Using a Colon to Introduce Bullet Points
The Quick AnswerWhen using bullets:
- Be consistent throughout the document with the formatting at the start and end of each bullet (i.e., keep the same use of capital letters and punctuation).
- Make sure your bullet points align logically with the introduction.
- Think about writing a full introduction (i.e., one which could stand alone). (There is some leniency on this with bullet points, but using a full introduction before your colon will keep your writing grammatically pure.)
Using Bullet PointsA colon can be used to introduce a vertical list (such as a numbered list or a list of bullet points).
Read about common formats for using bullet points.
When using a colon to introduce a list, the introduction itself (i.e., the text before the colon), should be a standalone clause. However, when a vertical list (like bullet points) is being introduced, there is a lot of leniency on this ruling.
Read more about the wording before a colon.
When using bullet points, a common format is to start each bullet with a capital letter and end it with a full stop. There are other formats with bullet points. Choose whichever one you like, but be consistent throughout your document.
Dr Mole won the following events:
- Egg-and-spoon race.
- Toss the pancake.
- Apple bobbing.
Dr Mole won the following events:(This list is not consistent. There is a small e on egg, and there is no full stop / period at the end of pancake.)
- egg-and-spoon race.
- Toss the pancake
- Apple bobbing.
The birds listed below were spotted during the survey:(This list is not consistent. There is a small b on bittern.)
- Dipper (two).
- bittern (one).
- Grey Wagtail (twelve).
Keep Your Bullets LogicalWhen using bullet points, ensure each one links logically with the introduction.
"Helps Fight Freshens Breath"
(label on mouthwash bottle)