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Using an ellipsis in the middle of a quote


Notoman 20 / 419  
Apr 28, 2009   #1
I have a question about how to write a quote using an ellipsis in the middle to indicate that I omitted part of the quote. If I end with one sentence and then pick up on a new one, would I use four dots-one for the period and three more for the ellipsis? Is there a better way to do it? My Word program is kind of freaking out on me and underlining everything in green.

If, for example, I were using this quote from Eeyore, but I wanted to shorten it, would this be the right way to do it?

I'm not saying there won't be an Accident now, mind you. They're funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you're having them.

I'm not saying there won't be an Accident now, mind you. . . . You never have them till you're having them.

Not that the Eeyore quote is the best example because it doesn't make a lot of sense, but my question is more about the grammar and formatting of the quote.

Thanks!
Lifeisallugot 1 / 1  
Apr 29, 2009   #2
Accoring to the Chicago Manual of Style, which is not MLA format, you should use four dots for omissions between two sentences. With that being said, the ellipsis it shouldn't be ... (four straight dots) but rather . ... (a dot, a space, then the ellipsis).

I hope that makes sense / helps!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Apr 29, 2009   #3
I'm not saying there won't be an Accident now, mind you. [. . .] You never have them till you're having them.

Great Eeore quote. Thanks, SA for the Chicago explanation, I did not know that!

Yes, the various style guides differ, so I always just use the same method. I use bracket-space-period-space-period-space-period-close bracket.

In the middle of a sentence, writing an important paper, it can be done like this:

In the middle of a sentence [. . .] it can be done like this.

With omitted words at the end of a sentence like this:

With omitted words at the end [. . .].

You might have more than one sentence. With omitted words at the beginning of subsequent sentences, like this:

You might have more than one sentence. [. . .] at the beginning of subsequent sentences, like this.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong! This is the nitty gritty stuff. I do it this way, which I believe is right for MLA.

Eric, this is covered in the Dianna Hacker books I mentioned in your thread about being a quality contributor.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Apr 29, 2009   #4
MLA does recommend brackets, so as to avoid confusion between ellipses you've added and ellipses already in the text. However, I believe MLA leaves out the spaces between the dots. So, "this is an [...] example of MLA formatting for ellipses." That said, I've always written for profs who expect MLA format, and I've always just used three ellipses marks with spaces between them, and no one has ever called me on it.
OP Notoman 20 / 419  
Apr 30, 2009   #5
Thanks Kevin and Sean! Your examples are right on the money Kevin. It seems like teachers used to specify either APA or MLA style, but now everyone is wanting MLA. I am thinking that academic writing will be standardized to MLA style in the future.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Apr 30, 2009   #6
It depends on what the subject is. APA tends to be more popular in the social sciences, MLA in the humanities. Harvard is apparently very popular, but I've only recently encountered it, and it isn't as set as the other citation methods.


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