Lists - numbers or bullet points?
Writing tip: Use 1, 2, 3 for first, second, third
Use dots for equal lots. A short shopping list is the kind of list that is suitable for dots.
Dot points are perfect when:
- items in the list are equally important, and
- the sequence of items is irrelevant.
Use a numbered list (1, 2, 3…) only for items that you think of as first, second, third…
The first item might be first in various senses, for example:
- Importance (e.g. first in a competition), or
- Sequence (e.g. the first step in a procedure), or
- Time (e.g. the event that happened first).
Example of a numbered list: How to boil an egg.
- Place eggs in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cover them with cold water.
- Cover the eggs with at least an inch of water.
- Bring the water to a full boil and boil for 8 minutes.
- Remove the boiled eggs from the water and transfer them to a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes.
- Then either peel and serve the eggs, or refrigerate them.