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Write the Right Word: Punctuating Bulleted Items

Listing information in a bulleted format is an effective way of drawing attention to it. But writers often have trouble punctuating bulleted lists.

Here’s an easy rule to remember: The only time these lists need punctuation is if the bulleted items are complete sentences. Otherwise, they do not need any punctuation. That means no commas, semicolons or even a period at the end of the last item on the list.

For example:

Pasture rental rates vary based on:

  • Forage quantity and quality
  • Forage species and composition
  • Condition of the fencing
  • Water quality and availability

Consider these holiday eating strategies to avoid weight gain:

  • Serve items on a side table instead of setting a large buffet table.
  • Use smaller serving spoons.
  • Cut sweet goodies in smaller pieces, or make the cookies small.

, Information Specialist, 701-231-5391

Filed under: Written Communication
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