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Parentheses & Brackets

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Presentation on theme: "Parentheses & Brackets"— Presentation transcript:

1 Parentheses & Brackets
Two Minor Punctuation Marks That You Should Know How to Use

2 Parentheses Rule #1 Use parentheses to enclose supplemental material, minor digressions, and afterthoughts.

3 Examples After taking her vital signs (temperature, pulse, and blood pressure), the nurse made Becky as comfortable as possible. The weights James was first able to move (not lift, mind you) were measured in ounces.

4 Parentheses Rule #2 Use parentheses to enclose letters or numbers labeling items in a series.

5 Rule #2 Example Regulations stipulated that only the following equipment could be used on the survival mission: (1) a knife, (2) thirty feet of parachute line, (3) a book of matches, (4) two ponchos, (5) an E tool, and (6) a signal flare.

6 TIP So not overuse parentheses. Rough drafts are likely to contain more afterthoughts than necessary. As writers head into a sentence, they often think of additional details, occasionally working them in as best they can with parentheses. Such sentences should be revised so that the additional details no longer seem to be afterthoughts.

7 Example Researchers have said that thirteen million (estimates run as high as eighteen million) Americans have diabetes. Researchers have said that from thirteen to eighteen million Americans have diabetes.

8 Bracket Rule #1 Use brackets to enclose any words or phrases that you have inserted into an otherwise word-for-word quotation.

9 Example Audubon reports that “if there are not enough young to balance deaths, the end of the species [California condor] is inevitable.” The sentence quoted above did not originally contain the words California condor, so the writer needed to add the name in brackets.

10 Brackets Rule #2 The Latin word “sic” in brackets indicates that an error in a quoted sentence appears in the original source.

11 Brackets Rule #2 Example
According to the review, Nelly Furtado’s performance was brilliant, “exceding [sic] the expectations of even her most loyal fans.” Do not overuse “sic,” however, since calling attention to others’ mistakes can appear snobbish.

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