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Lists are useful because they emphasize selected information in regular text. When you see a list of three or four items strung out vertically on the page rather than in normal paragraph format, you are likely to pay more attention to it. Certain types of lists also make for easier reading. For example, in instructions, it is a big help for each step to be numbered and separate from the preceding and following steps. Lists also create more white space and spread out the text so that pages don't seem like solid walls of words. Like headings, the various types of lists are an important feature of professional technical writing: they help readers understand, remember, and review key points; they help readers follow a sequence of actions or events; and they break up long stretches of straight text. Your task for this chapter is to learn about the different types and uses of lists and to learn their specific format and style.

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