Bullet Style

Bullet style is a simplified way to organize details in a police report.

You might be wondering why you should learn how to incorporate bullets into your police reports. Why not just stick with the system that officers have used for years? There are two good reasons:

  • Bullets are easier to write than elaborate sentences
  • You’re less likely to make grammatical mistakes

(By the way, that’s an example of bullet style! Each item in the list is called a “bullet.”)

Let’s try it. Here’s a paragraph from a police report. Try rewriting it in bullets. Then compare your results with the bullets below.

Janet Lincoln said she came home from work at about 5:20 p.m. She saw that her front door was kicked open. When she went into the living room, she realized that her LQ TV was missing. Also gone were the silver serving pieces in a cabinet in her dining room, cash she kept in a bank in a kitchen cabinet, and a laptop computer that had been on the dining room table.

Here’s the information again in bullet style: Janet Lincoln told me:

  • She came home from work at about 5:20 p.m
  • She saw that her front door was kicked open

The following items were missing:

  • the LQ TV in her living room
  • the silver serving pieces in a cabinet in her dining room
  • a bank and cash from a kitchen cabinet
  • a laptop computer from the dining room table

Easy, isn’t it? How did you do?

You can watch a short video about bullet style by clicking here. And you can click here to listen to a podcast.

 

Today’s Quiz ANSWER

Today’s sentence is incorrect. In American punctuation, periods and commas always go inside quotation marks. There are no exceptions.

This morning the chief said, “The new software will be ready by next Monday”.   INCORRECT

 This morning the chief said, “The new software will be ready by next Monday.”  CORRECT

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