March 25 2010

Organize information with lists

by Barbie in Writing

Lists are a great way to organize related information. Bullets can serve a visual aid that draws the reader in, allowing them to focus on important facts or statistics in your document. Best of all, bulleted lists are beneficial for any type of document.

Use a bulleted list in a PowerPoint presentation to highlight important statistics. If you’re making a brochure for your business, you can use a concise list to explain your services or rates. Highlight your job experience and skills using bulleted lists in your resume.

Here are some tips when using bulleted list:

Make sure your bullets are parallel.

Use all nouns (or noun phrases) or all verbs (and verb phrases). Choose imperative statements (with an implied “you” as the subject) to engage the reader.

Keep them brief.

The advantage of bullets is that they draw the reader in view concise nformation. If you find that your bullets resemble paragraphs, stick to paragraph form.

Include a relevant stem.

Introduce your bullets with a sentence or phrase to give the reader context. A list of impressive statistics means nothing if you don’t tell the reader the relevance of these statistics.

Check your punctuation.

Stems generally end in colons, but check your style guide to be sure. Imperative statements and complete sentences should include end punctuation, while phrases should not. If you find that some of your bullets use end punctuation and others do not, your bullets probably aren’t parallel.