The Write Stuff
May 2012 Volume 8 Issue 5
Just Shoot Me (With Bullet Points)
Bullet points are one of the handiest tools in your writing arsenal, especially if your copy will be viewed online. They’re a fabulous alternative to providing a list of items within a paragraph, because they:
Take note that I introduced the list above with a colon, the first word of each bullet point is capitalized, and none of them end with a period or comma. These bullet points also pass the consistency test (they make, they provide, they offer), something I often find lacking in my clients’ copy.
Here’s an example of what not to do:
The only way the Cubs are going to become a championship team is by:
The third bullet fails the consistency test (by having, by improving, by play); it should begin with “playing.”
Another issue I see with bullet points is beginning each one with the same word or words, a situation that can be rather easily rectified.
Here’s the “no” example:
It’s going to be a long season if:
What’s the better alternative?
It’s going to be a long season if the Cubs don’t:
Instead of repeating “the Cubs don’t” in each bullet point, those words introduce the list, resulting in shorter, more compelling copy.
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