Sentence Before Bullet Points: An Essential Guide on Bulleted Lists

Sometimes, writers find it difficult to list their ideas within…

Sometimes, writers find it difficult to list their ideas within a text. This is an essential skill to learn, particularly if you enter the professional writing world. Learning about the fundamentals of a sentence before bullet points can help you solve your listing problems.

As a writer, you must clearly state all the facts you intend to share with your readers. Failing to do so might tarnish your reputation and credibility as an aspiring famous author. Learning about the basics can lead to the success you are yearning, which includes making a list.

Study about the things you need to understand about a sentence before bullet points below. Take note of everything you will discover to improve your writing style.

That way, you can leave a positive impression to your readers.

What are Bullet Points?

You can neatly list information using bullet points. Bullet points are abbreviated points of details, facts, or examples you want to mention.

You can use these as content for your article, blog post or story. Basically, they are defined as points in a genre.

It gets your message across quicker, straight to the point, and in less space. Use bullet points to summarize an article or story before providing further detail.

person writing bucket list on book using bullet points
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Numbers vs. Bullets

If your action items need to be in a certain order, use a numbered list rather than bullets. If your introductory text describes a certain number of items you can use a numbered list.

Use capital letters or punctuation if your bullet point has more than one sentence (or multiple sentences). If you don’t need to punctuate your points, you shouldn’t do so.

For sentence fragments, you can start each sentence with either upper-case or lower-case letters.

Make sure your bullet points are grammatically parallel by starting each with the same part of speech. If you start one point with an adjective, begin all of them with an equivalent.

3 Rules to Remember About A Sentence Before Bullet Points

There are various things you can learn about a sentence before bullet points. It’s important to remember that they are vital when it comes to enumerating ideas or items.

Learning about the three rules on making a list will help you create one better.

1. Colon for a Sentence Style List

Most lists are preceded by a complete sentence with a colon beside it. However, there are various kinds of sentences like this.

For this rule, you need to understand that it is talking about a list in a sentence. It should show a colon after the sentence preceding the complete list.

Most writers get confused on this writing style. Common questions include:

  • How do I properly list things within a sentence?
  • Do I need to capitalize the first letter of the first item in the list?
  • Does the list need to be short?

Example:

People use words to link some characteristics with other people. These may include: Naughty, sad, mad, or brave.

2. Colon for a Vertical List

Next, another method of listing items within a text is a vertical list. A vertical list is one of the most common strategies on enumerating things should a writer find it necessary.

It follows the preceding sentence on a vertical pattern. The list will end should the writer not have anything to add anymore.

This format is one of the widely adapted enumeration techniques worldwide. However, most writers are missing the point that a colon must appear before it.

Also, other style guides use this as a basic example of listing. This may be bulleted, numbered, or dashed.

Example:

The following are the information tackled during the new seminar we attended earlier:

  • Finding out the meaning of figurative words.
  • Learning how to look for reliable information.
  • Adding the appropriate punctuation on introducing a person an email.
  • Studying about good grammar; and
  • Using the semicolon for academic purposes.

3. Colon for a Sentence List Using Numbers or Letters

Lastly, colons are also used for sentence lists using digits or letters. This is almost the same thing as the first tip.

However, most writers forget this fundamental standard on making a list. Regardless if it is a short or long enumeration of ideas, you must remember this tip clearly.

Example:

At the end of the seminar, Jackson introduced the following writing standards: (1) Using the correct words, (2) Inputting the correct punctuations like commas and periods, and (3) Reading the output before submitting.

Notice the punctuations used above. Do not forget to use comma on making a list within a sentence that uses digits or letters.

Conclusion

Following the tips provided above will help you improve the way you write. These are essential reminders whenever you intend to list something, regardless if it is a single idea or many phrases.

In the end, all you need to do is recall everything you have read from this article: (1) Colon for a Sentence Style List, (2) Colon for a Vertical List, and (3) Colon for a Sentence List Using Numbers or Letters.

Frequently asked questions

Sentence Before Bullet Points: An Essential Guide on Bulleted Lists

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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