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Vertical Lists, Bullets
Q. When a vertical list is introduced by a phrase (rather than a complete sentence), how is it punctuated?
A. Chicago recommends punctuating a phrase that introduces a list as if the list were a continuation of a sentence begun by the introductory phrase. This holds true whether the list is run into the text or presented vertically:
The items included bananas, pears, and grapes.
The items included
Many writers would add a colon after “included”—especially in the example with the vertical list, whose structure seems to warrant it. But a colon would separate the verb “include” from the objects it introduces.
To avoid that problem, add “the following” or otherwise reword the introduction so that it becomes an independent clause:
The items included the following:
or, for example,
The bag included three varieties of fruit:
See CMOS 6.130 for more examples and information.