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How to write correct bulleted lists

Write Correct Bullet lists are fantastic! They lighten up your text and structure what you want to say simply and effectively. When you have finished a text, read it and ask yourself: should I put a bulleted list somewhere?

Three correct variants of bulleted lists

There are some rules to keep in mind when writing bulleted lists. We will go through them a little later. Here are three examples of correctly formatted bulleted lists:

Example 1

Good to know before the trip to Idre:

  • The bus leaves at 7 o’clock from the parking lot.
  • We stop for lunch at noon.
  • You must bring your bed linen.
  • You can bring a maximum of two pairs of skis.

Example 2

Remember to pack this:

  • bedding that fits a single bed
  • towel and beach towels
  • warm socks
  • holder for the lift pass.

Example 3

On the first day, you can choose between that

  • go slalom or snowboard
  • ride an Icelandic horse
  • run dog sleds over the mountain
  • visit the mountain church at Västbacken.

What should the bullet lists look like?

First, we must agree on the terms. Bullet lists consist of two parts: the introductory sentence and the different steps, ie the list itself. What the bullet list should look like is determined by the grammatical form of the introductory sentence and the syllable:

  • If the introductory sentence is complete, it should end with a colon, as in Examples 1 and 2. If the introductory sentence, on the other hand, is the beginning of a sentence, which then ends in the clause, it should not end with any punctuation at all. As in Example 3.
  • If the lines are complete sentences, they must begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop. As in Example 1. write correct
  • If the lines are not complete sentences, they start with a lowercase letter and only the last line ends with a full stop. As in examples 2 and 3. You can then think of the entire bulleted list as a single coherent sentence.

What other rules are there?

In addition to the rules about colon, uppercase, and lowercase letters, and ending periods, there are a few more rules to consider:

  • Each syllable should have the same grammatical form. The line can consist of just one word, several words, one sentence, or several sentences – but all lines must have the same shape. Do my paper not mix! If the first item on your Christmas wish list is  I want warm socks, the next one can not be gloves.
  • No lines should end with commas.
  • You should not print orand or and at the end of the penultimate line. If you think it is necessary  write correctto make your bulleted list clear, you have not formulated the introductory sentence correctly. Write about it instead!

Can you use numbers at the beginning of the line?

Now that we have explained the rules, we have only used round points as signs at the beginning of the line. You can also use dashes or ticks or something else, depending on which graphic form suits you best. But numbers and letters you should only choose when they fill a function:

Numbers are very practical for showing chronology, for example when you describe a process or give instructions where things have to happen in a certain order. You can use letters if you need to refer to the individual lines in the list later in the text.

When are bulleted lists good?

Bulleted lists are a good option when a sentence gets very long because you list something. For example, write correct conditions for an offer to apply, or what the reader should remember to pack before the mountain trip. They are also good when you want to highlight certain information, such as making it clear what decisions have been made at a meeting.


Want to learn more writing rules?

If you want to delve into the world of writing rules, we recommend that you take a look at our other writing tips and our answers to common questions about language accuracy.

You can also order a  course on right and wrong in the language. Then we visit your workplace so that you and your colleagues get an idea of ​​the guidelines that apply. we can come up with a tailor-made proposal.

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