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Grad. Studies Home

Using Ellipses ...

Ellipses (sometimes called ellipsis points) are three periods typed together. The most common use for ellipses is to show that you have left some material out of a direct quotation.

Examples

Original passage

The Chicago school reform movement is a powerful experiment in democracy. Like every experiment in democracy, this one is full of contention and conflicts, uncertainty and unevenness. Fiscal inequity, however, remains pretty much unchanged. (Rose, 1995, p. 155)

Text using ellipses

To show that you have left some material out of the middle of a sentence:

"The Chicago school reform movement is a powerful experiment in democracy...full of contention and conflicts, uncertainty and unevenness" (Rose, 1995, p. 155).

To show that you have left out a whole sentence or more (Note: here you need four periods: one to mark the end of the first sentence and three to show the ellipsis):

"The Chicago school reform movement is a powerful experiment in democracy....Fiscal inequity, however, remains pretty much unchanged" (Rose, 1995, p. 155).

Note: If you are only quoting a few words in the context of your own sentence, no ellipses are needed, either before or after, since it is clear to the reader that you have not included the whole text.

What we are trying to do is put together another "experiment in democracy" ( Rose, 1995, p. 155).