A copywriter’s use of Bullet Points


An argument with myself.


In a recent blog on storytelling, I made a derisive reference to bullet points.  I suggested they were something “story-killers” recommended to speed delivery of information.

To be fair, I began to think that bullet points may have a place in marketing communications. Just may. This developed into an argument with myself. It went something like this.


Myself: I have long viewed bullet points as useless little dots in front of statements in a list. Just look at it. A teensy little dot –


Now what does that add to a message?

Me: It may signify that it’s part of an important list.

Myself: Such as…?

Me:  Well, I see bullet points used a lot in resumes.

Myself: Oh sure:

. Graduated with honors from seven Ivy League colleges

. Swam across Pacific Ocean

. Awarded the Congressional…

Me: (Interrupting)… Okay, seriously… name an important list that doesn’t use bullet points.

Myself: Ten Commandments.

Me: Doesn’t count. They were written in stone.

Myself: So???

Me: They’re ancient. Stone fonts didn’t include bullet points.

Myself: Nice try. Anything else?

Me: Yeh, we use bullet points in our website.

Myself: Hmmmm. Hey, nobody’s perfect.

Me: Sorta.

Myself:  What do you mean “sorta”?  Are you now willing to admit

that bullet points have a purpose?

Me: Bullet points work to indicate a series of brief statements that should be taken a little more seriously than one-line paragraphs.

Myself: That’s a bit lame. How do we get out of this before our readers tell us to “get a life”?  If they’re still reading this?

Me:  Let’s turn it over to them.

Myself: Hey readers, if you’re still with us. How do you feel about bullet points?

Join in with your comments right here.

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