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Question about Capitalization for a Bullet List
Periods for bullet point items

Should each item be in uppercase or not? I've seen both forms:

Yada, yada, yada, such as:

  • standardized bananas
  • Standardized bananas

And if each bulleted item is a complete sentence, should it be punctuated? And even if it isn't, should it have a comma?

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marked as duplicate by F'x, kiamlaluno, RegDwigнt Mar 5 '11 at 8:43

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Duplicate of Question about Capitalization for a Bullet List –  F'x Mar 4 '11 at 19:45
    
Not sure this is so much about English usage as it is about personal preference. personally, unless the bulleted text is a complete sentence I would start with a lower-case letter (unless the word is a proper noun etc.) –  Alison Mar 4 '11 at 19:46

3 Answers 3

It's quite common to end list items with semi-colons, and to end the last item with a full stop. Commas are rarer. The one rule is to ensure that each item in the list is grammatically equivalent. Have them all complete sentences (ending them with full stops, question marks, or exclamation marks as appropriate in each case), or have them all sentence fragments which can be added to the same beginning.

Here is a bulleted list:

  • In this list, each item is a complete sentence.
  • It does not matter whether some items are questions, does it?
  • Each item begins, of course, with a capital letter.

And here's another list. In this list,

  • each item is a sentence-fragment;
  • items end with semi-colons;
  • items cannot be questions, because each has to be grammatically equivalent;
  • items begin with lowercase letters;
  • the last item ends with a full stop.
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This depends on your style guide. For formal writing, or when every item in a bulleted list is its own sentence, you should always capitalize the first letter.

  • For example, my first point is a sentence of its own.
  • My second point is, as well.

However, if you're listing things that aren't sentences of their own, you can use lower-case, as in:

  • lists that begin in the middle of a sentence
  • standalone items without a grammatical relationship between them

However, specific style guides might always want you to capitalize the first letter of bulleted lists.

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It depends on the items in the list. If you are writing a list of complete sentences, then use regular Capitalization and punctuation. For list of word, they should not be capitalized or punctuated.

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