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The Importance of Bulleted Lists in Writing for the Web

Reading large paragraphs of text on a computer screen can be very straining on a persons eyes. For that reason, professional Web writers keep their paragraphs short and use other techniques, like white space and sub-titles to break up the monotony. Another device that can be used to break up large blocks of text are bulleted lists.

Bulleted lists can be used to:

Focus attention on key points
Organize content
Provide a preview of the material
Provide a summary of the material

Below is the same information as above, except not using a bulleted list:

Bulleted lists can be used to focus attention on key points, or they can be used to organize content. Bulleted lists can also be used to provide a preview of the material, or to provide a summary of the material.

As you can see, the bulleted list communicated the key points much more efficiently than the paragraph.

Each item in a bulleted list can be a sentence ending in a period or some other punctuation mark, or each item can be a phrase without end punctuation. Which ever you use, be consistent. Don't mix sentences and phrases in the same bulleted list.

Bulleted lists should be short. If you put more than eight or ten items in a list, use a numbered list instead, which is easier for a reader to follow.

A bulleted list is a great device to list in-page links to the sub-titles in an article, or to provide links to information on other sites.

There is a huge number of bullet types to choose from; circles, boxes, stars, check marks, and so on. Too fancy bullets distract the reader from the content of the list. For example, animated bullets will really distract from the content of the list. Keep your bullets simple.

Professional Web writers don't force readers to plot through large paragraphs of text. Bulleted lists can be used to break up large blocks of text and communicate key points much more efficiently.

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