When writing a list, how do you decide whether to use dot points or numbers?
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.
Plenty more tips like this one in the Contented Painless Grammar course!
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