Round brackets ( ) should be used sparingly, i.e. as a last resort if you need to include an aside comment in another sentence. They often appear when further explanation or qualification is required for a particular word or phrase, and it would be overkill to construct a new sentence to explain this.

Square brackets [ ] are used

  • to enclose editorial comments that are not part of an author’s original wording. Round brackets are used in all other cases
  • when the author is making a comment inside a quotation

Brackets inside brackets, unless editorial comments, will be normal brackets, e.g. ( ( ) ).

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