How to Use Parentheses


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

Parentheses are great for clarifying or adding detail to a sentence and they can give some sentence variety and complexity to make your writing more interesting and sophisticated. Don’t overuse parentheses, but insert them occasionally to give your reader extra details that they may want. Also, make sure you use parentheses to cite sources in MLA, APA, and other citation formats.

Parentheses difficulty ranking: 8/14 (not too difficult to master!)
Parentheses fall right in the middle of the punctuation marks in terms of difficulty. They’re very common and they can only be used in three different ways. The key with parentheses is to not use too many parenthetical comments in a document and to make sure that you are using them appropriately to insert in-text citations (but follow the style guide that you are required to use.) Also, don’t forget to include the second (closed) parenthesis!