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walkfish

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May 2, 2009

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List Punctuation

  • May 2, 2009, 8:20pm

Bullets

Bullets are graphic devices that substitute for alpha-numeric designation of items in a list. In a bulleted list, the graphic device obviates normal grammatical punctuation.

1. In bulleted lists within text passages, the bullet is the punctuation. No other punctuation is required to separate listed items. Do not use commas or semicolons at the end of each item.
2. If an item in the bulleted list is a complete sentence, the first word should be capped and there should be a period at the end of the sentence. If the item is a nonsentence fragment, the first word should be lowercased, with a period placed at the end of the last item in the list.
3. Avoid mixing sentence and nonsentence items in a bulleted list. If you do mix and there is one bullet that is a complete sentence, then make every item at least two words, start every item with a cap and end with a period.
4. The real key is consistency. Style is NOT grammar.