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There were a few factors to keep in mind when going about the benefit cost analysis: 1) technologies that were going to stay 2) those that were going to stay but be upgraded 3) things that were going to come to the new house 4) technology that will be taken to the new house and upgraded 5) things that would be disposed of

Is this the proper way of writing a numbered list? This paper is in APA if that means anything.

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  • Please explain what "APA" is, instead of saying "if that means anything"! Personally, I also find it preferable to start each numbered item on a new line.
    – TrevorD
    May 4 '16 at 23:09
  • @TrevorD: APA is a Yank thing, mate--American Psychological Association, author/sponsor of an academic style manual widely used in the U.S. for social science, business, nursing, education, and other disciplines. May 4 '16 at 23:56
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There should be punctuation added and an "and" inserted before the final factor, thus:

There were a few factors to keep in mind when going about the benefit cost analysis: 1) technologies that were going to stay, 2) those that were going to stay but be upgraded, 3) things that were going to come to the new house, 4) technology that will be taken to the new house and upgraded, and 5) things that would be disposed of.

If any of the items on the list also contained a comma, then it would be better to separate the listed items with a semicolon, as @Peanut's example shows.

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From the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed., p. 64, § 3.04:

Within a paragraph or sentence, identify elements in a series by lowercase letters in parentheses.

The participant’s three choices were (a) working with another participant, (b) working with a team, and (c) working alone.

I personally prefer to italicize the enumerating letter (or number) and its enclosing parentheses, but the APA style manual as you see does not call for or model that; and if I were directed to follow that style, my practice would change accordingly.

I note that APA here favors the serial or “Oxford” comma preceding the and that precedes the final item in the list.

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Instead of actual numbers, you could use "first of all", "secondly", etc.

Any final thing in a list (such as fifthly) would be interchangeable with Finally in the following example.

You could use semicolons or comma-separated lists. This example uses semicolons:

There were a few factors to keep in mind when going about the benefit cost analysis: First of all, technologies that were going to stay; secondly, those that were going to stay but be upgraded. thirdly, things that were going to come to the new house; fourthly, technology that will be taken to the new house and upgraded; finally, things that would be disposed of.

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