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Bullet point lists

You need a lead-in sentence, which can be, but does not have to be a complete sentence. It’s followed by a colon, after which the bullet points come. The lead-in sentence should suggest that a list is about to follow. If the lead-in sentence is not a complete sentence, then the points complete it.

There are several contenders for the title of largest carnivorous dinosaur. These are:

  • Tyrannosaurus Rex,

  • Giganotosaurus, and

  • Spinosaurus.

Think of a bulleted list as a list that has been stretched vertically and has bullet points in front of each point. For short sentence fragment points we use commas after each point. For complete sentences, we use semicolons after each point. The second last point has an ‘and’ at the end of it and the last point ends with a period. If the points are complete sentences, it’s up to you whether you capitalise the first letter of the first word.

Use bullet point lists when the order of the points isn’t important. Here’s an example of a bullet point list with complete sentences:

We are worried about several transport issues. Three points were raised in the last meeting:

  • There is a shortage of buses late at night in the city;

  • Vandals are frequenting the trains on weekends; and

  • Bashings of taxi drivers continue to occur.

In this case, I’ve chosen to capitalise each complete bullet point sentence.