Parentheses: More Than Helpful Emoticon Tools
Interestingly, parentheses can do more than make smiley faces :) and sad faces :( like these. Although they are quite handy for these important emoticons, they serve an important function in formal writing, as well.
Parentheses are used to set off information in a sentence that is important but not really a part of the main message. It’s important to remember that your sentence should make sense if you eliminate the parentheses and all that is contained between them.
You’ll probably use parentheses most often in your research papers because both APA and MLA formatting require in-text citations using parentheses. So right after a quote or any other borrowed information, you should include an in-text citation in parentheses, as illustrated in these examples: