“? Or ?” — Which Is Correct?

The other day our graphic designer, Debbie Esposito, emailed a common question:

Which heading is punctuated correctly?

   Heading 1: What Is "Computers for Kids"?

   Heading 2: What Is "Computers for Kids?"

To recognize the correct heading, follow this rule:

If the entire sentence (or heading) is a question, the question mark belongs at the end–after the closing quotation mark.

If just the material within quotation marks is a question, the question mark belongs inside the closing quotation mark.

Following the rule, the correct heading is Number 1.

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  1. If you end a sentence with a phrase or word in parenthesis, where does the punctuation fall (inside or outside of the parenthesis)? And, are parenthesis overused?

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