TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Earlier, I sent you all a request for assistance about bullets. This is the
summary I promised.
Everyone agreed with most of my basic thoughts on bullets, that bullets
should be used to:
- highlight concepts
- display short lists
- stress specific points
They agreed that bullets should be used in groups of two or more (Deborah
Schwartz's office uses 3 or more).
The differences came in the areas of end punctuation and the size of the
Many wrote that they use end punctuation in the following manner: if all
bulleted items are complete sentences, punctuate; if even one item is not a
complete sentence, don't punctuate. Several (3) felt that a period should go
at the end of the bulleted list.
While over half felt that restricting the text to a complete sentence or less
was an internal (house) standard, many thought that nothing was wrong with
using bullets for complete sentences or paragraphs of 2 or 3 short sentences.
Additionally, half of you were split about the spacing. Some opted for double
spacing between first level bullets and single spacing between second level
bullets, others single-spaced all bullets. All, however, indented each level.
Finally, many of you mentioned the requirements for consistency and
parallelism in the structure.
Thanks to each of you who took the time and effort to reply.
David Dubin @notes -dot- pw -dot- com -at- Internet
We should not take ourselves too seriously,
no one else does.