Use vertical lists for lists that are long or contain items on several levels.
Use vertical lists for quick-reference items or for visual prominence.
Use numbers when items on a list follow a specific order.
Use bullets as visual markers for each item.
If the introductory statement is a complete grammatical sentence, end it with a colon. List items do not begin with capital letters and do not carry closing punctuation unless they are complete sentences.
- Example: Include the following documents in your application:
- completed application
- personal essay
- three letters of recommendation
If the introductory statement is not a complete sentence, use the punctuation mark that's appropriate for the context (comma, semicolon, dash, or nothing). List items do not start with capital letters and have no closing punctuation.
- Example: The final report outlined the company’s
- increased fundraising efforts
- stabilized employee retention
- increased recruitment efforts
Numbered items begin with a capital letter.
Do not use closing punctuation unless the item is a complete sentence.
Separate items in a series with a comma. Do not use a comma before the conjunction.
- Example: The students came from California, Colorado, Maryland and Nebraska.
If the series contains lengthy elements or elements that require separation with a comma, use semicolons to avoid confusion. Use a semicolon before the conjunction in a series.
- Example: Faculty conduct research in molecular and cellular pathology and toxicology; drug delivery systems; protein structure and delivery; cancer, heart, lung and blood diseases; and alcohol and drug abuse.