The introductory sentence

It introduces the main idea of your essay, captures the interest of your readers, and tells why your topic is important. The introductory paragraph of any paper, long or short, should start with a sentence that piques the interest of your readers.

The first sentence must be followed by a colon (:).

You must start each sentence item with an uppercase letter and end it with a full stop if it contains sentence fragments.

The meeting schedule for today is as follows:

  • The new marketing strategy will be presented by executive director Marshall Blix.
  • Chris Skinny, a financial advisor, will evaluate the seven days' worth of sales.
  • Marta Collins, a firefighter, will discuss workplace safety.
  • Style manuals advise that you start your items with a lowercase letter and punctuate them as follows if they are words or phrases that do not constitute a complete sentence on their own:

After the first item, stop using punctuation.

There should be a full stop after the final item and no punctuation after the second, third, etc. things.

To punctuate in a more formal manner (common in legal writing) use the following:

There should be a semicolon after each item until the final one, followed by a full stop.

Put a comma after and or or if your penultimate item finishes with either or.

My preferred hues are:

  • Carmine red
  • cadmium yellow, and
  • aquamarine blue.