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Grad. Studies Home

Using Brackets [ ]

There are only two general reasons to use brackets (see examples in red below), and neither one is used very often.

  1. To show that you have inserted something into a quotation that was not in the original.

  2. To add parenthetical information to material that is already inside a parenthesis

Example 1:

According to Smith, "The year 2007 brought an alarming [italics added] rise in new HIV/AIDS case."(2008, p. 33).

Example 2:

After being admitted to a new treatment center (Eagleville Hospital and Rehabilitation Center [EHRC] ), Mr. Smith began to show signs of improvement.