I always feel helpless when I have to prepare a powerpoint presentation in English. I really don't know which rules (if any) apply!

1. Do I have to capitalise the first letter in each line?

2. How do I end each line?

For instance:

[ ... ] zones on which building is forbidden:
- (W\w)etlands (";" or "." or nothing)
- (C\c)oastal areas (";" or "." or nothing)
- (N\n)atural reserves

I suppose my problem comes from the inference of my first language, so I'd be really grateful if a native speaker could help me!


My recommendation is to use capital letters to start, with no end punctuation.

  • Wetlands
  • Coastal areas
  • Natural reserves

  • (Are you sure the last one isn't nature reserves?)

    The only real rule is to be consistent, not only within one slide, from also from slides to slide. I do PowerPoint presentations frequently and I am anal about consistency.
Thanks for tour kindness, Barbara.

May I go on with questions?

1. What if the list were part of an essay instead of a presentation? Would you use punctuation marks in this case? If the answer is yes, which type?

2. I googled "nature reserves" and "natural reserves" (language=english) : 2690000 vs 259000.

Ratio > 10:1 show me "nature reserves" is much more common, but 259000 is too high a number to make me think it's only a mistake. Is "natural reserve" a non idiomatic expression, or is there any difference between the two, or it's really an error?

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
In an essay, with only three items on the list, and all of them being quite short, I would just write them in the sentence. If the preceding part of the sentence is quite long, then use a colon. blah blah blah resulted in three areas being declared off-limits for development: x, y, and z.

With more than three or four, or if each item is quite lengthy, then use the same format as for PowerPoint. But be equally consistent in your usage! If one is a noun phrase, make them all noun phrases. If one is a sentence, make them all sentences. And so on.

I speak only "American" English, so a physical place set aside for local plants and animals to live without being disturbed is a nature reserve. I don't know about other countries' use of that phrase. (Is it possible that at least some of the others were talking more about natural resources being kept in reserve? I don't know - but I agree, over a quarter milllion uses is too high for an error.)
Really helpful, thank you very much!

Hope someone else will have their say about "natural\nature" reserve.

Meanwhile, I'll change it.Emotion: wink
You're very welcome. I have found that I am not particularly skilled in helping foreign students learn English, because so many of the questions are about "why" and I don't know why - just what is. And some of these grammar terms seem esoteric to me. But I am a technical writer for a living, so your types of questions (which are really a matter of style more than grammar) I can actually answer!
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I see.

Maybe moderators could add a section to the forum, something like "a matter of style" Emotion: smile , couldn't they?
It is definitely 'nature reserve'