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I’m wondering about how ellipses are used in essays. Are there any examples that I could see?

  • This question seems incredibly vague, could you try to be a bit more specific about what you're asking? – delete Sep 9 '10 at 15:12
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There are two types of ellipsis (examples from The Cambridge Guide to English Usage):

  1. Ellipsis in the grammar of a sentence

    They took glasses from the bar and [they took] plates from the tables.

  2. Ellipsis in punctuation

    He wanted no more of it . . . But having said that . . .

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When I quote a long passage I might elide some irrelevant parts, and in their place I put ellipses.

For example,

When I quote a long passage, like when I quote from an old email or when I quote from a taxation bill to illustrate a nuanced legal point, I might elide some irrelevant parts, and in their place I put ellipses.

becomes

When I quote a long passage ... I might elide some irrelevant parts, and in their place I put ellipses.

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    Or some relevant parts, if removing them supports my argument. :-) – Chris Dwyer Sep 9 '10 at 15:41
  • @Chris Goes without saying ;-) – Ed Guiness Sep 9 '10 at 15:44
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    @Ed Guiness: Excellent example, but I think you have placed the ellipses in the wrong place. Shouldn't they go between "passage" and "I might", since that is where you have removed words from the original quote? – e.James Sep 9 '10 at 16:20
  • I was taught to bracket the ellipses in this case. For example: "Shouldn't they go […] where you have removed words from the original quote?" – Paul Fisher Sep 10 '10 at 2:27

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