What are some guidelines for using lists in your writing?
Tips from Gerald J. Alred’s Handbook of Technical Writing, eighth edition include:
- Use only comparable items and use parallel structure.
- List only words, phrases, or short sentences of the same general length.
- Provide context by introducing each list, typically with a complete sentence followed by a colon.
- Verify coherence by providing for adequate transition before and after a list.
- Use bullets, as opposed to numbers, when rank or sequence is not important.
- Do not overuse lists or include too many items, as in pages or presentation slides that contain only lists.