Bullet Points Done Right

Do you like using Bullet points? Of course you do!

These little bolded dots are indented just enough to make you:

  • Move your eyes down.
  • And speed up.

60% of the time, it works every time….

All the time? Yes.It works everytime.

“You’ll notice that there are periods after each of the bullet points. When the bullet points are complete sentences, they have a period at the end. Keep in mind that short, command sentences are still considered complete sentences, even when they begin with the understood second person “you.”- From Ms. Catherine S. Hibbard over at Cypress Media Group. She gives an excellent crash course in bullets.

Bullet points are great for calling your reader’s attention to specific information. As you use bullets in blogs, reports, emails, letters and other work documents, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Lists are brief.
  • Begin with action verbs when possible.
  • Make verb tenses and forms consistent.
  • Limit lists from three to six items.

After the last item in your list, don’t stop. Conclude with at least one sentence to give your readers a sense of completeness. Ideally, the wrap-up sentence that explains your whole point of making a list.

I like to use Lists as Calls to action

Remember to use bulleted lists sparingly. No one wants to read a document that has more bullets than narrative. Bullets are like spice; use them judiciously rather than indiscriminately. If you take a business writing workshop, already knowing how to create an effective bulleted list will put you at “the head of the class.”

Does that make sense to you?

Do you like using bullet points when you write?

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Mike Toner

Based in Alexandria, Virginia Michael is the Manager of Social Media at Navy Federal Credit Union. By evening, he's a husband, dog owner and runner. Toner writes about social media strategy, tools, training and best practices for social and digital marketing programs.

 

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