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Chapter 27. Enhancing Readability > Arranging Text into Vertical Lists

Arranging Text into Vertical Lists

Arranging text into bulleted or numbered vertical lists, as appropriate, gives your document a quick-read quality that long narratives cannot. Some e-mail programs include the option of formatting lists with bullets, but if not, you may substitute an asterisk (*) or double hyphens (--). Numbered vertical lists are generally used only for a sequence of steps. Either way, apply the following tips to maximize the effectiveness of such lists:

Be consistent. If your list starts with an asterisk, then each item in the list should start with one.

Write complete sentences or sentence fragments, but be consistent throughout the list.

Begin each item in the list with a capital letter.

Keep each line short.

Indent the list, if desired, to call more attention to it.

Add even more emphasis to each point by double-spacing and leaving plenty of white space around the list.


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