Rule B.7: Explanatory Parentheticals

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B.7(a): Explanatory Parentheticals in General

In most cases, when an author uses an introductory signal, a parenthetical should follow the citation. This assists the reader’s understanding of the relationship between the textual statement and the cited authority.

Exception to B.7(a): As an exception to the general parenthetical rule, the introductory signals “e.g.” and “see generally” do not require an explanatory parenthetical unless necessary to provide clarity. Moreover, if the author uses a “see” signal, an explanatory parenthetical is not necessary when the explanatory parenthetical would merely echo the author’s above-the-line language.

B.7(b): Forming an Explanatory Parenthetical

There are three ways to begin explanatory parentheticals: (1) with a present participle (i.e., a verb ending in “ing,” such as “describing”), (2) with a quote, or (3) with a brief phrase explaining the source. See Bluebook Rule 1.5(a).

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