Jul 18, 2016

The Three-dot Method

3 cards
    • There are many methods for using ellipses. The three-dot method is the simplest and is appropriate for most general works and many scholarly ones. The three- or four-dot method and an even more rigorous method used in legal works require fuller explanations that can be found in other reference books.

    • Rule 1
      Use no more than three marks whether the omission occurs in the middle of a sentence or between sentences.
      • Example:
        Original sentence: The regulation states, “All agencies must document overtime or risk losing federal funds.”
        Rewritten using ellipses: The regulation states, “All agencies must document overtime…”

    • NOTE
      With the three-dot method, you may leave out punctuation such as commas that were in the original.

      • Example:
        Original sentence from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:
        “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Rewritten using ellipses: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth… a new nation, conceived in liberty…”

      • Rule 2
        When you omit one or more paragraphs within a long quotation, use ellipsis marks after the last punctuation mark that ends the preceding paragraph.

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