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When and How to Use Brackets - Daily Writing Tips

Many students tend to overuse direct quotations in their essays. Direct quotations should be used only when paraphrasing would change the effectiveness or meaning of the author's words or when the author is a noted authority and the idea could not be better expressed or said more succinctly. Although quotations are common in essays in the humanities, they are used less extensively in the social sciences, and rarely in scientific writing.

We typically use square brackets when we want to modify another person's words

The problem above is with the pronouns "me" and "we." Typically, when a writer uses the pronoun "me," the writer is referring to himself or herself, and the use of "we" typically refers to the writer along with one of more other individuals. To eliminate the possibility of confusion, then, the writer might make the following changes to the quotation, indicated with brackets:

Using Quotations in Your Essay - Studyhood

Using quotations in your essay 3

(Other research manuals — the APA Publication Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style — do not address this use of bracketed ellipses.)The plural of ellipsis is ellipses (handy to remember when you're playing Scrabble), but the points themselves (the dots that make up the ellipsis) are called ellipsis points or ellipsis marks.

You can use brackets within quotations to indicate material you have added to a quotation, but you should use brackets only when the meaning of the original might be unclear, most often because of a pronoun in the quotation with an unclear antecedent. Note the example below:

Additional information Introduction

Writing not only consists of letters and words but many forms of punctuation

How to Start an Essay With a Quote: 14 Steps (with Pictures)
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