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Using bullet points & numbered lists

Bullet (dot) points and numbered lists are used to list or highlight important information in texts. Bullet points are used when all the information is equal, that is there is no hierarchy or sequence, while numbered lists are used to show a sequence or place information in hierarchical importance, eg most important to least important.

To start a list, select either the bullet or numbered list icon from the formatting toolbar. The indent and outdent can be used to create sub-lists within lists.

List icons

Part or full sentences?

Both bullet point and numbered lists can consist of part or full sentences. Part sentence lists consist of an introductory phrase, followed by a colon (:), then each list point is a part sentence.

Part sentence lists are constructed by:

  • writing an explanatory phrase followed by a colon
  • starting each line with a lower case letter (not a capital)
  • making verb tenses and word forms consistent
  • punctuating only the final line with a full stop.

In full sentence lists, each list point is a complete sentence. They are generally introduced by a heading. Each list point starts with a capital letter and has a full stop on each line. Remember: numbered lists are only used when there is a hierarchy of importance or specific sequence in time. Look at the example below.

Rules for using bullet points (heading)

  • Write in complete sentences and use a full stop. (full sentence)
  • Use a consistent type of bullet point. (full sentence)

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Headers & footers

 

 

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