+0
Hi,

When should we list things in point form and when not? If I am making a list of advantages or disadvantages of a certain action to be taken, should it be in point form? I assume what is written in point form needs to be structually aligned, i.e. all starts with a verb or starts with a noun. One obvious case where we wouldn't normally write a list in point form would be a shopping list. I think what I am trying to ask is this: What should be the nature of a particular list for it to be in point form? A list made to make a point? I need more to understand this better. Thank you.
+0
Hi,

When should we list things in point form and when not? This type of list makes information easy to grap quickly and visually. It is often used in business, eg as a visual aid to an oral presentation, or in a business report. It is not typically used in very formal writing, eg a university essay.

Best wishes, Clive
Comments  
I think what you meant was “bullets”. We use bullets to highlight the important points or, itemize advantages. The methodology is the same as used in a “check-off-sheet”. It may be highlighted in alphabets, numbers or bullets. The idea is the same.

Take a recipe of spaghetti sauce for instance:

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds of lean ground beef

  • 3 cans of 6 oz tomato sauce

  • Half clove of garlic, pilled and chopped

  • Oregono ½ spoonful

  • ½ pound of mushroom, sliced

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 6 oz tomato paste

  • 2 pounds of tomato, cut to small chunks

  • Salt half spoonful

  • Sugar 1 spoonful.

  • ¼ cube butter

  • ½ cube of beef bullion seasoning.

  • Spaghetti seasoning. 1 package

  • 2 spoonful corn starch


Cooking:

1) Use medium-high heat to brown the butter lightly in a stainless or non-stick pot until white smoke rises

2) Pour chopped garlic and onion into pot. Stir lightly for a minute

3) Put the ground beef into the pot and brown it for 10 minutes in medium heat while stirring it to separate the meat

4) Put the sugar, tomato paste and oregano into the pot and stir for a minute

5) Pour the tomato chunks into the pot and cook for 10 minutes in medium-low heat

6) Open the spaghetti seasoning and sprinkle it over the meat. Keep stirring

7) Put the beef bullion and mushroom into the pot, stir gently, then covered pot.

8) Simmer in low heat for 30 minutes.

9) Mix ¼ cup of water with corn starch, pour into pot and stir evenly for a minute

10) Sauce is ready for serving.

This is my own recipe by the way. Bonappeti!Emotion: smile

Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
Thank you, Clive and Goodman.

I think the focus of my question is "whether the clause or possibly the phrase that starts the listing has anything to do with the need to be in point form, thuse making it necessary to align the structure."

Let us start with this:

Upon our year-end review, we came up with the following topic areas that need to be better dealt with next year and they are these:

Flagging staff morale

Continued decreasing profits in certain sectors of the company

How to deal with lost in revenues due to our drivers taking indirect routes

But if I change 'topic areas' to 'issues', it seems to me more susceptable to the need to be structurally aligned.

Upon our year-end review, we came up with the following issues that need to be addressed. How to deal with ...

Flagging staff morale

Continued decreasing profits in certain sections

lost revenues due to our drivers taking indirect routes

So can it be said, how you phrase the starting sentence (it that is what is called), the need to be in point form or not can be roughly determined?

Thank you.
Hi,

You seem to want to talk only about business reports. OK, let's focus on that area.

So can it be said, how you phrase the starting sentence (it that is what is called), the need to be in point form or not can be roughly determined?

If you are going to simply give a list, point form rather than prose is probably a good idea. However, even with point form, try to avoid making excessively long lists.

You don't always have to use words/phrases that mean 'here is a list'. eg you don't always have to write 'There are several important issues, which are as follows' or 'The following issues are important'. You can just say eg 'There are several important issues' and then list them in point form. You don't have to precede each list with a colon.

As regards structural alignment, there are cases where you need it, eg if you say 'the following actions are recommended', then you should begin each point with a verb. But, apart from such cases, the words you use to introduce your list of points (eg 'here are some issues'or 'here are some problems'), tend to leave you a fair bit of freedom as to how you word the points.

Best wishes, Clive
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?