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Of the fourteen different punctuation marks in English, brackets are used least often. Square brackets are the type of bracket most often called just “brackets,” but parentheses and braces are sometimes considered types of brackets.

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types of brackets

All About Square Brackets < >

Square brackets are only used within quotes or on rare occasions where you need parentheses inside parentheses.

Using Square Brackets in Quotes

Writers use brackets in academic writing to địa chỉ cửa hàng information khổng lồ a quote without changing the meaning of the sentence. This means that the writer can showroom words, if necessary, khổng lồ make the sentence clearer or showroom a correction or comment to quoted material.

Normally, a quotation must be presented exactly as it was spoken or written. The square bracket allows the writer khổng lồ fix mistakes, showroom explanatory information, change a quote lớn fit in a sentence, or địa chỉ emphasis to lớn a word through bold or italics. Similar to parentheses, the information in the bracket cannot alter the meaning of the quoted material.

Examples of Square Bracket Use in

You only use square brackets when absolutely necessary khổng lồ help the reader understand the text. Examples of when and why khổng lồ use square brackets can help you better understand the punctuation.

Example 1:

"Books used show methods of finding information but not much information in preparation of the review." (Libutti và Kopala, 1995, p.15).

In this example, the words "in classes" bởi not appear in the original quotation but the writer wanted to địa chỉ this information to lớn make the sentence read more clearly.

Example 2:

“We adopt the means of nonviolence because our kết thúc is a community at peace with itself .” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

To showroom emphasis to a phối of words, italics were added by the writer that were not there in the original quote.

Example 3:

“China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters - rips it out of water và takes it to trung quốc in unpresidented <sic> act.”

The Latin word “sic” is often used inside brackets after a spelling or error to lớn indicate the error was part of the original quote. In this quoted President Donald Trump tweet (that was later corrected) the word “unprecedented” was originally misspelled.

Example 4:

Jen hired Mel for the movie stating, “That woman just had a certain je ne sais quoi .”

The brackets inside this quote translate the French phrase “je ne sais quoi” so the reader can understand it.

Example 5:

She referenced an old book of hers (The Big Book <1976>) in her new book.

The book title is added in parentheses so the reader knows what book is being referenced. As the year of publication might also need to appear in parentheses, it is nested within the parentheses in brackets here.


Parentheses or Round Brackets ( )

The most commonly used bracket pair in English is the parentheses. This pair of round brackets is used when a writer wants to địa chỉ information lớn a sentence that will give greater detail to the information presented. However, the information is extra, which means it can be removed without damaging the original information.

Items placed in parentheses can often be phối off with commas instead. Kiểm tra out these sentence examples using parentheses:

Example 1:

George Washington (the first president of the United States) gave his farewell address in 1796.

In this sentence, the information in parentheses gives additional information about George Washington.

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Example 2:

NASA (National Aeronautics và Space Administration) launched its first Mars probe (Viking I) back in 1976.

In this sentence, the information in parentheses explains what NASA stands for & gives additional information about the Mars probe.

Example 3:

Task representations can sometimes differ between student and instructor (Flower, 1994) & even from novice student khổng lồ more experienced student.

In this sentence, the information in parentheses is a citation for a book written in APA format. Similar types of line references are used in other citation systems as well.

Angled Brackets

Angled brackets have very limited use in writing và are obsolete in modern writing. The most common use for angled brackets is for placing URLs (Universal Resource Locator) into text.

Example of angled bracket use:

Fishman, Stephen M., and Lucille Parkinson McCarthy. John Dewey and the Challenge of Classroom Practice. The Practitioner Inquiry Series. Thành phố new york Urbana, Ill.: Teachers College Press, National Council of Teachers of English, 1998. Https://>

This is an example of an old MLA citation. While MLA rules no longer require URLs lớn be presented due to their ever-changing status, many professors may still ask students khổng lồ include the URL. If this is the case, then the web address needs khổng lồ be phối between a pair of angled brackets.

Braces or Curly Brackets

Braces, or curly brackets, have extremely limited usage & are mostly used for math, computer programming, or music. An exception to lớn this would be if a writer wanted to create a các mục of items that are all equal choices. Otherwise, this punctuation mark would not be used in academic writing.

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Brackets Have Purpose

Punctuation marks are a basic part of English In all of these examples, the brackets set off, địa chỉ cửa hàng emphasis, or further explain information presented to a reader. The different brackets all have slightly different functions & limited usage in academic writing, but learning how khổng lồ use a bracket in is as easy as recognizing and marking the extra information in a sentence.