How to Use Brackets


Apostrophes     Brackets     Colons     Commas     Ellipses     Em Dashes     En Dashes     Exclamation Marks     Hyphens     Parentheses     Periods     Question Marks     Quotation Marks     Semicolons

There are five ways to use brackets, but you’ll most likely find the need to use brackets when you are modifying someone’s original quote. Brackets let you, the author, insert commentary into someone else’s quote. They’re also good for putting parenthetical references inside of parentheses. Effective use of brackets shows sophistication in writing and they show an ethical awareness when you’re modifying someone’s quote for stylistic and clarity purposes. But despite their value in great writing, use bracket sparingly!

Brackets Difficulty Rank: 9/14 (not too difficult to master!)
While brackets may seem foreign and many writers either avoid using them or don’t know how to use them, brackets fall in the middle of the punctuation marks in terms of difficulty to learn. Practice using brackets so that you can feel confident editing and modifying direct quotes effectively and ethically.