Ordered Lists

TCQ follows APA style for ordered lists. (See Section 3.04 in the APA Manual for complete guidelines.) Authors should use lists to indicate a series or relationship between items in a list, and use an ordered (numbered) list to show a specific order. In any list, whether enumerated or not, list items should be parallel to each other.

When a list is embedded in a sentence or paragraph, the appropriate device for enumerating list items is lower-case letters (not italicized) in parentheses: (a), (b), (c), etc.

If the list contains three or more items, separate the items with commas; if one or more of the list items includes an internal comma, then use semicolons between them.

If the author wants to format an ordered list as a block quote (rather than embed it in a sentence), the list should be indented .5" from the margins (same as other block quotes) and numbered with arabic numerals followed by periods: 1., 2., 3., etc. If using this format, APA specifies that each list item should constitute a paragraph.

Unordered Lists

Unordered lists indicate that all items of the list are equal. Format ordered lists as follows:

  • Indent each list item .5" from the margin as with other block quotes and enumerated lists.
  • Introduce the list with a grammatically complete sentence that ends with a colon.
  • As for any list, present the items as parallel to each other.
  • If list items are grammatically complete sentences, then capitalize the first letter of each item, and use correct punctuation (e.g., period or question mark) at the end of each item.
  • If list items are not grammatically complete sentences, capitalize and punctuate the list as you would a grammatically complete sentence: i.e., each item will be followed by a comma (or semicolon if at least one item contains a comma), the second to last item will be followed by "and," and the last item will be followed with a period.
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