See CMS 6.121–6.126 for guidance on lists. Note that this section can be confusing. Please contact Editorial Services if you have any questions.

If the text that immediately precedes the list is a complete sentence, follow CMS 6.124. Here are a few examples of list styles; there are more in CMS.


The chaos arose because the department had certain problems:

  • John’s computer caught a virus.
  • Betty forgot the book’s title.
  • No one sent the proofs to Maria.
  • Robert’s dictionary was stolen.

     Cake has several ingredients:

  • flour
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • butter

  Vladimir Nabokov could lecture on a variety of topics:

  • Lepidoptery
  • American literature
  • The novels of Gogol and Tolstoy
  • Russian history

If the text that immediately precedes the list is NOT a complete sentence, follow CMS 6.125. One exception is that we use “and” or “or” at the end of the next-to-last entry.


German shepherds have served many people as

  • search and rescue dogs;
  • guard dogs;
  • police dogs, also known as K-9s; and
  • service dogs for the blind.

The board praised the staff for

  • working hard,
  • drinking all the old coffee, and
  • cutting down on travel.