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I need to make a bullet-point list in APA. What symbols do I use?

Last Updated: Sep 01, 2017  |  1118 Views

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APA allows you several variations to create un-numbered lists. This option is used when the use or numbers might give a sense of priority to the first items on the list, that is, you want the items on the list to be “equal.”

Here is how this is stated in the APA manual [Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. pp. 64-65].

“The use of “numbered lists” may connote an unwanted or unwarranted ordinal position (e.g. chronology, importance, priority) among the items. If you wish to achieve the same effect without the implication of ordinality, items in the series should be identified by bullets. Symbols such as small squares, circles, and so forth may be used in creating a bulleted list. At the time that an article accepted for publication is typeset, the bullet notation will be changed to the style used by that journal.

   ·    Individuals who . . . [paragraph continues].

   ·    Nondepressed persons exposed to . . . [paragraph continues].

   ·    Depressed persons exposed to . . . [paragraph continues].

   ·    Depressed and non-depressed participants in the no-noise groups . . . [paragraph continues].”

So, it looks as if –

a).  the symbol used does not matter.
b).  items should be indented.
c).  each listed item should end with a period.
d).  first word of each items should be capitalized.


APA allows for some other non-number list options, such as

a).  lists identified by letters within a paragraph or sentence.
b).  bulleted lists within a sentence to separate three or more elements.

However, since your list does not look as if it was intended to be part of a sentence or paragraph, I would go with the first information I supplied.

Answered by Todd WhiteBookmark and Share

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