# 4.6: Ellipses and Brackets

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Quoting a source involves more than simply copying and pasting; you want the material to make sense to your readers and serve a larger purpose. Quoting is really an art form, but sometimes you have to omit or add material to a direct quotation for a passage to make sense or flow. Understanding ellipses... and brackets [ ] will help you accomplish this.

## Ellipses

An ellipsis indicates an omission of words in the middle of a passage rather than at the beginning or ending of the quoted sentence. Ellipses are not necessary at the beginning or end of a passage.

Original:

For all registered participants, KCC will offer rides to the event—free of charge— provide lunch, and return everyone safely at the end of the day.

Correctly quoted sentence using an ellipsis:

“For all registered participants, KCC will offer rides to the event...and return everyone safely at the end of the day.”

Incorrectly quoted sentence with an ellipsis:

Please be advised that after the event the College will “...return everyone safely at the end of the day.”

## Brackets

The proper use of brackets occurs when the writer has quoted another source and includes additional detail or clarification to the quoted information.

##### Original Passage with MLA Citation

Students’ association of feminists with certain personal characteristics suggests that emphasis should be placed on redefining the type of person who is and is not a feminist.

Houvouras, Shannon, and J. Scott Carter. “The F Word: College Students’ Definitions of a Feminist.” Sociological Forum , vol. 23, no. 2, 2008, pp. 234-56. JSTOR , www. jstor .org.lrc1.kellogg.edu/stable/20110263.

Correctly quoted, with brackets:

The study’s authors suggest that due to “students’ association of feminists with certain [negative] personal characteristics . . . [an] emphasis should be placed on redefining the type of person who is and is not a feminist” (Houvouras and Carter 253).

##### Original Passage with APA Citation

By giving us a glimpse of his influences and contexts, Hamilton: The Revolution reveals the porousness of the artistic process. It also gives fans who started out loving one genre — musical theater, hip-hop, or historical biography — paths for where to go next.

Regaignon, D. R. (2016, September 27). Why I like the new MLA Handbook. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from www.chronicle.com/article/ Why-I-Like-the-New-MLA/237904/

Correctly quoted, with brackets

An English professor explains how the book Hamilton: The Revolution “reveals the porousness of [Miranda’s] artistic process. . . . . [and] gives fans who started out loving one genre . . . paths for where to go next” (Regaignon, 2016, para. 18).

This page titled 4.6: Ellipses and Brackets is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Frost & Samra et al..