Lists

In web writing, use lists to break up text wherever possible. Follow these guidelines.

Capitalize the first word of each item in a bulleted list.

Note: For the purposes of this guide, some examples are lower case.

Punctuation

Bullets are an effective way to separate text.

Unless punctuation is essential, leave it out. Don’t use periods at the end of list items, even if they are complete sentences. Don't use commas or semi-colons at the end of list items.

Avoid bulleted points with more than one sentence. If you must have them, punctuate between the sentences but not at the end.

Colons to Introduce a List

If you introduce the list with a complete clause or sentence, use a colon.

The following legislation applies to the B.C. family bonus program:

  • Income Tax Act (B.C.) Sections 9 to 13
  • Income Tax (B.C. family bonus) Regulation

If the list items complete the sentence, don’t use a colon.

If your property is in a rural area, you can change your address

  • Online
  • By phone
  • At a Service BC Centre

Check by writing your list as a one-line sentence.

  • If your property is in a rural area, you can change your address online, by phone or at a Service BC Centre.

Use simple bullets (not numbers) if there is no hierarchy to the items listed.

The B.C. government, BC Hydro and B.C.'s other utilities are committed to finding ways to

  • Keep electricity rates as low as possible
  • Keep price increases predictable
  • Increase supply
  • Update the system

Avoid lists with more than one level, and never use lists with more than two levels. Simplify the information instead.

You can use the following types of lists when writing for the web:

  • Simple lists
  • Nested lists
    • Use only when necessary
    • Rewrite if possible
    • Never add a third level

Remember, the language in lists must be "parallel." This means the structure of each item must be the same.

Numbered Lists

If you specify the exact number of items in the list in the introductory sentence, or if the order of the items are important, use a numbered (ordered) list instead of bullets. 

You can become certified in two ways:

  1. Pass the exam
  2. Collect continuing education credits through an approved association

Follow these steps in the appeal process:

  1. Request a review
  2. File an appeal
  3. Participate in the formal hearing
  4. Await the appeal decision