Making sense when making lists

By MS Argüeso / June 30, 2015 /

making-lists

How can I make my list read well?

Presenting information in a list format helps keep texts shorter and to the point. No wonder the Internet is full of lists! To make sure your list reads well, you want to keep the same structure throughout. Here is a good example:

The objective of this research is to

  • Analyze the needs of the target group
  • Select the best value proposition
  • Add relevant imagery

All verbs are in the same infinitive form, i.e., each sentence repeats the same pattern. What doesn’t read well, is when each sentence has a different structure:

The objective of this research is to

  •  Analyze the needs of the target group
  • Selection of the best value proposition
  • Relevant imagery

When each sentence has a different form, the reader has to make an effort each time to attach it to the header and make sense of it.  Use a parallel structure and readers will get the meaning straight away.

My advice: Read the header and each component of the list. If you can do this without adding or changing any word, you’re good to go.