Brackets [ ] are not frequently used in general writing. However, they are routinely used in mathematics and chemistry, scholarly and historical works,
transcripts, congressional hearings, and courtroom testimony.
If the brackets enclose a complete sentence, place the period or other closing punctuation before the closing bracket.
- Brackets are used in mathematics to indicate that the enclosed material should be treated as a single unit. They appear, along with parentheses to denote units contained within larger units. They are used similarly in chemical names and formulas.
- Brackets serve in transcripts, congressional hearings, and courtroom testimony to enclose editorial comments, explanations, corrections, or other material that is not part of the original quotation.
- The chairman [Kennedy] thanked him for his forthright testimony.
- The last paragraph of the report states the following [reads]:
- I have no knowledge of that. [Continues reading]
- Our party has always fought for social justice for the sick, the elderly, and the disadvantaged. [applause]
- Mr. Jones. All in favor? [Show of hands.]
- If the brackets enclose a complete sentence, place the period or other closing punctuation before the closing bracket.
- Our technical references (including the first Speaking Real Estate ) combine depth of material and ease-of-use to those interested in the subject.
- In scholarly and historical works, brackets are used to:
- enclose corrections or comments in quoted material.
- enclose material that has replaced words or phrases.
- enclose letters added that had been were missing.
- enclose the form of a word that alters one used in an original text.
- enclose capital letters that have been added.
© G.A. Robinson 2002-2013