In the past, most bulleted lists had semi-colons at the end of each point with an and after the second-to-last point and a full stop at the end. This style is still used in legal material, but not in most business writing. Modern styles are more minimal.
You can use different styles for different types of lists, but whatever styles you choose, the cardinal rule is: be consistent.
Types of lists
Use normal punctuation for full sentences
With lists that are made up of full sentences, use normal sentence punctuation. For example:
- Check your passport is current when you start planning your trip as it may take several weeks to renew it.
- Decide how much cash to take with you. In most places you can withdraw money from ATMs.
Use minimal punctuation for run-on sentences
For run-on sentences where each bullet point relates back to the initial statement, use lower case for the first letter in each bullet point, and put a full stop after the last bullet point. For example:
Before you travel overseas, remember to:
- make sure your passport is current
- find out if need any vaccinations
- check the expiry dates of your credit cards.
Some organisations are now using an initial capital because that is the Microsoft default. If you use this style, I don’t think you need a full stop at the end.
Online grammar programs
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