Recently my daughter received a letter from a music school that interests her. Here is how the letter began:
We are delighted that you have expressed an interest in our program here at the University of XXXX School of Music.
1. Outstanding dedicated artist faculty.
2. Our exceptional University Symphony Orchestra, presenting a full season of concerts . . . .
3. Cutting-edge experiential curriculum . . . .
4. Commitment to blending innovation with tradition . . . .
The content of the bullet points was fine–exciting and varied. The problem was that the bullets had no introduction. What were the 10 items? Never was it stated.
Sure, my daughter could figure out that these were 10 strengths of the university's music program. But readers should not have to figure out what bullet points signify. Bullet points need a sentence of introduction.
For the letter to my daughter, the introduction to the bullets might have been:
Consider these 10 reasons to give our program a closer look: [or]
Our current XXXX students give these reasons for choosing our music program: [or]
Among the strengths of our program are:
Like people, bullet points need an introduction. Otherwise, they keep us wondering.