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Numbered paragraphs

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:53 am
by MrSteve51
I've just had an article rejected because the title began "6 Signs that.." but the paragraphs weren't numbered. I put numbers in front of each paragraph and resubmitted it, but I did put a note to the editor to say that I've had loads of "X things you should know" articles accepted without numbered points.

What do other people do? I can see why it might be useful to have numbers if one of the points stretched over several paragraphs, but I've always assumed that if I tell the reader there are six things, then they'll manage to work out that each paragraph is a separate item without me needing to number them.

Re: Numbered paragraphs

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:16 am
by Gauderbock
I either do numbered paragraphs for shorter 'listicle' things, a subheading for each point, or numbered subheadings. I've never had a rejection for any of those formats.

Re: Numbered paragraphs

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:11 am
by HiredGun
Depends which editor you get. I've had one editor insist I put numbers on my listicles and another editor tell me not to use - for bullet points, but to use · instead. You can check the extended writer guidelines ( ... ontent-com) to see if there are any specific guidelines requiring you to number your points. If there aren't any rules insisting upon numbered points, email Shari ( or Writer Support ( and request they make a formal ruling one way or the other so ALL editors can be advised of the new policy. Please be sure to update this thread if you hear back from CC support.

Re: Numbered paragraphs

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:19 pm
by MrSteve51
I had a response back: this is it in full:
Editing is subjective and the editor thought it was warranted in this situation. Usually writers place a subhead before each point, as six points is a lot without subheads or numbering. Web readability does depend upon scanability. We don't require points to be numbered but it was the editor’s judgement call with the intention that it would improve the article.

I think this makes good sense; no hard and fast rule to number paragraphs, but take reasonable steps to make the article as readable as possible. It's certainly made me think more about how my articles come across to someone who's scanning through rather than carefully reading every word.