Lists (particularly those that are longer or more complex) are often clearer when they are set apart from the main text as bulleted or numbered points.

Use bullets where order is not important and numbers where the order has some significance.

Items in a list should follow a consistent pattern and have a ‘parallel’ grammatical structure. Broadly, this means they should use the same:

  • word type (noun, verb, etc.) at the start of each item
  • tense
  • sentence type.

Use minimal punctuation for lists. Do not use semicolons, commas or ‘and’ after list items. (‘And’ is only usually necessary in some legal text, where it is critical to the context.)

Limit the number of lists used, as content with too many lists can be confusing. Also avoid using too many multilevel lists. If you must use multilevel lists, do not use more than 2 levels.

Sentence lists

Sentence lists contain complete sentences that occur after a lead in. Where each list item is a full sentence, use a full stop at the end of each, including the last one. Each list item should start with a capital letter.

Fragment lists

Fragment lists are incomplete phrases that run on from a ‘lead in’. For fragment lists, only use a full stop at the end of the last item. Items in fragment lists start in lower case (unless they are proper nouns).

Standalone lists

These lists have a heading without a colon. They can be fragments, but cannot be full sentences. Standalone list items start with a capital letter and require no punctuation.