Vertical Lists, Bullets

Q. A vertical list lettered with “a.,” “b.,” “c.,” etc. (using periods after each letter) is provided in a document. Later on in the write-up, I reference this list with the sentence, “[Name] has managed projects that cover items a through f.” Do “a” and “f” require some kind of punctuation or special treatment?

Q. When a vertical list is introduced by a phrase (rather than a complete sentence), how is it punctuated?

Q. Which of the following is correct to introduce a list?

1. My service includes:
2. My service includes

Should the colon be used after the word “includes”? From my understanding, a colon should not be used after a verb (or a preposition). Also, the sentence “My service includes” is not a complete sentence by itself.

Q. What is the proper way to punctuate or structure a bulleted list of items that ends with “and much more!”? Thank you!

Q. I am evaluating annual reports for a large business, and have been unable to find the answer to my question of when to write numbers as words and when to use numerals when they begin the items in vertical (bulleted) lists. For example: sixty-nine people chose . . . or 69 people chose . . . Which is the correct choice? I would certainly appreciate your answering my question and I have no understanding of the reason this issue isn’t discussed in information concerning vertical lists.

Q. I have a question about bulleted lists and capitalization. I’ve always written lists with the first word capitalized and then subsequent words, not (unless proper nouns of course). A colleague believes that every word other than prepositions or conjunctions should be capitalized.

—No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives


—No Artificial Colors, Flavors, or Preservatives

I can’t seem to find a “rule” on this. Any help?

Q. When creating an outline for a research paper, does each object in the list regardless of hierarchy need to be a complete sentence?

Q. I’m an editor for a training department. In our instructional material we often have long lists of objectives. Using Chicago’s standard for vertical lists (CMOS 6.130) makes them a little hard to read. Do you have an alternate suggestion? The instructional designers feel that it takes away from the meaning of the objectives when we reword the lead-in to be a complete sentence. For example, they don’t like “At the completion of this module you will complete the following.” They don’t like it because instructionally you’re not always “completing” something. Other ideas?

Q. I do not believe it makes sense to use a bulleted list of one item. If it is just one item, should it not simply be a paragraph? At the end of many of our sections in an advocacy guide we have “Advocacy Reminders.” Sometimes there are many; sometimes there is only one reminder. It seems to me if there is one reminder it should be a paragraph.

Q. Is it ever okay to start a list with a sentence ending in a period instead of a colon? (“To determine the answer, use the following concepts.”) Does it matter if the list is set off by bullets or that the typesetting is different (by color or font, etc.)? What is the preferred method if both ways are correct? What if it is not a complete sentence? I appreciate the response. Me and a fellow copy editor are at odds.