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

Rules:

  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]).