What Is a Bullet Point in Writing?
In fact, bullet points don’t seem to be very challenging elements of writing. However, like any other elements of academic writing, bullet points may be used in an effective way or in the ineffective one. First of all, it is important to have a good understanding of this notion.
In accordance with Collins Dictionary, a bullet point is “one of a series of important items for discussion or action in a document, usually marked by a square or round symbol.” Generally speaking, bullet points are used to write a list of the most important points mentioned is a certain paper.
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Can You Use Bullet Points in Academic Writing?
Yes, you can use bullet points in academic writing. The interesting fact is that, in the past decades, students were not allowed to use these elements in their academic papers. The reason for this issue was the fact that the educators regarded them as too informal for an essay, a research paper, or a term paper. However, at present, college undergraduates are often required to use the bullet points in their papers to make them more compact and packed.
Another important thing is that bullet points cannot be used in every style of formatting. In most cases, the common style of formatting where these elements can be utilized is the Academic Psychological Association (APA). Sometimes, it is allowed to use the bullet points in the papers written in Chicago Style. Since all the college assignments imply the official writing, there are two main types of bullet points that can be used by students. Usually, they include run-in lists and vertical lists.
First of all, in this case, bullet points are represented as part of the general text. All the points that need to be mentioned is a paper can be separated in different ways. These elements can be separated either with a colon (1) or with numbers (2). You can find the examples of these lists below:
- “The Housing Committee passed resolutions on annual salaries, fundraising efforts, and community building.”
- “The Housing Committee passed resolutions on (1) annual salaries, (2) fundraising efforts, and (3) community building”.
Do you still hesitate whether can you put bullet points in an assignment?
By contrast with the run-in lists, the use of this particular type of bullet points implies writing a complete sentence that precedes the vertical points being listed. This sentence should provide a brief overview of all the points you would like to list in your paper.
The important thing is that you can use this type of bullet points when your list is too long to be presented as one sentence. In this case, you have the opportunity to use a vertical list that is punctuated like a sentence.
Eg. At present, you are highly recommended to develop the leadership skills that will help you:
- to have a good sense of initiative
2. to find new ways of doing things in an organization;
3. be is more reliable and productive.
The following type of bullet points that should be discussed implies the use of vertical lists with subdivided terms. In general, the way of formatting of a vertical list may resemble an outline. In this case, you are required to use numbers and letters in order to maintain a logical structure for your paper. For instance:
The third-year students are required to choose one of the following topics:
- Legal aspects of health care;
- Estimated cause of anorexia nervosa;
- The Issue of Smoking and Its Consequences;
- Physician-Assisted Suicide: For and Against;
- Public Hospitals VS Private Hospitals.
Can Bullet Points Spoil Your Research Paper?
Yes, if the bullet points are inappropriate in the text, you can spoil your paper using these particular elements of academic writing. As it was mentioned above, the use of bullet points can play a significant role in writing a high-quality research paper. However, since you are assigned with completing a college paper, there are some cases when the bullet points cannot be used.
Below you can find the examples of some cases where the use of these elements will be inappropriate.
Hence, it is not recommended to use the bullet points:
- while writing a thesis statement;
- in the introductory paragraph;
- in the conclusion of your academic writing;
- in the case if you need to provide the detailed information regarding a certain issue;
- in the quotations used in the paper.
Tips for Writing Bullet Points in Academic Assignment.
- Make sure that your bullet points express a clear benefit and promise to the reader.
- It is important to keep all the bullet points symmetrical in order to make the paper more readable.
- Since the bullet points are designed for clarity, it is required to avoid bullet clutter.
- One of the key requirements is to use the parallelism while writing the bullet points (the same part of speech as well as the same grammatical form).No you know the answer on question: “Can you bullet point in an assignment?”