brackets around a single letter in direct quotations


Senior Member
I was wondering when incoroportating a direct citation in a sentence, how does one use brackets to change the citation to flow with the surrounding text?

But the U.S. Supreme Court brushed aside the defendant's argument for excluding the confession, concluding that "[t]he fact that the police misrepresented the statements that ..."

At the beginning of the citation, only the first letter of "the" is in brackets, is there a reason for this or is it normal that only the first letter of a word that isn't part of the original citation be surrounded by brackets?

Any insight on the matter would be greatly appreciated.
  • Trisia

    Senior Member

    To me your example suggests that only the first letter of the word was added/modified. I would guess that the word had been initially written with a capital "T" and the square brackets are there to mark the edit.

    EDIT: Found this, from our resources list. It's like your example, but the other way around ("s" changed to "S," in "She")
    If you need to change a small letter to a capital, you put that capital inside square brackets.

    Chelsea was born nearly deaf, but...she was disastrously misdiagnosed as mentally retarded when she failed to learn to speak....(S)he* was raised by a loving family...
    Source: University of Sussex, Punctuation - Direct Quotations

    *) Those were square brackets in the original, but I can't type them here.
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