Using a Colon to Introduce Bullet Points
 
When 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 Points

A 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.

Examples:

Dr Mole won the following events:

  • Egg-and-spoon race.
  • Toss the pancake.
  • Apple bobbing.       
Dr Mole won the following events:

  • egg-and-spoon race.
  • Toss the pancake
  • Apple bobbing.        
(This list is not consistent. There is a small e on egg, and there is no full stop / period at the end of pancake.)
The birds listed below were spotted during the survey:

  • Dipper (two).
  • bittern (one).
  • Grey Wagtail (twelve).
(This list is not consistent. There is a small b on bittern.)
 
KEEP YOUR BULLETS LOGICAL

When using bullet points, ensure each one links logically with the introduction.


"Helps Fight Freshens Breath"
(label on mouthwash bottle)
 
 

See also:

Using bullet points
How to use colons to extend sentences
Colons in references
Using colons for introductions
Colons with quotations