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How to Do Bullet Statements in APA Writing

by Susan Sherwood, Demand Media

    The American Psychological Association Publication Manual presents guidelines for format and style in the behavioral and social sciences. Many ways to organize writing are discussed, including using bullets. Bullet points are needed when lists do not require ordinal positions. Bullets are used either for individual statements or within sentences.

    Individual Statements

    When several statements, sentences or paragraphs need to be set apart, use bullets. Place one at the beginning of each entry, and follow with a capital letter. End each entry with its appropriate punctuation mark, usually a period.

    Single Sentences

    Sometimes part of a sentence needs to be broken up into a list. Begin the sentence in the standard fashion, and then use bullets to separate the elements within the rest of the sentence. Do not add any punctuation mark, such as a comma or colon, before beginning the bullet section. After each bullet, the sentence should continue with a lower-case letter. Put a semicolon or comma at the end of all but the last two bullets. In the second-to-last section, place "and" after the semicolon or comma. At the end of the final section, put the citation, if needed, within parentheses, and follow with a period.

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    About the Author

    Living in upstate New York, Susan Sherwood is a researcher who has been writing within educational settings for more than 10 years. She has co-authored papers for Horizons Research, Inc. and the Capital Region Science Education Partnership. Sherwood has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University at Albany.

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