Bullet or dot points should have a ‘parallel’ structure to be correct.

Example 1:

Incorrect:

Activities I enjoy on holiday include:

  • Snorkelling
  • River-rafting
  • The chance to get my dance shoes on

Correct:

Activities I enjoy on holiday include:

  • Snorkelling
  • River-rafting
  • Dancing the night away

Notice that each of the first bullet-pointed words is the same grammatical type, in this case, ending in ‘ing’. This is what is meant by parallel structure.

 

Example 2:

Incorrect:

Throughout the study we:

  • Saw patients in distress
  • Heard their stories
  • Were observing them for signs of depression

Correct:

Throughout the study we:

  • Saw patients in distress
  • Heard their stories
  • Observed them for signs of depression

In this case, the parallel structure is determined by the first word being a simple past verb (saw, heard, observed).

Another useful tip is to capitalise and punctuate your bullet points consistently throughout a document. We ensure a parallel structure and consistently punctuated dot points when we proofread and edit business documents at Hit Send.