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9.3 Brackets ( ) and Braces { }

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9.3 Brackets ( ) and Braces { }


Brackets are used to add information to a sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence. This means that the writer can add words if necessary to make the sentence read more clearly.

They (David and his brother) were unaware of the danger.

There are a few different types of symbols that can technically be considered brackets. Each pair of marks has its own rules for academic use.

Parentheses or round brackets ( )

The most commonly used bracket in English is the parentheses. This pair of round brackets is used when a writer wants to add information to a sentence that will give greater detail to the information presented.

Square brackets ( [ ] )

Square brackets are used when the writer needs to add information to a quotation. Normally, a quotation must be presented exactly as it was spoken or written. The square bracket allows the writer an opportunity to make changes.

Angled brackets ( < > )

Angled brackets have very limited use in writing. They primarily set off highlighted material. The most common use for angled brackets is for placing URLs (Universal Resource Locator) into text.

Braces or curly brackets ( { } )

This mark has extremely limited usage and mostly for poetry or music. An exception to this would be if a writer wanted to create a list of items that are all equal choices. Otherwise, this punctation mark would not be used in academic writing.

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