the rules for using: To give you a better idea, here are some examples: However, you might also see some lists (where each item contains a verb but there are no items with multiple sentences) presented as follows: Alongside bulleted lists like these, you might also see this type (where each item is just one word and there is no verb): Even though the three lists above all use different punctuation, they are consistent because the punctuation style in each case fits the type of list. Use these guidelines for in-sentence lists: Use these guidelines for simple vertical lists: Example of a simple vertical list. Use 0.25 inches for the hanging-indent (between the bullet and the text of the list item). As with so many writing issues, the answer is ‘It depends’! There can be different types of numbered list: Numeric Number (1, 2, 3) Technical writing may have its own requirements in this regard, and you should consult a technical writing manual for specific rules. Begin run-over lines under the text of the list item, not the regular left margin. Introduce every bulleted list or numbered list with a sentence that uses the key … You can number headings so that top-level headings (Heading 1) are numbered 1, 2, 3, for example, and second-level headings (Heading 2) are numbered 1.1, 1.2, 1.3. So, how should you punctuate bulleted lists? When creating a numbered list, you might want need to "pause" to add another object such as a bullet list, image, or paragraph. Bulleted and numbered lists help simplify text for your reader. Use lists to highlight or emphasize text or to enumerate sequential items. Number your citations. Indented material that elaborates on the parent list item. It's difficult to state guidelines on choosing between the various kinds of lists, but here's a stab at it: Problems with lists usually include the following: Use the following for specific details on the capitalization, typography (bold, underlining, different fonts, different types sizes), and spacing for each type of list. Use sentence-style capitalization on list items. When you click the Outline Numbered tab, you can view templates for creating an outline. Lists also create more white space and spread out the text so that pages don't seem like solid walls of words. Standard is to use lowercase letters for sublist items that are in a required order. One more thought before we move on--use numbered lists correctly. However, in order to make the right impression, it’s important to make sure that all lists in your text are well presented and that punctuation is consistent. You can use them to: The advantage of lists is that they jump out at readers. the sky is also blue, unless it is cloudy. Avoid single-item lists. Nested lists can contain every combination of list type: numbered list items (123...) with lowercase-letter sublist items (abc...), filled-disc bulleted list items with clear-disc or hyphenated sublist items; and other combinations of these. With lists when would you use a numbered list? for lists may require whole sentences ( example b ) or stand-alone phrases ( C! Need tape, scissors, and you should consult a technical writing for! Widely agreed-upon guidelines—just be consistent your lists faster and more easily by using PerfectIt ( # ) the! Lists when you have no access to an actual bullet is not a complete sentence if! Number formats and separator options Home tab in the figure ) numbered options bulleted lists when list... Etc. ) by hand using this simple syntax one ) to begin with a sentence... 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