Vertical Lists, Bullets
Q. I am editing a manuscript that will become a book. It is a type of instructional manual, but more informational than instructional. The writer is inconsistent with the use of bullets and numbers. Should a list be numbered only if the material is to be used as a guideline for a consecutive order of information? Should bullets be used simply as an outline of information in no particular order?
Q. What position does Chicago take on numbered lists within sentences? I’m editing a document in which the author frequently sets apart elements of a series with (1), (2), and (3). The enumeration rarely indicates a progression, and it is used in short and long sentences, even when only two elements of a series are listed. I think this practice is burdensome to the reader in many cases and makes the document appear too technical, but haven’t found anything to support my claim.
Q. In a list of bulleted points where some are complete sentences and some are not, do you put a period at the end of a sentence, but not the list, or periods after all bulleted points, or none at all?
Q. I am a course designer for a university, and I always have a difficult time figuring out how to handle punctuation and capitalization in multiple-choice questions. Do I capitalize the first letter of each choice? Do I add a period at the end of each choice? Does the rule change if it is a question rather than a statement?
Q. What are the proper guidelines for punctuating the phrases/clauses in a bulleted list?
Q. I’ve read your advice on vertical lists, but I’m still confused about how to punctuate a long vertical list that completes an introductory statement without punctuating it as one terribly long sentence.