Brackets ([ ]) can be used to add explanatory or descriptive information to a sentence. The following is an example: “Jay’s Place [the new coffee shop] has great espresso.” When quoting material, it is sometimes necessary to change a word or pronoun to fit the structure of the new sentence. Brackets will be used around the new word to show that it is different from the original. For example, “Jessica noted that her shirt is pink” could be replaced with the following: Jessica noted that “[my] shirt is pink.” If a quoted word is misspelled, the word sic (which literally means “that’s how it was”) may be added within brackets. The following is an example: “Jesse is the best mathematician [sic] in the club.” Brackets can be complicated and should be used sparingly. Parentheses are more common.


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Last updated: 12/18/2017
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