Parentheses (round brackets) tell you when writing is independent of the main text. The information within parentheses may not be necessary, but helps clarify.


  1. If parentheses come at the end of a sentence, put the period on the outside parenthesis (like this).
  2. (If the entire sentence is within parentheses, keep the period inside.)
  3. Use square brackets to show:

a) you are adding or changing words in an original quotation. This is sometimes necessary when the quotation is unclear or was misspoken. For example:

Original: “Many of them don’t know what they are doing.”

Modified: “Many of [the teachers] don’t know what they are doing.”

b) brackets within brackets. (Sometimes you’ll need them [but not often]).