Brackets and parentheses
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Brackets and Parentheses. A UWF Writing Lab Mini-Lesson Mini-Lesson #19. Use PARENTHESES to insert aside information into a sentence or between two sentences. The girl (her name is Becca ) is terrified of thunderstorms.

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Brackets and parentheses

Brackets and Parentheses

A UWF Writing Lab Mini-Lesson

Mini-Lesson #19


Use parentheses to insert aside information into a sentence or between two sentences

Use PARENTHESES to insert aside information into a sentence or between two sentences.

The girl (her name is Becca) is terrified of thunderstorms.

The diagram (see page twelve) shows Columbus, Georgia’s 2012 education budget.

Mr. Scott has coached football for twenty-five years. (That’s longer than I’ve been alive.) Although he enjoys coaching all ages, he admits that his favorite level to coach is high school.


Use parentheses to cite a work after it has been quoted or paraphrased

Use Parentheses to cite a work after it has been quoted or paraphrased.

Medieval Europe was a place both of “raids, pillages, slavery, and extortion” and of “traveling merchants, monetary exchange, towns if not cities, and active markets in grain” (Townsend 10).*

* 2009 MLA Handbook


Use parentheses to enclose numbers of letters in a list

Use parentheses to enclose numbers of letters in a list.

Her essay on the United Nations discusses the organization’s (1) general history, (2) structure and current members, and (3) goals and activities.


Use brackets to insert changes or additional information into quoted material

Use brackets to insert changes or additional information into quoted material.

Mr. McGregor said, “You [Peter Rabbit] had better never come back to my garden.”

Charles Dickens wrote, “Bring in the bottled lightning [what is bottled lightning?], a clean tumbler, and a corkscrew.”

Thackeray said, “[I]f it [the world] beats you sometimes, dare it again, and it will succumb.” (Notice that the I is placed in brackets at the beginning of the quote; it was not capitalized in the original quotation.)


Brackets and parentheses

Use brackets to insert an original foreign title after an English title in a Works Cited. The original title should be italicized as well.

Like Water for Chocolate [Como aguapara chocolate]. Screenplay by Laura Esquivel. Dir. Alfonso Arau. Perf. Lumi Cavazos, Marco Lombardi, and Regina Torne. Miramax, 1993. Film*


Brackets and parentheses

Use brackets inside parentheses to show extra information within information already enclosed in parentheses.

In 1598, William Shakespeare performed in the play Every Man in His Humour (by Ben Johnson [1572-1637]), which was a great success.


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